Now, we're back in need of more help for Eme...and unfortunately, the amount needed is much higher. Eme needs high dollar assistive technology devices so she can simply use a computer at home.
It it will likely come as a great surprise to everyone to know that Eme cannot do a simple Google search on a computer at home. Think about that for just 5 seconds. Forget about playing games...we just want her to be able to look up a single word on Google or in the dictionary on her own. She's will be going into 4th grade and she can't use a computer at home.
We have asked for years & years for Eme to have access to the same assistive technology devices at home that she uses at school. When school ends, Eme will not have access to the screen reading technology that reads what is on the computer screen, nor will she have an electronic Braille display to use with a computer which enables her to type/input words in her language - which is Braille.
Prince William County Public Schools will be taking her assistive technology equipment away at the end of the school year, and it will sit on a shelf over the summer. We are tired of asking, and begging & pleading during IEP meetings as we are forced to build a case for why our #LittleBlindGirl needs year round access to assistive technology. It's a no brainer. SHE IS BLIND.
Eme is 8 years old and is going blind from a very rare degenerative retinal condition called LCA (Lebers Congenital Amaurosis). LCA is genetic & is the most aggressive form of RP (Retinitis Pigmentosa) that impacts infants & children. Eme was likely born blind, but her condition was not identified until she was 3 yrs old.
Both of her parents are sighted and her 4 siblings are sighted. Eme is the only person in their family that is blind and learning Braille.
The most frustrating part of this is that there are laws in place that are supposed to help our special needs kids. And, we all assume that those laws work. But they're not working for Eme. No one on Eme's IEP team other than her parents will make the recommendation that a blind child needs assistive technology year round to have access to an education. We've asked many times. Our kids' education does not stop when school is out for the summer. Sighted kids have complete open access to billboards, labels on food & toys in Target & Walmart, TV shows, movies, and a gazillion books in the libraries. Our little blind girl has NONE of that access to literacy & concept development. And the county is going to take away her specialized assistive technology talking Braille tools that give her just a small precentage of the access our sighted kids have. It's ridiculous that I even have to launch this campaign.
Please know that we hate having to do this, but we can't get the school system to do what we know is right & just & completely within the letter of the law. So, we must find another way.
Please know that we thank you for your consideration & for reading this far! Please consider sharing this campaign to help us get the word out & maybe, just maybe, Eme will be able to do a Google search this summer without asking her sisters to do it for her & to read it to her.
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