Local business sponsors “Devices for Disabilities”

Posted on July 16, 2018 by Staff reports

Pictured with a recycling station are ECEF President Kendra Booth and Cellular Nerd Owner Eric Vines

Emerald Coast Exceptional Families has partnered with Cellular Nerd to provide “Devices for Disabilities.”

Cellular Nerd repairs or recycles donated devices and gives them new lives with special needs children. ECEF is facilitating the program by working with the Santa Rosa County Schools Exceptional Student Education department and local therapy centers to get devices in the hands of exceptional children who need them.

Eric Vines, owner of Cellular Nerd, has previously worked with the Emerald Coast Autism Center on a similar program.  After moving back to his hometown of Navarre, Eric realized that he wanted to create something right here in Santa Rosa County. 

“My goal is to make sure there aren’t any nonverbal children in my coverage area that don’t have a device.  I know that the insurance can be taxing for parents and not everyone can afford an iPad.  I want to help as much as I possibly can when it comes to communication devices for special needs children,” Vines said.

Kendra Booth, president of ECEF, knows how life changing a communication device can be.  “My son, John, is autistic and completely nonverbal.  With his device, he is able to tell us what he wants and needs, almost eliminating behaviors caused by frustration over communication.  We would be lost without it,” she said.

 And while communication is the focus of the program, ECEF and Cellular Nerd also recognize the importance for devices in other aspects of the lives of exceptional children.  For this reason, devices are also available for teachers to use in the classroom. 

“It can be difficult to find things that are motivating and reinforcing for my special kids.  For some of them, electronics are very motivating!  This program would allow teachers to have devices in the classroom specifically for that purpose,” stated Alisha Justice, ESE Pre-K teacher.   

All devices are welcome for recycling.  Just look for a drop box in local area businesses, including Across The Board Therapy Group in Harvest Village and Navarre Auto Repair on Highway 87. 

All devices donated in Santa Rosa County will benefit families in Santa Rosa County.  If you would like a drop off box at your place of business, please call (850) 396-1008.  

Emerald Coast Exceptional Families is a local nonprofit for ALL special needs families.  Its mission is to connect and support exceptional families and enhance their lives through events and education.  For more information, please find them on Facebook or visit the website at www.emeraldcoastexceptionalfamilies.org