Signal Centers Director Pam Hudson And Creative Design Engineer Ezra Reynolds Speak At Civitan Club Meeting

Friday, July 25, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

Pam Hudson, director of the children's program at the Signal Centers, told the Chattanooga Civitan Club that while the organization had traditionally only worked with young children, during this year they expanded to help high school students with disabilities as well.

She said, "There are also adults who receive services at signal center...We routinely have intergenerational activities." 

She told the club that sometimes adults who have lived with disabilities can reach disabled children like no one else can.

She said they had a special level of "understanding and acceptance."

Ms. Hudson said the Signal Centers assisted with everything from learning disabilities to cerebral palsy and blindness. 

Ezra Reynolds, creative design engineer for the organization, also spoke to the Civitan Club. A computer science engineer, Mr. Reynolds uses his education to develop assistive technology for those with disabilities.

He said that this could involve something as simple as a piece of cardboard to reprogramming the electronic buttons and signals on toys. 

He said, "Our goal at the assistive technology center is to help people be independent, all ages."

He gave an example of a girl who had suffered a stroke at birth, leaving half of her body permanently paralyzed. While in first grade, her teacher would have to tape papers to her desk so that she could write with one hand. 

Mr. Reynolds developed a one-handed clipboard for her, allowing her to write and perform class assignments without waiting for assistance or having to use her face to move things. Currently in middle school, the girl has used this simple but innovative invention all throughout her education.

He gave another example of a boy who came to the center with multiple amputations due to childhood meningitis. To save his life, doctors had to amputate both legs at the knee as well as one hand and multiple fingers on the remaining hand.

Mr. Reynolds said, "The world is a scary place when you're the only one like you that you know about." 

To make life easier for the young boy, Mr. Reynolds created a "friend." The boy's favorite movie was the Disney movie "Toy Story," so Mr. Reynolds took a Woody doll and gave the toy the same amputations.

Everyday, the young boy attached the created "prosthetics" on the toy as he learned to wear his own. 

Mr. Reynolds said simple things like this could be vastly expensive if specially ordered. He said that at the assistive technology center, the staff works to create cost effective ways for people with disabilities become more independent.


Dalton Police Department Announces Promotions

The Dalton Police Department opened Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission with the introduction of a new officer. Dexter Kapur was introduced to the commission and he was confirmed by a unanimous 4-0 vote (commission member Keith Whitworth was not in attendance).   Officer Kapur graduated from the Georgia Public Safety Training Center Police Academy ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Legislators Honored With 2014 Legislator Of The Year Awards By TN911

Three Hamilton County legislators were awarded the Legislator of the Year awards for 2014 by TN911, an association of Emergency Communications Districts across Tennessee. The 2014 President John Stuermer presented the awards on behalf of TN911 to Senator Bo Watson, Senator Todd Gardenhire and Representative Gerald McCormick.   Mr. Stuermer said, “It is my distinct honor, ... (click for more)

6,533 Apply For Chattanooga Housing Authority Voucher Program

The Chattanooga Housing Authority closed its Housing Choice Voucher Program application process Monday at 11:59 p.m.  A total of 6,533 people applied. CHA will randomly select 1,000 of those names on Monday, Feb. 2, for the voucher program waiting list.  Anyone who is not selected will need to apply again in the future.  The Housing Choice Voucher program is ... (click for more)

Bradley Commissioners Concerned About Firefighters Leaving For Better-Paying Jobs

The Bradley County Commission agreed during a Monday evening work session that they will have to look into the issue of many county firefighters leaving for better paying jobs elsewhere. The discussion comes after the city's recently announced plan to possibly create their own separate ambulance service.   In surrounding areas, firefighters can make as much as ... (click for more)

We Need The Chattanooga History Center

Having been on several of Dr. Daryl Black's walking tours, I can say that they weren't just informative, but a treat. The downtown, Fort Wood and Ninth Street of yesteryear were brought dramatically to life. We stood on the ground where Sherman had his headquarters (near the Ice Cream Show) and the corner where Bessie Smith sang as a young girl. And we also stood beneath the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Big (Un)Easy: Mardi Gras

Not since Hurricane Katrina has New Orleans had a bigger problem. When over a million visitors flood the city for the annual Mardi Gras bash over the next three weeks, there will be signs all around town and into the French Quarter that blare, “CAUTION: Walk In Large Groups. We (heart symbol) love NOPD. We Just Need More Of Them.” In other words, it appears things are quite unsettled ... (click for more)