Weatherford Democrat

May 15, 2013

Vandagriff Elementary student teaches at Texas Wesleyan University


Weatherford Democrat

— Staff Reports

An Aledo ISD Vandagriff Elementary third-grader, 10-year-old Colby Tiberg, was a guest speaker in Professor Jackie Gaffner’s education class at Texas Wesleyan University recently.

He will also be featured in an upcoming issue of People magazine.

Colby, enrolled in Elizabeth Allcon’s class, has a speech-limiting disorder and uses a special educational device called a DynoVox to communicate, as well as an ipad and other tools.

In his visit to TWU, Colby told college students about using computers as classroom tools. He and his teacher demonstrated the DynoVox and ipod Touch/ipad using a variety of applications.

“Professor Gaffner and I have been talking for the last two years about the use of communication devices and assistive technology,” Allcon said. “Her son and a former student of mine were in the same homeroom at Vandagriff, and she was introduced to the way I try to integrate each part of my student’s day into making it richer and more meaningful for all involved to work together at school.

“Technology can be what levels the playing field for students with communication difficulties.”

Vandagriff Principal Deborah Cano, who accompanied Colby, his family and his teacher on the college visit, expressed pride in Colby, Allcon and all the Aledo teachers and therapists who have supported Colby over the years.

“Colby even competed in the Spelling Bee at Vandagriff this year,” she said.

School officials said Colby was selected to be in People because the founder of Western Wishes, an organization that grants wishes to individuals with disabilities, was drawn to Colby’s contagious personality and exuberance for life.

To read a link to an article from the Texas Wesleyan campus newspaper, go to http://therambler.org/2013/05/06/10-year-old-boy-demonstrates-education-technology/