Bookshare Member A.J. Snitko
Bookshare student member A.J. Snitko, who attends the University of Alabama, is taking classes towards a degree in mechanical engineering.
By Mario Oliveros
Last December, the Huntsville Times newspaper of Huntsville, Alabama published a story about Bookshare student member A.J. Snitko. The story noted that A.J., a talented young man with cerebral palsy, uses Bookshare to access reading materials for his college classes at the University of Alabama. Before he had access to Bookshare, A.J. relied on his parents to read and study. "At home, Mom and Dad are his hands," his mother Shelly Snitko told the Huntsville
The story, entitled "New Technology Makes Tasks Easier for Disabled
Students," was spotted by Laura Parks, an Assistive Technology
Specialist with Technology Assistance for Special Consumers (TASC) which
is affiliated with the United Cerebral Palsy of Huntsville and Tennessee
Valley. Parks, who works with A.J., says Bookshare has allowed A.J.
to become far more independent.
"It’s been amazing to see how much A.J. is benefiting from the Bookshare Library!" said Parks. "He no longer waits for audio tapes or requires someone to position his books for him. He is independently requesting and accessing digitized books for school and for pleasure."
A.J. is 2006 graduate of Bob Jones High School and enjoys his online
activities. "I've been attending the University of Alabama in Huntsville
and taking classes toward a mechanical engineering degree," says
A.J. "I've just started playing computer games and keeping my Facebook
A.J. and his family learned about Bookshare through the Bookshare Partner Program, which works with local and national organizations to educate parents and students about the benefits of the Bookshare library. The Bookshare Partner Program sponsored a pilot program in Huntsville, Alabama through the national Alliance for Technology Access (ATA) and its member organization TASC to conduct outreach and education to rural and low-income communities.
If you have a local story to share or are interested in learning more about partnering with Bookshare, please let us know and help us get the word out. Special thanks to the ATA and TASC staff and A.J. Snitko for this remarkable story.
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