The Carolina Hurricanes’s Kids N’ Community Foundation awarded New Voices a grant to establish the Storm Zone Learning Lab. Located at Easley Elementary School in Durham, NC, the Storm Zone Learning Lab, is home to the switches, devices, and materials used by students with significant communication and mobility disabilities. The Storm Zone is adjacent to the Durham Model Assessment Classroom to allow for instant access to the technology for trial and use. The Storm Zone was officially dedicated by Hurricane’s mascot, Stormy on January 30, 2013. Sandy McMillan, School Programs Director for New Voices, commented at the ceremony, “It is my sincere hope that the shine will soon be worn off all this beautiful equipment because of all the small hands that will be able to use it.”
Tadpole, the lending library that provides toys, educational material, and assistive devices to NC children with developmental disabilities, reopened its doors in September, 2011 thanks to support from New Voices, Walmart, and the Murdoch Center Foundation. Tadpole’s original funding was impacted by state budget cuts. Tadpole now offers its services to a 22 school district region. New Voices’ plans include expanding Tadpole services region by region until the entire state is served.
New Voices has partnered with Biomedical engineering programs at Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, and NCSU to provide equipment repair and adaptation for Tadpole and for the children in the New Voices Assessment Classroom. The Biomedical Project is made possible by a grant from the Peter J. and Prudence F. Meehan Fund of Triangle Community Foundation.