Chris Klein

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  PRC-Saltillo Ambassador

Hello!  My name is Chris Klein.  I am 46 years old, and I have been using augmentative alternative communication (AAC) for forty years now.  I was born with Cerebral Palsy and I am classified as an athetoid, which means my muscles never stop moving!  I can’t use my arms and hands, but I have control of my feet and toes.  This is how I have always accessed my communication devices.  I have been called Mr. Toe since the fourth grade!  I have that on my license plate.

The first device I received was the Handivoice 110 - a word-based system that had 250 core vocabulary words on it.  I was six at the time, and you had to kind of be able to read in order to use the Handivoice 110.  Yet, I was able to use it, and I was talking in complete sentences by the time the weekend was over. 

 I used the Handivoice 110 for twenty years and I had trialed different devices through that time, but nothing grabbed my attention.  In 1999, the device broke and it could no longer be fixed, so I was put on a Dynavox.  It was a very different device, and the vocabulary was organized very differently.  It was confusing for me, so I created my own page, which used spelling and word prediction.  Communication was very slow and I would use short cuts to get my point across. 

I switched to the Pathfinder in 2008 with the Unity vocabulary, and it was a blessing.  I was able to express my complete thoughts again because I had access to the language that I was accustomed to using.  This enhanced my relationships greatly, and led to me getting married in 2011. 

I graduated from Hope College with a BA in Kinesiology.  I have a Masters in Theology.  I speak and teach all over to make a living.  I love watching children see the possibilities when they receive their first communication device.  I love helping families see the potential with a communication device!  My passion is to inspire them to shoot for anything! 

I love sports. I follow every sport and I’ve even coached high school girl's basketball. Fantasy football is my favorite hobby and it gets very competitive between my friends of me.  Actually, any game I play gets competitive because I believe you play a game to win.  I’m known to be sarcastic and a prankster.  I’ve tried to live life to the fullest, which my family taught me to do at a very young age.  I hope that spirit shines through me! 

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