My name is Bud Wardlaw and I use a computer-based communication system
with Words-Plus and DECTalk. Respiratory failure as a newborn left me
with cerebral palsy. Due to this condition I am unable to walk, I have
virtually no use of my arms and hands, and my speech is severely impaired.
In order to write, I've always operated a computer (or a typewriter)
with a headwand. After graduating from high school in 1978, I attended
Augusta State University where I earned a Bachelor of Political Science
and a Bachelor of Accounting. Since 1994, I've worked as a staff accountant
at L.B. Marsh Certified Public Accounting in my hometown of Augusta,
Georgia. In my job, upon completing work for a client, I find it convenient
to use my communication system to impart to the secretary instructions,
or requests for additional information, to pass on to the client. When
I work into the evening hours, I frequently will call work after arriving
home and use my DECTalk to leave instructions for the secretary on the
office answering machine.
In addition, I use my augmentative communication system a great deal
for public speaking. I've addressed civic groups, college students,
and public forums. Also, ministers at my church sometimes call on me
to pray in the worship service, teach a Sunday School class, or speak
to a group of children or youth. It means a great deal to me to be able
to share my faith and my insights with others.
Lastly, augmentative communication allows me to convey to others my
humanity. One of the ways I cope with my disability is through a sense
of humor. I've found there can be no pain, discomfort, loss or sadness
where there is laughter! My augmentative speaking system gives me the
opportunity to make others laugh. Once people laugh at my jokes, they
no longer see my disability.