Ambassador Profile: Anthony Arnold
Hi, I'm Anthony Arnold, a DO-IT Ambassador and '94 Scholar from Grand Forks, North Dakota. DO-IT helped shape my interest in technology, especially assistive technology applications designed for people with disabilities.
Before I became a DO-IT Scholar, I used a communication device by the Prentke Romich Company (PRC). It gave me a lot of independence. Combined with my experience at DO-IT, this technology fueled my interest to work at PRC or a similar company that develops and supports augmentative and alternative communication systems.
I first connected with founder of PRC, Barry Romich, thanks to one of the DO-IT Mentors. Barry and I communicated over email for a couple of years before a remote troubleshooter position in the technical service department became available. I decided to apply, got the job, and worked in technical service for seven years before a position in research and development (R&D) was open. I have worked in R&D for nearly two years, where I'm primarily responsible for testing current and future products. One of the newest products I worked on allows the user to have cell phone features directly on their communication device.
Away from PRC, I am a guest lecturer at universities about augmentative and alternative communication. I share my experiences, what PRC is currently working on, and where we are headed in the future. I have also presented at various conferences.
Recently, I participated in the writing of the book Transition Strategies for Adolescents and Young Adults Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication, by David McNaughton and David Beukelman. I met David McNaughton through my work at PRC, and we have partnered on various projects concerning education, independent living, and employment opportunities for augmentative and alternative communicators.
Regarding your career, I just want to say that you can do it too if you feel passionately. Always be open to learn something new; I learn something new each day at PRC.