The Issue: Need for Computer-Based Learning for Students
To prepare students for college and their eventual careers, New York will transition to computer-based testing in 2014, according to a report from the state education department. This technology-enhanced learning will enable students to "demonstrate their achievement through technology" and help them "participate in an increasingly connected world." To launch the computer-based Regents test, the Henry Viscardi School needs enough adaptive laptops for its 180 students, each of whom has a severe physical disability.
The Campaign: Purchasing Adaptive Laptops for Youth
If 50 people donate $10 to this Grassroots campaign, then The Viscardi Center can purchase one adaptive laptop for students at the Henry Viscardi School, thanks to matching donations from an anonymous donor. Donations will be matched up to $5,000. The laptop will help students with disabilities participate in the New York State Regents Exams and enable them to learn with technology in the classroom. The computer will have screen-reading programs for visually impaired children, vocalization programs for youth who do not speak, and pointer-enabled keyboards for children with paralysis. Each additional $1,000 raised will fund another adaptive laptop.
All donations will be matched up to a $5,000 total by an anonymous donor.
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The Viscardi Center
Dr. Henry Viscardi Jr. was born with shortened limbs. Not one to let his challenges define him, though, he worked to achieve his doctorate and went on to serve as the disability adviser to eight US presidents, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter. Believing in children's ability to achieve greatness despite any obstacle, he founded The Viscardi Center in 1952. For the last half-century, the center has worked to educate and empower people with disabilities by providing education from prekindergarten to high school, school-to-work transition services, vocational training, and career counseling through a network of organizations.
A member of this network, the Henry Viscardi School was founded in 1962 and today teaches 180 children who have severe physical disabilities such as muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy. These students learn in small groups of up to nine and study all of the state-mandated subjects, including science and math. The school maintains a host of medical supports, including communication devices, and the help of nurses and social workers, to ensure the children's safety, and it offers extended educational training in the form of postgraduate skills and summer instruction.