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Student Services Team welcomes much-needed computer donation

TERRACE Students with disabilities at Northwest Community College (NWCC) have benefitted directly by a generous donation of refurbished laptops, thanks to the Computers for Schools BC (CFS-BC) initiative. The laptops are proving to be invaluable for enhancing NWCC's Student Services Team, in particular the Accessibility Services Coordinators, who work with students with disabilities to pursue their post-secondary education. The donated refurbished laptops were distributed among NWCC's campuses where the need was greatestTerrace, Kitimat, Smithers and Prince Rupert. There, they are readily available for the students to use; students can just sign them out for the term, or for just a day as required, says Terrace-based Accessibility Services Coordinator Pat Stone. Stone adds the students are using the computers to help them in a number of ways, by facilitating learning processes and by lightening the load they have to physically carry on a day-to-day basis. These students are benefitting from an online textbook service with large print, PDF, audio and e-book format from CILS, a library service for people with disabilities, along with standard word processing and internet capabilities. "We are so pleased with the immediate benefits these computers have brought to our students," said Stone. "The students we help face greater challenges than able-bodied students and to augment the tools they have at their disposal can provide a major boost to their learning outcomes." She says feedback from the students they help has been overwhelmingly positive. Students have said having access to a laptop means they don't have to carry around as many heavy books, that e-books and laptops have helped with vocabulary and that it saves on the physical toll some students with disabilities can encounter by having to get to the campus computer lab. CFS-BC provides quality refurbished computer equipment to schools, libraries, community access sites and learning focused not-for-profit organizations across BC. Computers for Schools BC is administered by British Columbia Technology for Learning Society and was incorporated in 1995. NWCC is a valuable community asset, impacting the lives of students and our communities. Through its nine campuses, 500-plus employees and an annual injection of over $30 million into the local economy, NWCC is an economic engine supporting the many communities that look to us to provide innovative programs and services.

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