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Promoting Achievement through Technology and INstruction for all Students
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Time Passages

I am starting my 25th year with the PATINS Project. My current role is the ICAM Technology Specialist. I provide support for students with a print disability that require digital content. However, that wasn’t always my role.

Prior to that I was the PATINS Central Site Coordinator when PATINS managed the state with 5 site staff members scattered around Indiana.

As a site coordinator, our roles were one of, to coin the phrase “A jack of all trades and master of none.” Our responsibilities were to be proficient in just about every aspect of assistive technology. Knowing device and software ins and outs so we could provide training just about as well as the vendors that distributed them.

Knowing the workings of hardware like switches, soldering battery interrupters, troubleshooting why the software wouldn’t load on a Windows 95 machine, and would it work after Y2K.

I didn’t and still don’t know Braille, but I printed off lots of Braille pages on an embosser hoping it came out right. Programming an AAC device and making sure the user file was saved correctly, had its pressures.

Setting up live satellite downlinks for an audience a couple times a month even though I was not into media broadcasting. However, later in my career I was the host of PATINS TV even though my teleprompting skills left much to be desired.

Managing my own Lending Library, ordering, and cataloging, nagging borrowers now and then that hadn’t returned items. Countless time repairing things that came back with a note stating, “I don’t know why this no longer works.”

Conducting or hosting trainings on just about every aspect of technology that aided students to strive for their potential.

I could go on and on because there is no end to a “Jack of all trades” as the means to the goal are constantly changing. It is now, and always will be, the challenge to meet the needs of those that benefit the most from it.


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Ode to Mrs. Bales
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Tuesday, 07 February 2023

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