Byron Poocha/TC District Media Team
Robert Carr, center, and the Southern Rez group, feature contemporary native sounds with an emphasis on native flute. They provided noontime entertainment at the REZ TECH conference at Tuba City District’s Warrior Pavilion on March 18.
Polacca mentioned that on the way to the conference from her home in Window Rock, her daughter was excited about participating in the daylong special needs conference in Tuba City and that she wouldn’t stop talking the whole way over.
“She was talking and talking and talking and all I could think about was just how beautiful she was,” Polacca said.
Cook took a reflective moment during her conference welcome address to thank all care providers who deal with students with special needs.
“I just want to thank all of you who work with special students, you have no idea how important your work is,” she said. “I want to thank you for giving me a chance to have an independent life.”
REZ TECH is in its third year and is the only reservation conference that features assistive technology targeting the needs of individuals with disabilities.
Parents with special needs students had the opportunity to attend the conference without charge. They were able to gain through technical related workshops, everyday applicable knowledge on how to help their student learn better and be more independent, self motivated and self assured.
New Special Education Director for Tuba City District Sandra Roe had much to say about the success of REZ TECH and the way it could support and partner with parents.
“Its so rewarding to see parents, personal service providers and teachers get together all for the benefit of our special students,” Roe said. “I cannot thank enough all of my special-ed staff who supported our inspiration to take on the responsibility of hosting such a large reservation-wide event. It turned out so well; I am extremely pleased with the turnout and information given. We look forward to next year’s conference.”
Some of the sessions offered at the TC District REZ TECH were:
AT for Hard of Hearing and Deaf Students, Introduction to Electronic Aids to Everyday Living, Pocket Size Aides and Devices for Independent Living: Tools to Assist People with Visual Impairments, Parent Panel, Numerous Roles and Benefits of Assistance Dogs, the Sensory Greenhouse/Garden, Navajo Culture with Assistive Technology, Expressing my Independence, Now That We Have Learned the Truth About Blindness, that Truth Has Set Us Free! and AT for Children with Tracheotomies.
All REZ TECH participants received a free catered lunch with entertainment provided by Robert Carr and the Southern Rez from Winslow. Southern Rez is a native contemporary music group, which features native Flute music.
For more information about assistive technology for special needs students or for more information about the TC District Special Education Department, call Sandra Roe, director, at 928-283-1036 or 1061.
(Rosanda Suetopka Thayer is Public Relations Director for Tuba City Unified School District.)