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Technology often makes it possible for individuals with disabilities to achieve successful employment, education and live more independently. A reflection of these accomplishments can be seen in Brian Kays, owner of Brian’s Book Store and Coffee Bar in Connersville, Indiana.
“Brian has overcome significant challenges relating to his Cerebral Palsy,” said retired Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) Region Manager Ken Williams, who had worked with Brian at various times for more than 15 years. “Brian is truly an ambassador for what a person with a disability can achieve with employment supports and assistive technology.”
Brian received a Bachelor of Science degree in History from Wright State University in 1995. Instrumental in developing his own business plan, VRS provided supports to help Brian open his business and maintain his independence. This included necessary modifications to the store and vehicle. Because Brian is nonverbal, assistive technology devices are the key to helping Brian successfully communicate with vendors, employees and customers. Since the store opening over a decade ago, Brian has flourished and today needs only minimal support from VRS.