Showing off my Independence on Independence Day

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Written by Emily Flynn

A Feature on Kim Lathrop, Digital Access Project Specialist

Who is Kim Lathrop?

four individuals sitting on a panel with the discussion topic as (re)make the world: Designing Disability

Kim Lathrop speaking on a panel at South by Southwest in Texas on Disability and Design

Kim Lathrop an employee at CFILC that works specifically with the Digital Access Project. Kim has worked at CFILC for a little over two years. Along with assisting in closing the digital divide for people with disabilities with the Digital Access Project, Kim also has spoken on panels regarding access and technology relating to her life experiences.  Kim was born with Tetra Amelia Syndrome (the absence of both her arms and Leg). With that she has had her fair share of experience trying, learning, and mastering some specific pieces of assistive technology.

What does Independence mean to you?

Independence means the freedom to be able to live within my community and having access to in-home services.

Kim Lathrop sitting at her office computer using her mouth stick to navigate her mouseWhat is your most used assistive technology in your day to day life?

  • Mouth sticks- allows me to be able to turn light switches on and off, pick things up off the floor, and also access buttons like on remotes and appliances.
  • Dragon Software- Allows me to be able access my computer and work more efficiently using the speech-to-text software.
  • Stylus- This allows me to be able to type and navigate through my touch screen devices like my phone and tablet.

What are your plans for July 4th this year?

I love spending time with my family &friends and watching fireworks and this year won’t be any different. I will be attending a BBQ where I will be able to swim and socialize with my friends and family.

What type of devices do you use to assist you in participating in the festivities?

Well of course I use my wheelchair to get around but I also will be using my accessible van to get me to the party! I also bring along my portable ramp so I am actually able to get into my cousins home. Lastly I also love to use my fin to swim. This fin was molded and created specifically for me to be able to swim better; I like to call it my mermaid tail.

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