Tech aids disabled students

By Mykel Jones/reporter

A local speech pathologist who works with autism patients talked to SE students April 3 about how to be successful with autism or other disabilities.

Katandria Johnson said thriving academically and professionally and gaining the tools for a job begins with learning skills in school. Students with disabilities must learn how to make technology work for them.

Johnson said she uses Skype and Zoom to talk with students when they cannot meet in person because it helps her patients feel important and increases their self-confidence with using technology and talking to other people.

She said this is how learning should be done in schools because it can benefit all students, not just those with disabilities.

“This can help improve shyness and teachers connecting with students as well as other students connecting with each other,” Johnson said.

Another tool Johnson said students should learn how to use is LinkedIn because it provides a way for students to discover jobs they are qualified for.

“Search everywhere because many jobs work with autism such as UPS,” she said. “[They] have a great work program, and they are a huge networking company.”

Johnson said she believes if more employers put themselves out there by using technology such as LinkedIn to help people with autism and disabilities, they can create job opportunities for the future.

“The next step in our life is speaking out and making this change happen,” she said. “We fight our life for a good outcome, and it is great when that happens.”