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.


Vehicle Donated To Bradley County Sheriff's Office

Sheriff Eric Watson and Chief Deputy Brian Smith accepted the gift of a free automobile from a Cleveland dealer.  Andy Kiswani, of David Auto Sales on South Lee Highway at Phillips Street, made the donation of a vehicle to the sheriff and chief. Mr. Kiswani said he greatly appreciates the effort made by the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office to keep the community safe, and ... (click for more)

Election Officials In Crockett, Dickson, Hamilton and Rutherford Counties Recognized For Passing Certification Exam

Secretary of State Tre Hargett would like to congratulate four administrators of elections who passed the certification exam on Friday: Lori Lott, Crockett County administrator of elections; Roxanna Hagewood, Dickson County administrator of elections; Kerry Steelman, Hamilton County administrator of elections; and Alan Farley, Rutherford County administrator of elections. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Detective Karl Fields Terminated On Code Of Conduct Charges

Karl Fields, former Chattanooga Police detective, was terminated on Wednesday on code of conduct charges. The Chattanooga Police Department said it received a correspondence from the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office o n Sept. 4, 2014,  informing it of allegations of inappropriate behavior committed by a CPD investigator during the course of a rape investigation. ... (click for more)

Autopsy Says 5-Year-Old Whitwell Boy Died Of Blunt Force Trauma

An autopsy on five-year-old Lucas Dillon of Whitwell says he died of blunt force trauma. The TBI is investigating the death, which is being treated as a homicide. The child, who lived on Jewell Lane Road, was injured on Saturday and died in a hospital on Monday. Lucas was a student at Whitwell Head Start. (click for more)

Physicians Thank Their Patients On Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors’ Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.  For 132 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians’ voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Look At My April Garden

On this April Fool’s Day, as I take my monthly stroll through my virtual garden, there are gorgeous flowers and there are weeds, which appear to be trying harder than the flowers. So let’s see what we find before searching for “The Prize Egg” on Sunday. A FLOWER to the New York cab driver who told a young writer, “Always remember that everyone you meet knows something that you ... (click for more)