Hi, my name is:

Sarah

At the Achievement Centers, we are focused on helping children with disabilities reach their greatest potential. What is a person’s greatest potential”? for Sarah Dooley, the sky is the limit. For the first time in her eighteen years, Sarah is “talking” through a communications application on her iPad which is connected to a “head array” control system installed on her wheelchair. She uses her head to navigate through the application and make selections of letters and words. When Sarah finishes a sentence, the application reads it back using the British accent she chose, giving her a “voice.” The strength and improved coordination Sarah developed in her physical therapy and Intensive Therapy sessions at the Achievement Centers for Children prepared her to use this device in an innovative way. She now shops at the mall, orders her own meals at restaurants, talks with her friends and family, and is active on social media. What a gift of independence!

Sarah said her dream is to “change the world one kid at a time.” Since gaining her “voice,” she has been working with Felicia Baird, her speech-language pathologist at the Achievement Centers, to write a story about her life experiences, and what it means to have cerebral palsy. Her goal is to visit schools to share her story with children to help them understand what it’s like to have cerebral palsy, and to see all that she can – and is – accomplishing. Ultimately, she would like to be a guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show to reach an even larger audience. With Sarah’s new found abilities, she will be able to share her personal insights with so many people in the coming years!

"Can you image spending 18 years of your life not being able to talk? Now you are given the ability to speak! Words can't explain how amazing this change has been for Sarah thanks to the wonderful, caring people at the Achievement Centers."

Sarah's mother, Donna Dooley
Cuyahoga Board of Developmental Disabilities
Invest in Childcare
ADAMHS
CARF
United Way