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.


Bell-Hops Co-Owner Speaks At Civitan Club Meeting

Cam Doody, co-founder of Bellhops, told the Chattanooga Civitans at the Friday meeting, how the company evolved from a seasonal business he and Stephen Vlahos created to move students into dorms at Auburn University. It is now a moving company based in Chattanooga that is operating in 85 cities in 39 states across the U.S. Mr. Doody said he always had wanted to start a business, ... (click for more)

Air Quality Forecast For Saturday and Sunday

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau announces the weekend air quality forecast. Friday:  52 (Moderate) Fine Particles - Air quality is forecast to be in the moderate range with fine particles predicted to be the dominant pollutant. Health Message:  Unusually sensitive people should limit prolonged outdoor exertion. Saturday:  54 ... (click for more)

Maryville Police Department's Kenny Moats Was The Officer Slain Thursday

Officer Kenny Moats of the Maryville Police Department was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call on Thursday.  Officer Moats was with the department for over nine years and was currently serving as a drug enforcement agent. Assistant Commissioner David Purkey said, "It is with heavy heart that I express my condolences to the family and friends of ... (click for more)

Auto Burglary Thwarted In Bradley County

A man has been arrested in Bradley County, after attempting to steal a vehicle. On Thursday, Deputy Jessica Morgan observed a silver truck in a church parking lot on South Lee Highway. While checking the premises, Dep. Morgan observed a male wearing a black tank top and red shorts exiting the rear window of the cab into the bed of the truck. Once the suspect noticed Dep. Morgan, ... (click for more)

Pedestrians Have The Right Of Way - And Response

Often I visit Gold's Gym at Chestnut and 4th Street. I  park in the theater parking lot at Broad and 4th Street.  I depend on the walk signs to get me there safely.  Most days I almost get hit by someone turning left or right coming from the exit ramp off 27 or turning right on 4th street from Chestnut. This happened yesterday as I was almost mowed down by a garbage ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Gold & Ivory Tablecloth

Not long ago, in my morning reading, I happened across an obscure tale about a special tablecloth. And, as things like this are more and more wont to do, I was instantly blessed by this story. As I tracked down its origin, I learned it originally appeared in a 1954 edition of Reader’s Digest. Written by the Rev. Howard C. Schade, who at the time was the pastor of the First Reformed ... (click for more)