My name is Hope Baker and I attend Robinson Secondary. I am currently an Assistive Technology ambassador for Fairfax County Public Schools and I have spoken at numerous conferences. Recently, I was the keynote at the 2016 Real Assistive Technology for Everyone (RATE) conference. Also I was the keynote at Bush Hill Elementary during their inclusion week kickoff. For the last two summers, I was accepted to attend the I’m Determined Summits.
When I was born, I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy which affects the muscles in tightening them. I didn’t walk until the age of 3. Since fine motor skills are very difficult, typing was an issue. Teachers recommended Type to Learn to improve my typing skills. Even that didn’t seem to help. I used various kinds of technology including the NEO. Finally in middle school Ms. Connelly introduced me to Dragon software. All that time of being frustrated over not being a fast typist was over. I could write a full essay in less than an hour. Technology has had a huge impact on my life in many ways. Over the years I’ve learned that anything is possible, no matter how big the obstacle. I couldn’t do what I do today without my family’s love and support. They’ve pushed me to be the best I can be. In conclusion, I hope that I can make a difference in the world by helping kids realize it’s okay to be different. It’s what makes you who you are!