Downtown Topeka Rotary Club Foundation (2012)

Disclaimer: The following was excerpted from articles in the Capper Foundation Archives, originally published in The Topeka Capital-Journal. The choice of words used at the time this was written may not reflect current Capper Foundation inclusive language and views.

Downtown Topeka Rotary Club Foundation (2012)

by Phil Anderson

Children at Capper Foundation who aren’t able to speak because of autism or other disabilities will use the latest technology to help them communicate, thanks to a gift from the Downtown Topeka Rotary Club Foundation.

Five new Apple iPads were donated to Capper Foundation during a ceremony Thursday at the foundation.

The Rotary foundation made a financial gift of $3,250 to purchase the iPads.

During the ceremony, Anita Wolgast, president of the Downtown Rotary Club, presented one of the iPads to Jim Leiker, President/CEO of Capper Foundation.

Several other members of the Downtown Topeka Rotary Club were on hand for the official presentation.

Terry Diebolt, Rotary President, said the iPads are loaded with communication applications that will help nonverbal children with various types of developmental disabilities form audible sentences.

The applications feature images and pictures that children can select on a touch-pad screen, enabling them to express their thoughts.

“They can touch on images that translate to words,” Diebolt said. “Then the images they select will be spoken.”

Diebolt said members of the Downtown Rotary Club heard about Capper Foundation’s need for the iPads and were “very happy to support” the effort to help connect children with the new technology.

Leiker, himself a Rotary member, said the iPads are “a game-changer” for children and their families.

Leiker said for children, iPads represent a “fun” activity while also serving an educational purpose.

“The kids like it,” Leiker said. “They see other people using iPads. This keeps them engaged and keeps them involved.”