On Friday, February 1st, Bryan Martinez will be the recipient of the 2019 Yes I Can Award for Technology at the CEC Conference in Indianapolis. Nominated by Theresa Copple, his Riverside, California County Deaf and Hard of Hearing Itinerant Teacher, Bryan will also be recognized by the district school board in March. When I asked how he felt about being in the spotlight, Bryan said he was most excited to tell his dad, who will be with him at the ceremony in Indianapolis to watch him receive the award.
A high school senior, Bryan’s journey to the Technology award has been nothing if not difficult. When he was eight years old, he lost his mother — and his hearing — in a traumatic car accident. After this life-changing tragedy, Bryan, his brother, Kevin, and their dad grew very close, forging a strong support system that has helped Bryan not only cope with his hearing loss, but learn how to thrive in spite of it. Ms. Copple has also been a long-term source of support, having been in the unique position of working with Bryan and his family since the accident. In her role, Copple says, “I’m somewhere between a teacher and an aunt — it’s an opportunity to know the student and the family — and be with them through the ups and downs.”
As a robotics and technology enthusiast, Bryan has embraced the technology that enables him to hear: bilateral hearing ads, a personal FM system, and a sound field system at school. He instructs his teachers on how to use the sound field system that improves his ability to participate in the classroom. Bryan would like to continue studying technology as he enters college next year, and he is currently applying for scholarships. Congratulations and best of luck to you, Bryan!