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Business and the Economy

Technology for theDisabled-Josh's Story

Technology has given voice to individuals who can't speak. KSMU's Missy Shelton has the story of one boy whose life has changed because of technology.

This is the voice of seventeen-year-old josh Hutchison. Missy server-vox1a-1e regions-runs :10 To communicate, josh simply pushes the touch-screen of a device called a Dynavox. He has cerebral palsy and that makes it difficult for him to articulate the thoughts that are in his head. Josh can make some sounds with his own voice but they're hard to understand. Josh's mother, Kim Dugger says the Dynavox has changed their lives. Missy server-kim7a-7b regions-runs :29 The Dynavox enables josh to participate in conversations, even to interrupt them. He's so eager to put his box to use, he sometimes stops his mother in mid-sentence to interject his own thoughts. Missy server-kim6a-6d region-runs :11 Kim says she doesn't mind interruptions'before josh had the Dynavox, Kim says it was a struggle to communicate. She says josh had so many thoughts in his head but no way to verbalize them. She says their communication consisted primarily of their own version of American sign language. Missy server-kim2a-new2c regions-runs :17 Technology has helped josh communicate with his peers. Dugger says he's like any other teenager. Missy server-kim1a, new1b (add-took it to school, etc)-runs :08+ Josh even has a sense of humor'he teases his mother. Missy server-kim4a region-runs :10 Giving voice to his thoughts isn't the only technology has helped josh. He uses a wheelchair to get around. And Kim says a special mouse enables him to go online. Missy server-kim3a-newnew3e region-runs :19 Kim says she can't imagine what josh's life would be like if he didn't have access to technology. Years ago when she found out josh had cerebral palsy, she says she never imagined how hard it would be'but technology has made it easier. Missy server-kim1c-1d regions-runs :27 To learn more about how technology is helping disabled individuals communicate, tune in to Ozarks public television this Sunday at 2:30 p-m for sense of community.