Ashley’s Mom, Inc. (for special needs)

The following is from

Kim Voss is a dedicated advocate for individuals with disabilities. She has previously served on a number of disability related local, state, and national boards.

Nearly two decades ago, a legal battle was waged and won on her daughter, Ashley’s, behalf, as well as a federal investigation by the Office for Civil Rights, which provided Ashley the opportunity to attend her neighborhood school with her peers without disabilities. As a result, Kim became very familiar with the laws impacting this endeavor. Although free legal services are available for cases such as Ashley’s, her family was ultimately left with seeking private legal counsel to guarantee competent representation. Kim became interested in the necessity of effective legal counsel and subsequently served two terms as Board Chair of Oklahoma’s statewide protection and advocacy agency.

Although Ashley began receiving a significant portion of her education in a regular education classroom, Kim quickly learned that physical access to regular education (and even to appropriate technology) does not guarantee an “appropriate” education. After becoming burned out with systems advocacy, Kim realized that she could affect the education of her daughter, as well as other children, by using technology to design meaningful and appropriate software and educational materials. She also realized that most ready-made educational materials are not designed for individuals with multiple disabilities, and that most of the materials did an excellent job of reinforcing her daughter’s disabilities rather than enhancing her abilities.

The design and publication of Kim’s second software application (School Fonts for Beginning Writing published by Mayer-Johnson) precipitated the beginning of Ashley’s Mom, Inc. She has subsequently designed another set of fonts, also published by Mayer-Johnson, called Transitional Fonts for Emerging Writers. She is celebrating the release of her new book, Teaching by Design: Using Your Computer to Create Materials for Students with Learning Differences published by Woodbine House, and Teaching by Design with Boardmaker and Books-By-Design with Boardmaker published by Mayer-Johnson.

Kim focuses her energy on ways to use technology to address various disabilities because of its adaptability, its ability to be customized and provide endless repetition, and its multi-sensory approach. She has presented a number of workshops on advocacy and inclusion, and on the use of technology as it relates to persons with disabilities at local, state, national, and international conferences, including Closing the Gap and CSUN’s Conference on Technology and Persons with Disabilities.

In 2008, Kim’s company, manyabilities, was among 12 semi-finalists in Tulsa’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. Out of necessity, Kim became interested in the idea of creating employment for individuals with disabilities and utilized a model of entrepreneurship to create employment for Ashley.

Articles written by Kim previously published in Disability Solutions include a review of Broderbund’s Living Books, Strategies for Augmenting Communication and How Was Your Day?: Designing Home-to-School Communication for Your Child. To download a copy of a published article in MetroFamily Magazine, click here. She has also received a number of book citations, including From Tutor Scripts to Talking Sticks: 100 Ways to Differentiate Instruction in K-12 Inclusive Classrooms by Paula Kluth and Sheila Danaher (2010, Paul H. Brookes Publishing), the textbook Mental Retardation: A Life Cycle Approach by Clifford J. Drew & Michael L. Hardman in the section on assistive technology, and another in the textbook Human Exceptionality: School, Community, and Family by Michael L. Hardman, Clifford J. Drew and M. Winston Egan.


About Hemet Sunshine

I am a homeschooling mom living in Hemet, California. I am interested in building a better community for the ones I love.
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