AAging with Empowerment (AWE) participant Retha has a special love of all things Disney. In addition to enjoying Disney movies, shes visited Disney World and longs to travel there again.

Retha would love to go back to Disney someday, but it wasnt something she could do right now, says Stephen Turner, coordinator of AWE North County. One thing we do in AWE is look for ways to support peoples goals and interests.

Thanks to funding from Charters Spectrum Digital Education grant program, the St. Louis Arc offers a variety of technology resources that enable participants to connect with the larger community for learning, leisure, and communications.

AWE staff worked creatively to engage with Retha and use the technology in place to plan a virtual trip to Disney. They mapped the trip, checked out sites along the way, like Nashville, and used it for a teaching tool for mileage, math and money, says Stephen. With the aid of an accessible computer system called iN2L, staff were able to access special interactive programming on Disney Plus, like a Behind the Attractions program that Retha could share with friends and staff.

Arc staff are helping other participants use technology to pursue their personal interests in a variety of ways. Participants may do anything from visiting a museum to composing music and art to simulating flying in different kinds of airplanes, Stephen says.

They did Disney with me and they did a wonderful job too, says Retha, enthusiastically. We do interesting things here, and I have fun.