Thief steals school’s communication technology
METHUEN, Mass. -- Police said a thief stole thousands of dollars of electronic equipment that is used to give students with disabilities a way to communicate.
The Greater Lawrence Educational Collaborative relies on very special technology to help the students there learn.
“It's something that's a part of their daily life,” said Bernice Pierce, Program Director.
The students here all have disabilities and use the technology to communicate.
“Many of my students are visually impaired, none of them speak, they're all nonverbal, and many of them are in wheelchairs,” said Sarah Crosbie, Assistive Technology Specialist.
Earlier this week, that valuable technology was stolen out of a staff member's car.
“Here's a pile of the glass that was from window that was smashed,” said Crosbie. “I've been here for six years and never thought anything of it, so yeah I was shocked.”
The school hopes someone realizes the importance of what was taken.
“The laptop is not the issue; it's all of the software and all of the flash drives that were in the bag associated with the laptop,” said Pierce.
School staff says the stolen goods give those without a voice a way to communicate.
“If they had their software on their device they would either be touching the computer or they'd be scanning so that they could do that independently,” said Pierce.
The staff said that while they can use other methods to give their students a voice, they hope that the stolen software is returned.
“It's time, it's energy, it's students who don't have that ability to communicate at home, at school or with their teachers and that's the major loss,” said Pierce.
The school staff says that while a digital camera was also stolen from the car an ipod, a cell phone and other items were not taken.
(Copyright (c) 2009 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)