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March 6, 2018 > Special education students receive big technology donation

Special education students receive big technology donation

Submitted By John Sasaki

Students in Nora HandelÕs K-2 Special Day Class at Garfield Elementary School in Oakland got the chance to unwrap some amazing presents on Monday, January 22, 2018. The Fremont-based non-profit organization Autism Yesterday and Today donated 13 Mini iPads with cases and Osmo Genius Kits to be used with the iPads. Handel received a Macbook Air, a printer, and a camera. All the items also come insured. ÒIÕm so grateful,Ó said Handel. ÒThank you so much! The kids are very excited.Ó

The technology will enable the students, all on the autism spectrum, to learn more efficiently. ÒThe biggest thing is figuring how to communicate with them. The technology is going to be fantastic. ItÕs going to allow us to give kids who are nonverbal a way to express themselves. And it will enable us to create different lesson plans for each student,Ó said Handel.

Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) Senior Deputy Chief Sondra Aguilera helped hand out the iPads and the accessories, and helped the students unwrap all of it. ÒWe are fortunate that there are organizations passionate about autism awareness that have a vision for serving the needs of the OUSD community,Ó said Aguilera. ÒThese types of partnerships are what make a great community and we thank Autism Yesterday and Today for their generous donation to room 122 at Garfield. The students were thrilled to begin learning with their devices!Ó

Franco and Jessica Pincilotti founded Autism Yesterday and Today as parents of an autistic son. They raise money to donate technology to help students and their teachers. ÒMore opportunities for the school and better future for the kids,Ó is what Franco Pincilotti said they try to offer. He also wrote a book named after the non-profit which is subtitled ÒFaith Never Dies.Ó

The PincilottiÕs son is now 23 years old. While he still struggles with communicating, he works at Costco and leads a happy, fulfilling life. The Pincilottis want to see the same thing for all students on the spectrum. ÒThe kids need it. IÕm so excited. ItÕs for my son,Ó added Franco.

ÒWeÕre always trying to go through every tool we have to see what works,Ó said Handel. ÒThis technology we can tailor to (the studentsÕ) individual needs. That will increase the speed at which they learn.Ó

Autism Yesterday and Today
(510) 299-2863

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