2017 Winner - Francis Dwyer

Francis Dwyer is a 27-year-old young man living with Downs Syndrome, who has already reached many milestones in his quest to live as independently in his community as he possibly can.

Although Francis had a part-time job at the time his application was submitted, he was relying heavily on a job coach to help him complete the requirements of his job, rather than working more independently. Francis, along with his mother, his job coach and his AT specialist, mapped out a list of goals and implementation strategies to make progress in three key areas of his life: work/vocational skills, activities of daily living, and community living and recreation.

His mother, Jeanne, aware of what a difference some simple apps could make in her son’s life, applied for an Eric Fund grant on her son’s behalf in hopes of securing an iPad for Francis, and the Ablelink, Endeavor 3 app and Google Calendar.

One challenge that Francis faces in his day-to-day life is remembering what tasks he needs to complete and at what time. The app is an iPad-based monitoring system that helps an individual live more independently by creating daily schedules for work and activities of daily living, daily medication reminders, all things with which Francis needs assistance. The Endeavor 3 is helping Francis create a weekly calendar with visual and auditory reminders of what he needs to accomplish. He hopes to one day use it to help him learn how to follow a recipe and cook a simple meal. Francis’s mother expressed her extreme gratitude to The Eric Fund for providing the technology that will enable her son to continue his progress on his path toward independence.