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Transcript: Success Stories: Tracy Brookshire

The following text is a transcript for the video: Success Stories: Tracy Brookshire

Narrator :

The adaptive technology center at Indian State University presents

Tracy to Pet Bird:

You're a good bird. Yes

Narrator:

Success Stories: Tracy Brookshire

Tracy Brookshire had tried three times to get an undergraduate degree.

Tracy:

Actually this is my fourth attempt to attend college. Two years ago when I came back I took a one hundred level Psych course. And I had to read the chapters over three times every test. I'd have four chapters to read and I'd have to read twelve chapters. And I'd read them over and over and over. And I was getting straight C's in the course. And I was so frustrated and devastated and I needed to get my grades up. I was going to quit.

Narrator:

Tracy has a learning disability that makes reading and studying very hard.

Tracy:

The front of my brain and something to do with my optic nerve aren't connected. It's just not there. It never grew.

So I either use my left eye or my right eye. And they switch whenever they want to.

I mean it's just random. Whenever one's tired, the other one kicks in. So things move a little bit for me all the time. I don't have depth perception. I fall down. A lot.

Narrator:

Tracy quit her job to go back to school full time. But even with the extra time, she still struggled.

Tracy:

The classes were hard because you had to read all this stuff and I would read it and not remember it and I didn't have time to read it two or three times. And I thought, "You know, I'm just not smart enough to do this." And so this last time I was like, "I'm just not meant to go to college."

Narrator:

It was then that Tracy met with one of the specialists at the Adaptive Technology and Accessibility Center.

Tracy:

And I just explained to him that I can read, I can read a novel and remember it all very vividly. But if I read a textbook I can't tell you.

I mean I re-read the same paragraph over and over and over and I have no idea what it said.

And he said, "Oh, why don't you try this."

Narrator:

Tracy was given the Kurzweil 3000 reading assistance program. The program visually highlights the text on the screen. A synthesized voice reads the text aloud.

Tracy:

And they gave me the equipment, and I studied for a test, and I read the stuff one time at lightning speed. And I got an A on the test.

And then I cried. Because I knew that I had something different about me that I needed this in order to... in order to succeed.

Narrator:

Tracy uses Kurzweil at a reading speed of up to five hundred words per minute. That's too fast for most people, but it suits Tracy just fine. Since using Kurzweil, Tracy's grades have made dramatic improvements.

Tracy:

I have gone from a 1.7 to a 3.8. I've gotten a 4.0 a couple of semesters, and never less than a 3.8, since I started using the adaptive technology. There are from what I understand eleven styles of learning... ways in which we can learn. And there's only one way that's taught. And apparently I learn a different way.

Narrator:

Once Tracy completes her undergraduate degree, she wants to enter an accelerated master's program for social work.

Tracy:

I intend to get a good enough grade point average to do the accelerated program. And right now I'm right on track. I wouldn't even be here right now if it weren't for the Adaptive Technology Center. And I'm thankful everyday for helping me find this and making it possible for me to succeed.

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Last modified on 10/26/12 12:09 PM
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