Most people don’t remember learning to read or how they accomplished it. I remember being confused and terrified. How can you explain to people the world doesn’t look the same to you? I tried to, but the only response I received was to “try harder”. If only it was that easy!
Donka Inc. was an unexpected blessing in my life. A Veritas employee working at the nursing home I volunteered at told me about the program. Donka understood my Dysgraphia/Dyslexia and gave me clear directions, step by step in sequential order.The possibility of being computer literate was unattainable to me without Donka Incorporated.
I’m extremely grateful to the donors and sponsors of the Donka Program. Upon completion of my coursework, I hope to become a volunteer for the program and “pay it forward.” I’m grateful, in particular to all members of the instruction staff who made the use of assistive technology (which is being used in the preparation of this testimonial and the confidence and skills which I developed.
My Name is Bob Colombo. I am 20 years old and was diagnosed with CP at birth. I have learned a lot of skills at Donka, including how to do mail merge, manipulate graphics, design documents, create spreadsheets, and do charts. Initially, I was concerned about how I would fare if I got a job that utilized all these skills, and forgetting all the skills I learned. Now I will have no problem. I keep telling my parents about what I have learned and they think it’s unbelievable. I myself am proud just for what I have accomplished at Donka.
I appreciate the fact that Donka Incorporated is available for the population that is in need of the training and expertise offered. I applaud the donors, who, through their support, make this training possible for us (the people who cannot afford but need and can profit by this education). I witnessed while attending classes many students with special needs who were met in a professional and timely manner. I truly respect the teachers and staff that are so dedicated to this calling. I feel better able to navigate life’s daily expectations with this new learning experience.
Many times you hear people say that something changed their life. For me, my experience at Donka was definitely one of those things. It opened up the world for me through e-mail and the Internet. I became legally blind about six years ago and it was devastating. As my vision worsened, my world became smaller and smaller. A feeling of uselessness and frustration took over until I learned about a computer program called Jaws for visually impaired. I purchased a computer and this program. Much to my chagrin, I found I could not even begin to fathom how to use it. Through a series of phone calls, I came upon Donka. It was a long and difficult road, but having finally graduated the program, I feel like I can tackle so many things now that were impossible before. So you see, changing my life is not an exaggeration. Thank you to everyone at Donka who welcomed me with warmth, friendship and encouragement.
My name is Pamela Tulley and I want to tell you about the great work that the Instructors at the Donka Labs in Wheaton have done. About eleven years ago I was in an auto accident that caused a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and left me in a coma for 10 months. Prior to all this, I was an Administrative Assistant and a Tax Preparer and was self-sufficient. After the coma, I was made aware of Donka, Inc., and their work to assist individuals with disabilities to use computers independently. I started to take classes with my original goal to become knowledgeable and proficient in Excel, to be able to assist my work with numbers. My instructor had a goal to get me to confidently use the computer in ways that I never guessed. Then the staff felt I would benefit from using Dragon, a program that allows you to speak to the computer. I’ve seen that Dragon is a program that will help immensely in my General Office/Clerical position. I’ve observed a number of severely disabled persons become rather proficient using the computer – a change possibly for employment, a link to communicate with others and most of all, a boost to their self-esteem.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the people of Donka. I am an accident victim that is disabled visually. This past eight months I have been taking computer training at Donka, Inc. I have been working to get back to my job that I was at before the car accident. Donka has been a big help to me and I am sure I will be benefiting from that when I am back to work.
Mary Onorad, Vocational Coordinator for Transition Services, Naperville District 203
Judy Lampa has been an outstanding instructor to one of the district 203 students that attended Donka in 2006-07. She was very knowledgeable of the student’s abilities and guided him to gain skills and confidence with all the computer operations. She challenged my student to go beyond what he thought he was capable of achieving. By making this program available to transitioning adults through the school systems, these students have been able to go on to employment and college level computer classes. DONKA has opened doors for our students challenged with disabilities.