WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 27, 2013, 10:05 PM

Camp Grassick helping campers access abilities with technology

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Campers from around the state of North Dakota are experiencing a camping adventure like no other.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Campers from around the state of North Dakota are experiencing a camping adventure like no other.

They'll not only walk away with lifelong friendships and countless memories but skills that will last them a lifetime.

Lights, camera, action. For these campers the day didn't start with the sound of a trumpet, instead the click of a lens.

Mark Coppin, Assistive Technology Director: “We do a news broadcast every night and we set up news studios and this year was the first year we've done green screen because then we can bring in any type of a background that will make it look like an actual news station.”

For 10 years Anne Carlsen has hosted this techno camp at Camp Grassick to provide students with disabilities the opportunity to learn about adaptive technologies.

Coppin: “We do adaptive videography, we do adaptive photography, we do adaptive music, and we do adaptive art.”

Anne Carlsen Center Assistive technology director Mark Coppin is working with students to learn what they can do, and excel at.

Austin Anderson, 6th Year Camper: “My favorite thing is computers, the cameras.”

The skills learned here are to help students become more independent now and in the future.

Coppin: “Now they have these devices and these tools and technology that really levels the playing field for the kids that we work with. One of the things I always say is it's really not accessibility, it's accessing abilities. It's accessing those tools to allow kids to be able to do the things that they want to do.”

This camp isn't only about technology. Once classes are complete it's back to regular camp activities.

Coppin: “They go swimming. They have hay rides. They sit around the camp fire. They go on pontoon rides.”

And besides being in front and behind the lens, it's the regular kid stuff that seems to be Austin’s favorite.

Anderson: “Campfire, hay ride.”

Thirty campers are taking part in the week-long event.

This assistive technology camp is gaining national attention.

Two people came all the way from Turkey to learn about the camp. They learned about all the different types of adaptive technology that's available for special needs people. The two hope to take back what they've learned to benefit special needs people in Turkey and break down barriers they face.