CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA: Streaming to an excited group of developers, tech bloggers and Apple enthusiasts, Paulson’s video, showcasing the latest accessibility features built into the next generation of Apple products, was used to preview Apple CEO Tim Cook’s keynote presentation.
The video begins with Paulson behind her computer. Born with cerebral palsy, she utilizes adaptive switches mounted to her wheelchair to type on the screen, “People think having disabilities is a barrier…that’s not how I see it.” Multiple scenes proceed, showing people with physical, hearing, and visual impairments working seamlessly with their Apple devices to communicate, take pictures, and interact with their environments. As the video concludes, it’s revealed that this footage is part of a video project Paulson is editing.
Paulson’s video poignantly emphasized a key theme of Cook’s presentation: to make Apple products easier for people with any type of disability to use and enjoy. As a longtime Apple user, Paulson has relied on these ongoing efforts since she first discovered her passion for film editing in 2005.
People think having disabilities is a barrier…that’s not how I see it.
Originally from Holiday, North Dakota, Paulson moved to Bismarck in July of 2000. After graduation, she arrived at the Anne Carlsen Center for occupational and therapy services, where she met with Assistive Technology Director and Apple Distinguished Educator Mark Coppin.
Coppin immediately recognized Paulson’s creativity and love of learning, and suggested she attend one of the Anne Carlsen Center’s internationally-recognized TechnoCamps. Hosted at Elks Camp Grassick each summer, the weeklong retreat offers teens with disabilities an opportunity to explore assistive technologies while enjoying a traditional camp experience.
Working side-by-side with Coppin, Paulson quickly began to hone her skills in video editing and cinematography, creating an impressive portfolio that would earn her a full scholarship at the prestigious Full Sail University in Florida. She graduated with honors and the admiration of her peers and educators last February, and these relationships – coupled with her impressive achievements – have made Paulson an important advocate for Apple and their new line of accessible technologies.
Seeing his former student in the spotlight is exhilarating, but not surprising for Coppin. “It is absolutely amazing. I always knew she had this drive and determination…all we needed to do is to find the right tools to do these things she wanted to do” Coppin said.