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<p>The next generation of reporters won’t need to rely on a notepad, keyboard or mouse thanks to advances in computer technology and a new online course for disabled aspiring journalists.</p>

Online program lets disabled kids become reporters



kristen thompson/metro vancouver


High school students Datu Budicha, right, and Maggie Campbell, both of whom have cerebral palsy, use touch screen computer monitors at John Oliver Secondary School in Vancouver yesterday.




« It’s given me the opportunity to interview people, go to events and experience reporting first-hand.»





The next generation of reporters won’t need to rely on a notepad, keyboard or mouse thanks to advances in computer technology and a new online course for disabled aspiring journalists.



Virtual Voices Village, funded by 2010 Legacies Now, SET-BC and 3M, lets disabled students develop writing and journalism skills and post their work online.



Participants provincewide will be interviewing athletes and writing about events leading up to the Games while mentoring with local journalists.



Assistive technologies, like touch sensitive computer monitors and screen reader software, lets students with visual, auditory or motor disabilities access the website and post their work.



Deacon Jones, 15, who is visually impaired, has interviewed Mayor Sam Sullivan and Paralympic medalist Donovan Tildesley for the program.



"It’s given me the opportunity to interview people, go to events and experience reporting first-hand," he said.



"Plus they’re offering a journalism course that will be taken online so we can learn more and maybe from there be selected to be reporters for 2010."




kristen.thompson@metronews.ca


 
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