Students With Disabilities Become ‘virtual’ Reporters

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"I really like to interview people and hear their stories," explained Grace who resides in Fernie, B.C. "I really think the stories are inspiring and I like to share them with others."

Grace has a congenital disorder that limits mobility of her joints and requires her to use a wheelchair. She participates in the Virtual Voices Village program, which provides students with disabilities with equipment and resources to publish stories, artwork and multi-media projects online at vvvillage.org.

A partnership of 2010 Legacies Now, the Province of British Columbia, SET-BC and 3M, Virtual Voices Village enables dozens of students with disabilities to build new skills and experience new activities. It was through this program that Grace attended the 2008 B.C. Winter Games to report on the action. Armed with a camera and recorder mounted to her wheelchair, and a keyboard to record her experiences, Grace reported on the wheelchair basketball match and posted her video story online.

"The best thing about Virtual Voices was that it broadened Grace's view of the world, her experiences and her friendship base," explained Grace's mother, Janice. "It forced her to get outside her comfort zone and meet new people."

Grace said Virtual Voices Village is helping her fulfill her dream: "I enjoyed reporting on the B.C. Winter Games in Cranbrook, and I want to keep on being a journalist. And reporting on the Olympics would be very cool because I like seeing people in action."

Already a budding piano player, artist and singer, Grace now looks forward to mastering her skills as a reporter, so she can continue sharing stories from her point of view leading up to 2010 and beyon


Virtual Voices Village helps students with disabilities develop writing and journalism skills by interviewing athletes and other role models. Online at vvvillage.org, the students contribute articles, stories and other creative work on a wide variety of topics. The program is in partnership with the Province of British Columbia, SET-BC and 3M.