Thursday, March 24, 2011

UATP's Clarissa Barnhill in CPD News

CPD Legacy Story: Clarissa Barnhill
This CPD Legacy Story is about Clarrisa Barnhill. Clarrisa worked as a USU intern student at the Utah Assistive Technology Lab alongside Stan Clelland, learning how to repair and maintain AT equipment. She is currently the Coordinator of the AT Lab at USU.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Free Web Training: Accessibility options for Mac, Windows and other computers

April 6, 2011
3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
RSVP by April 4 to OR (435)797-7412.
This FREE training is intended to allow people to learn about the tools they already have, but may not know about.  It is a review of the accessibility options within your computer.  We will review the different features of Windows 7, Mac OS X, as well as older PC operating systems.  The Computer Center is a Microsoft Accessibility Resource Center and has an emphasis on keeping costs down wherever possible.  Looking at the tools that a user already has on hand can be important for individuals seeking to quickly and effectively access technology.

Scott Baggley has been working as an Education Program Specialist at the Computer Center for Citizens with Disabilities at the Utah Center for Assistive Technology for the past 8 years. He specializes in Computer Access, Augmentative Communication, and Educational Software.

1) be sure you have high speed internet and,
2) go to to test your video and sound before the day of the training, which is also the same site you will view the training. Please note that the video streaming will be a montage of Utah State University videos, including sporting events. If you are unable to properly connect to the training site be sure the latest Quick Time plug in 7.6 is updated on your computer and check to be sure you can view the video streaming at the URL above prior to the training day.

Technical Support 
Before April 6 – Call Utah State University Information Technology Help Desk for technical questions or problems, 435-797-4357 or 877-878-8325 or Shane Thomas at 435-797-0525 or or Sachin Pavithran at 435-797-6572 or
Day of Training - Call USU Information Technology Help Desk for technical questions or problems, 435-797-4357 or 877.878.8325.

Ask Trainer Questions - Click on “UATP Ask a Question” (NOT available until the day of the training) to type questions for the trainer to answer throughout the training.

Accommodations - If you are a screen reader user please contact Sachin Pavithran at 435-797-6572 or to make arrangements to participate via phone by April 1. If you need any other accommodations in order to participate in the training please let Sachin know no later than April 1.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Michigan college students volunteer at CPD for spring break

Grand Valley State University students, Laura Lemerand and
Jacob Szocinski, work making toys in the Assistive Technology Lab during
their alternative  spring break. The students volunteered at the
Center for Persons with Disabilities.

By Storee Powell

LOGAN – Tijuana, sunshine and no work is not the kind of spring break twelve undergraduate students from Grand Valley State University are having. Instead, they are in Cache Valley volunteering at the Center for Persons with Disabilities.
This is the CPD’s second year hosting the Michigan university students for the “alternative spring break” said Jeff Sheen, the CPD’s volunteer program coordinator. Last year, students adapted garden tools for those with disabilities and dug mounds of dirt for an accessible playground. This year students are making educational toys and doing outdoor activities like basketball with children with disabilities.
So why did these students drive 30 hours to Cache Valley on their own dime to volunteer at the CPD?
Accounting major, Laura Lemerand, said, “I just wanted to do something useful with my spring break.”

Lemerand spent Monday working among her peers in the Utah Assistive Techonolgy Program's assistive technology lab, building educational toys for Head Start, a national program that promotes school readiness in young children. Most of the students had not used power tools before, but they were not thwarted in the least.
“I’ve never used power tools before,” Lemerand said. “But this is so fun.”
Supervising and instructing the students was Clarissa Barnhill, CPD lab technician. She showed students how to make toys such as blocks and storytelling boards.
Barnhill said, “These toys encourage development in sorting, matching and fine motor skills.”
The CPD wasn’t the only one benefitting from the students’ visit. Many of the volunteers are in a major relating to working with those with disabilities.
Rene Teschke, therapeutic recreation major, said, “I wanted to work more with individuals with disabilities, and this is giving me that opportunity.”
This is the second alternative spring break trip for Jacob Szocinski, a clinical exercise science major. He said, “We like volunteering because it gives us something to take back; I want to do physical therapy for grad school, and this is good learning.”
Sheen said having AT lab experiences is good to provide students with hands-on, concrete learning as well as a first-hand seat in seeing how this work changes people’s lives.

Students Michelle Vader and Rene Teschke
volunteering in the AT Lab making educational toys.
 “Last year some students delivered an adaptive mobility toy to a little girl, and were very changed by the experience seeing her using it, how it improved her quality of life,” Sheen said.
Special education major, Michelle Vader, said, “It is cool to see what’s available here at Utah State University for people with disabilities. We don’t have a center like the one here.”

The Michiganders didn’t just volunteer their time, but their humor as well while learning residents of Utah are called Utahans.  
Volunteer Shelby Woodby said, “I was thinking that people from Utah are called Utahtions…But we thought that sounded too much like mutations.”
Sheen said he hopes student volunteers doing the alternative spring break at the CPD will come back every year.
“We’d be happy to have them back year after year,” Sheen said. “It is fun to have a different group of volunteers.”