The Michigan Cerebral Palsy Attorneys team is excited to announce Kate Battoe as the recipient of the 2016 Achievements and Abilities scholarship. Kate’s essay discussed her early diagnosis of athetoid cerebral palsy with underlying spasticity, which limits her fine and gross motor skills and impairs her speech, as well as the passion she found in her work developing programs for people with disabilities.
Kate explains her lifelong desire to teach, as well as some of the barriers surrounding working in a traditional classroom, including the challenges that a power chair user can face in navigating groups of young children and the long hours of uncompensated time that a teacher with limited motor skills may face during prep periods for their courses.
After graduating from Le Moyne College, Kate became a research assistant at Syracuse University’s Burton Blatt Institute, an institution devoted to advancing civic, economic, and social participation of persons with disabilities in a global society. She was an integral part of a project to create a summer camp for children who use alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) systems to speak. The project, called Communication Hope through Assistive Technology (CHAT), facilitated Kate’s abiding interest in becoming an AT specialist.
She continued working with the CHAT project’s founder, Barb Tresness, after the end of the pilot project. She was instrumental in developing a firm called the Connecting Humans Through Awareness and Technique (CHAT) Collective. CHAT Collective seeks to promote awareness of individuals with communication challenges, offering seamless solutions for communication aids to those that need them most.
Kate developed her skills as a public relations consultant, outreach writer, and firm assistant at the same time as she began work at Advocates, Inc., a local nonprofit that provides services, support, information, and training to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Kate is now a training consultant at Advocates, Inc., helping employees develop a framework for assisting those with disabilities. Her training encompasses diverse topics such as presuming competence, the differences between support staff members and caregivers, and alternative and augmentative communication methods.
Her passion for teaching has led her to pursue Syracuse University’s Master’s program in Teaching and Curriculum, with a special focus on special education, assistive technology and disability law. She hopes to work in schools, medical facilities and other nonprofit organizations to help individuals with disabilities find, use and master the assistive technologies best suited to their needs.
Please join us here at Michigan Cerebral Palsy Attorneys in congratulating Kate and wishing her success in all her future endeavors. To keep up with Kate’s thoughts and achievements, visit her blog here.
If you’re interested in applying for the 2017 MCPA Achievements and Abilities scholarship, please review the qualifications on our scholarship page.