AT Ambassadors Program
Showcase the leadership, self-advocacy, and technology skills of FCPS students with disabilities.
AT Ambassadors is a program in Assistive Technology Services that is intended to showcase the leadership, self-advocacy, and technology skills of FCPS students with disabilities. Our AT Ambassadors share their knowledge and ideas with teachers, students, parents, and members of the community.They serve as role models for other students who use assistive technology and as resources for educators working with students with disabilities.
Assistive Technology AT Ambassadors: Accessibility, Assistive Technology, and Student Voice
FCPS AT Ambassadors shared their experiences with virtual learning, assistive technology, and what they wish educators knew about accessibility and the importance of student voice at the 2021 Special Education Conference.
Meet Our AT Ambassadors
"I started using AT in elementary school when my teachers and I realized that my notes and homework were completely unorganized. I couldn’t get much of my work done. I got an iPad and used an app called Notability in order to make sure that stuff was turned in on time. I used that for a long time. Now I use a school laptop with apps like Google Docs and Slides to make sure that my school work was done on time. I also use iOS Reminders to organize assignments. AT changes the way we do things and that’s what makes it awesome!"
Madeline says assistive technology is helpful. She uses her voice and a communication device to talk with people. She uses her device a lot in school and a little bit at home. When she started high school, Madeline met with all of her teachers to teach them how to make their classes more accessible for her and other students. She enjoyed leading that meeting to help teachers understand how to communicate better. Art is Madeline's favorite class. She loves drawing. She also likes PE. Outside of school, Madeline likes to horseback ride. She goes every week! Madeline is a hard worker and a very funny person who loves to laugh and smile. We are so happy to have Madeline as an AT Ambassador!
Augie uses a communication device and head switches to communicate, and is a great advocate for himself and others. In his words, “I can understand everything and love to talk!” He loves to get to know people, discussing hobbies, family, and life in general. In his free time, Augie enjoys hanging out with friends, cooking, eating, listening to music and watching movies. He also creates original art using his wheelchair. Augie has helped man the AT Ambassadors table at the annual Special Education Conference and has presented his story at the biannual R.A.T.E. (Real Assistive Technology for Everyone) Conference presented by Assistive Technology Services (ATS).
Dominic likes talking to people about all kinds of things and playing sports. He plays lacrosse, football , and also swims. He likes using computers and technology. He even made his own website! Dom's favorite piece of assistive technology is Learning Ally because it makes reading easier for him so he can do the same work as his peers. He created a video on Learning Ally to show other students how to use it and why it's a valuable tool. Dominic is a leader in his school and he wants to help people with disabilities. We are very proud to have Dominic as an AT Ambassador!
Richie uses a variety of assistive technology in his day. Until recently, his favorite was CoWriter because it helps him spell words and he could use it to read back what he wrote. Recently, he learned about Learning Ally and now he loves reading all kinds of books with it. Richie has switched from CoWriter to Read&Write and he likes it because of all the great tools he has access to. Richie loves technology in general and wants to grow up to work with computers. He can often be found helping his classmates with their computers or assistive technology tools. We are very excited to have Richie as an AT Ambassador!
Elle likes using word prediction because it makes her more independent and a "good writer." She also likes read aloud tools, which help her understand what she reads - especially tests. AT makes reading and writing easier and she is excited to tell other kids about it. In Elle's words, "I like assistive technology because it helps me with my school work. It makes me less stressed to read and write papers and it makes me more excited to learn. AT makes reading less overwhelming because otherwise it's hard for me to focus on all the words. When I write, if I don't use AT I have to go over it multiple times because I don't know if I made a spelling mistake." In her free time, she likes to play basketball. We are excited to have Elle as part of the AT Ambassador Family!
Dorothy is excited to help teach other students how to use technology programs at her school. She uses tech tools for homework and for fun. In her classes, Dorothy uses Microsoft Word and Google Suite for Education. She also uses Learning Ally to read electronic books and Snap and Read when a website doesn’t have a built-in read aloud option. She uses Read&Write word prediction because it helps her spell independently, “instead of asking the teacher, so they can help the other kids.” Dorothy’s other interests include drawing, swimming, and completing math problems. She is not afraid to ask questions or propose solutions. We are thrilled to have Dorothy as an AT ambassador!
Emmi currently uses Read & Write Chrome Extension and Orbit Note from Text Help. Emmi created screencast videos for the virtual RATE Conference in Fall of 2021 to demonstrate how these tools help her complete assignments. At Emmi’s previous school, she taught teachers and students at her school how to use inclusive technology like Microsoft’s Immersive Reader. Emmi says technology helps her feel more confident and she is excited to share what she learns with others. We love having Emmi as an AT Ambassador!
Emmi's AT Tool for Reading - Her video is also featured on our Assistive Technology Support for Students with Reading Difficulties webpage.
"I have been using assistive technology since elementary school. My favorite assistive technology is text-to-speech tools. Listening to text read aloud by the computer helps me read and take tests better. I became an AT Ambassador so that I could show others that technology is awesome and that it not only helps me but it can help other people like me. I believe that technology is super helpful for everyone." We are very proud to have Zak as an ambassador!
AT Ambassador Graduates
Hope uses a variety of assistive technology throughout her day. She uses an iPad with Siri to complete her writing assignments, and with it, feels like she is more organized and carries a lot less “stuff.” She loves using Google Drive and Google Classroom and hopes more teachers will integrate it soon. She enjoys sharing her experiences as a student with disabilities, in the hopes that she might help others be more aware and successful. At the end of ninth grade, Hope was accepted and attended the I’m Determined Conference for students. At this conference she met new friends and learned a lot about preparing for her future and the different ways she can advocate for herself. Since then, she has given several talks about assistive technology, inclusion, and the importance of self-determination. She continues to participate in community theater and is hoping for her breakout role in a school production one day soon. Hope will be graduating soon and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors. We know she’ll continue to be an amazing ambassador!
Andrew uses a variety of technology tools to help him with his school work. He likes using different programs and trying out new ones. He also likes to help other students learn how to use technology. Andrew has become very active in the theater program where he enjoys working with the stage and lighting crew. He also has been a manager for the basketball team. Andrew has presented at a variety of events with the AT Ambassadors, and has even played the role of AT mentor to fellow technology users. We are always impressed with Andrew and love having him as an AT Ambassador!
Nicole is excited to join the AT ambassadors this year! She currently uses an iPad with the Verbally app to communicate at home, school, and out in the community. At her job site, Nicole works on all different kinds of projects, including a laser machine. You can often find her modeling and training peers on how to use it. Nicole enjoys socializing with friends, coworkers, supervisors, and community members. She enjoys helping peers who are new to using communication devices, modeling how to use them to find one's own voice. Nicole loves listening to country music and is a huge fan of Taylor Swift. In her free time, Nicole participates in gymnastics. She likes meeting new people and making new friends. Nicole recently created a training video to show others how to use the Verbally app. We are thrilled to have Nicole as an AT ambassador!