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Freedom Scientific Learning Systems Group Presents
The WYNNing Word
June/July 2008

Animated sun with a smiling face
Summer Vacation is Here!
Enjoy!


Self Advocacy – What You Need Now

As WYNNing Word's school year comes to a close and we look back over the wonderful stories we have shared with you, we can't help but notice that there has been a running theme throughout the newsletters.

Whether it was a parent, a teacher, a trainer, district administrators, or a college professor, all impressed upon us that advocacy is paramount to the success of struggling students. All of these folks made sure their students, or children, were given every opportunity to achieve. They researched schools, programs, and sometimes fought a battle to ensure these students would have the tools necessary to become self-confident, productive learners. All of their efforts have proven to be of extreme value to their students. In addition to the wonderful motivation these articles have inspired, there is also an underlying concept for us all - do not always depend on others to find out the answers for you. One of life's most important lessons is to learn how to self-advocate.

Meet Joel Miller

Joel Miller standing next to classroom windowTo this point, Peggy Dalton, our Director of Professional Services, had the pleasure of meeting Joel Miller at a Learning Disabilities Association of Nova Scotia (LDANS) conference. She was immediately impressed with his self confidence and his ability to articulate to others what he has learned to help improve his life.

Peggy observed, "Joel is a very bright young man who wants to share his gifts and struggles so that he can make a difference in the lives of others with a similar learning style."

After talking with Joel, we were sure that his story would enhance the meaning of self-advocacy.

Joel has graduated from St. Mary's University (SMU) in Halifax, Canada, where he received a degree in English. Most recently, he has completed the Marine and Industrial Rigging course at Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC). Not too long ago, all this seemed like an impossible goal for Joel. He struggled through most of his early educational years. His parents were told that his reading proficiency would come along in time, but it did not. When asked, during an interview with the student newspaper of St. Mary's University, what it was like to have a learning disability, Joel said, "It's like running a marathon; maybe you could run for 15 or 20 minutes. After that you still want to run but you just can't anymore."

Well, Joel made up his mind that wanting to run more was not enough. He knew he would have to find his own way to run his personal marathon.

In the 9th Grade, after much work by Joel and his parents, Joel was diagnosed as dyslexic. In a way, this was a relief to Joel and his family. They now had an explanation for what others termed as laziness or an unwillingness to read. Then the question became, "How do we make up for Joel's lost learning time?"

Joel says that once he was diagnosed, school became a bit easier as accommodations were made to meet his learning style. When he entered St. Mary's University, Joel knew he had to find some better tools to help him cope with the enormous amounts of reading that would be expected of him. He went to SMU's Atlantic Centre for Research, Access and Support for Students with Disabilities for assistance. While he found wonderful resources at the Centre, it wasn't until Joel went to a demonstration of WYNN that he felt as though he had found the "training tool" for running his marathon.

Joel Advocates WYNN is What You Need Now

"I already had been using a program that allowed for scanning materials in order to have that information read to me, but, as you know, scanned materials must be cleaned up. Corrections may have to be made. WYNN makes that editing process far easier than any program I had been using previously," Joel told us.

Joel went on to explain that while SMU did the scanning, he was responsible for the editing. After the scanning was completed, he used WYNN's Freedom Import Printer to bring the materials into WYNN for the editing process. "This made the clean-up mode much easier for all my university reading. I was able to read my coursework with more comprehension."

Joel loves WYNN's editing ease, but he also found that WYNN's many other useful tools have been of great aid in his achieving success at SMU and NSCC. He emphasized, "The Read feature, Highlighting, the Writing Tool bar with its word prediction are just a small sample of what I really like about WYNN. WYNN is so user-friendly! WYNN helped me to gain the coping skills necessary to deal with postsecondary education. I now knew the work could get done!"

Moving it Forward

Joel Miller riding his bike while training for an ironman competitionThis wonderful young man is not content with just his personal success. He visits high schools to encourage students with learning disabilities to pursue higher education. He volunteers at the Atlantic Centre to help these students make the transition into university life. He makes sure students know of the resources available to them, especially WYNN. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Educational Association of Disabled Students. He is currently training for an Ironman competition to raise money for the Learning Disabilities Association of Nova Scotia which works to raise the awareness of learning disabilities.

Self-advocacy refers to an individual's ability to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate or assert his or her own interests, desires, needs, and rights. It involves making informed decisions and taking responsibility for those decisions. (VanReusen et al., 1994)

Not only does Joel meet this definition for himself, but he is generously using his time to make sure that other learning disabled people understand the necessity of propagating this theory of self-advocacy. Whether it is an Ironman competition, a visit to a high school, a college or university, or a one-on-one with a student, Joel will always run the extra mile to insure that LD students understand what they need to achieve their learning potential. Joel, we salute you for your efforts! Keep on running!


Image of an eye Keep an Eye on the News

Want to know more about how people are fostering self-advocacy? Check out these Web sites:

Gold starLD Online provides a wonderful article that covers everything about self-advocacy, from its definition to improving the process of identifying the skills students need for self-advocacy in a job interview.

Gold starLdPride presents an easy-to-read manual about becoming an effective self-advocator.

Gold starSchwab Learning offers an article emphasizing the importance of teaching your teenager self-advocacy.


Tip of the Month - Bright idea balloonTip of the Month

Using WYNN's Document Clean-up

The Document Clean-up feature corrects any scanning or OCR errors that occur during document scanning. The following describes how to use this feature.

  1. Click the Clean-up button on the blue tool bar.
    Clean-up button
  2. Place the cursor over the Text View, which is on the top part of the screen, and click the mouse button.

Document Clean-up example

  1. Scroll through the Text View of the document looking for errors. A pink box will highlight the corresponding location of the text in Exact View, shown at the bottom half of the screen.
  2. Correct errors by placing the cursor next to the error and clicking the mouse button. This will place the insertion cursor next to the error.
  3. First, type the correct characters that belong in the word, and then delete the incorrect characters.

    Note: It is very critical to correct errors in this order. If you delete the entire word, the link that WYNN uses to highlight the item when reading from Exact View would be erased.

  4. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all corrections are made.

    Note: Remember to periodically save your document.

  5. To exit Document Clean-up, go to the Advanced menu and un-select Document Clean-up, or use the hot key, SHIFT+F7.

WYNNing Word Archives

Want to view past issues of WYNNing Word? Please go to Archives of WYNNing Word Articles.

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About Freedom Scientific LSG

Freedom Scientific, Learning Systems Group provides products that are acclaimed for their easy-to-use interface, innovative technology, and flexible but powerful features. Designed by educational experts to enhance the learning process for struggling students, WYNN provides reading and writing solutions. Freedom Scientific LSG also created TestTalker, which provides test-taking preparations and worksheet completion. To find out more about our products, please visit us at www.freedomscientific.com/lsg.


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For more information, call 1-800-444-4443 or e-mail wynn at freedomscientific.com.

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