Work experience as an AAC user at Smartbox
Hannah at our Smartbox UK offices
Recently, Hannah, a Grid Pad and eye gaze user, came to our Bristol office and our HQ in Malvern for two days of work experience, organised with a local SEN college.
Whilst in Bristol
Hannah took part in two workshops. This included giving feedback on upcoming marketing content, and sharing valuable insights into how she uses eye gaze to help our research and development team make improvements. Hannah also had the opportunity to test out some eye gaze activities, in the pipeline for release later this year. We also sent her off with her own Smartbox hoodie.
When visiting Malvern
Hannah received a tour of our repairs department and production hub, to see how Smartbox devices get prepared and shipped to people all over the world. Hannah also took part in a session with our HR team about how we can make our recruitment at Smartbox even more accessible and inclusive for disabled people.
We asked Hannah a few questions about her time at Smartbox…
Tell us a bit about you?
My name is Hannah Hadley, I am 19 years old. I am a student at National Star College in Cheltenham. My family live in Staffordshire. I have 2 younger brothers, Dylan and Samuel. I have a boyfriend, his name is Laith and he is at National Star College too.
How do you communicate?
I have communicated with Grid Pad and eye gaze for a number of years but only just started using it full-time for the last 3.5 years.
How has having AAC impacted your life?
It has been a huge difference to my life. I can have fun chatting to family, friends and staff members, but I can also let them know what I need, think and feel. I can send WhatsApp messages, I can email, I can watch YouTube videos. I can turn my tv on and off, and open and close my curtains. Without my eye gaze, I couldn’t do any of the above. My eye gaze is very precious to me.
Why did you want to do work experience at Smartbox?
I wanted to see what it is like to have a job. As an eye gaze user, I can look at what you’re working on and help you improve it.
What did you enjoy during your visits to both offices?
I enjoyed seeing how you make AAC devices in Malvern and previews of new devices in Bristol.
What are your future career goals?
I would love to work at Smartbox one day because I would love to help disabled people talk.
Do you have a story to share?
We are collecting stories of people who use Grid to show how assistive technology helps people communicate and live more independent lives.
If you would like to share your story, please contact us below.
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