Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The Zac Browser
As parents, grandparents, and other caregivers for children with significant disabilities, we often feel our children are more capable than they sometimes appear to be. Usually this is because we do not have the appropriate tools and supports to provide and facilitate the display of their capabilities. Teachers try to use the tools with which they are most familiar or which are readily available through meager education budgets. Therapists use the tools and techniques they learned in college and are often viewed by their administrators as being a bit too rebellious if they attempt to use unconventional tools and techniques. But when someone is willing to step outside the box of convention, the result in our children is often phenomenal.
John LeSieur is one of those people willing to step outside. Mr. LeSieur believed that with the right tools, his grandson with autism could and would want to use the Internet. Even when observing his grandson’s utter frustration with the huge array of options presented when using a PC, Mr. LeSieur didn’t give up. He decided to design a tool that his grandson could use.
Mr. LeSieur built the Zac Browser (named after his grandson, of course!), and is making it available to anyone at no cost whatsoever.
This story in last week’s Washington Post provides additional information and a link to the free browser. It’s well worth the time and effort to download if you have a child who, like Zac, prefers fewer options when working with a tool.
Good job, Mr. LeSieur, and a special thanks to all the parents and professionals who are willing to step outside the box to unleash the potential in our children.