A tenacious teenager who lives with the challenges of cerebral palsy has learned to type freely for the first time using specialist equipment at her school in Johnstone.
Aspen Bennett – a pupil at Capability Scotland’s Corseford School – is passionate about technology and in recent months has learned how to type independently using a specially-designed joystick and onscreen keyboard.
With support from her school’s assistive technology and ICT support technician Tony Green, she has also been enjoying IT lessons and is a member of the school’s computer club.
Aspen, 16, is now confident in using software packages including Microsoft Powerpoint and Microsoft Word and is even mentoring other, younger and less IT-experienced pupils in computer club.
Photo: Aspen Bennett
She has been so motivated about technology that she now also travels to Clydebank College one day a week for an IT course.
Aspen said: “I really enjoy IT class and I learn a lot every day. I like helping other people learn too. I want to do Tony’s job when I’m older.”
Corseford offers one-to-one, daily IT classes and Tony also runs a computer club for pupils every lunchtime.
Tony said: “Over the last few months, Aspen has really grown in confidence in her lessons. She’s progressed to using the joystick and on screen keyboard really effectively.
“Using a PC and the internet helps develop Aspen’s fine motor skills and hand and eye co-ordination, and she’s also learning more about making decisions and solving problems. There are times when Aspen will see a solution to a problem that no one else has thought about and it’s great for her to have that feeling.
“Aspen is just one of the pupils making real progress in IT and that’s down to the amazing assistive technology that’s available.”
Sean Donachie, Interim Head of Care and Education at Corseford School, said: “Assistive technology has opened up a whole new world of learning for our young people. It’s great to see such progress in all of our youngsters and we’re very proud of Aspen leading the way in the technology field.”
Corseford School supports children and young people aged five to 18 with complex health, education, movement and communication needs to achieve their potential.
Capability Scotland provides education, employment and care services for disabled children and adults across Scotland. Find out more at www.capability-scotland.org.uk.
Get in touch with Corseford School by calling 01505 702 141 or via email at [email protected]