Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bob’s Discovery Path

Bob is a person with limited mobility due to quadriplegia who enjoys working with computers. He came to AtWork! right from high school, about 15 years ago. Bob’s father, Doug, has created a personalized interface that allows Bob to interact with a computer. He manages all of his interactions through the use of a head switch on his power wheel chair.

His computer skills have developed over time as computers have changed and his Dad has been involved in creating interactive programs to meet Bob’s needs. When the internet became accessible, Bob’s world really opened up. The latest version of Bob’s special interface has given him the opportunity to work as a volunteer with a local non-profit, FISH at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

To accomplish this task, Bob first learned Excel. He is creating a database for FISH that records information about presentations that are made at the hatchery: the presentation, the audience (schools, organizations, government groups) the number of participants, etc. This data will be used to design future presentations. In the past FISH educational staff kept track of these statistics in a handwritten ledger which made it less accessible. Bob’s contribution has very real practical value to FISH.

Bob’s ultimate dream is to move out of the workshop into a job that matches his talents. He is a very positive and engaging individual with much to offer and would like a paid position utilizing his computer skills where he can add value to a business.

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