"How Katie Got a Voice (and a cool new nickname)" is now available as an e-book for iPad and Kindle. This beautifully illustrated story celebrates that which makes us all unique, but also highlights how sometimes a little help is needed to show us how much we are alike. The story is told by a fourth grade classmate of Katie, the new girl in school. All of the students and adults have nicknames related to their individual interests and personalities. When Katie comes into the class, the students are eager to involve her in their activities and to learn what is special about her. This proves to be quite a challenge. Katie has significant physical disabilities which make her dependent on a Personal Care Assistant for everything, even communicating. How can Katie fit in with her classmates when she can't even talk? When Katie is introduced to assistive technology, she is finally able to communicate with her new friends. As a result, the students are delighted to see her as a person with many interests and abilities, just like them. Katie knows she is a valued member of the school when she is given her own special nickname.
This book can be read in the classroom, in therapy, and at home as a way to open a discussion about acceptance, inclusion, disability etiquette, and overcoming challenges through assistive technology. Links to a free YouTube video, "Katie's Disability Awareness," and a free Discussion Guide & Writing Prompts are provided.
Also available in hard copy: 40 pages, illustrated -- autographed by the author, dedicated to someone special on request.
The author, Patricia Mervine, is a speech/language pathologist and assistive technology consultant with 20 years' experience in working with students with significant communication disorders.
Keywords: disability, acceptance, inclusion, nonverbal, assistive technology, communication, friendship, nicknames, special education
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