Hannah Spence 2015

Hannah Spence Cropped for webThe International Essential Tremor Foundation (IETF) is pleased to award a $500 scholarship to Hannah Spence from Colchester, VT for the 2015-2016 academic year. Hannah is one of four students from across the nation to receive a scholarship award from the IETF.

People with essential tremor have to be adaptable. Daily activities are often difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish without some type of assistance. Hannah knows all about needing assistance. Thankfully, she has used a 504 Plan throughout her high school career to help her get the very most out of her education. A 504 Plan lists accommodations related to a child’s disability and required by the child so that s/he may be successful in the regular classroom setting. For example, Hannah’s 504 Plan included:

  • Access to a school-provided laptop and Dragon Naturally Speaking software during school;
  • Additional time allowed for standardized tests;
  • An assigned lab partner in science classes, to physically handle beakers, tools, etc.;
  • Class-provided outlines to limit the need to take notes;
  • Allowance to take oral exams rather than written, when possible;
  • A scheduled study hall period for her at the end of the school day, as she becomes fatigued.

“My mother was a huge influence in getting the ball rolling over the years,” Hannah said, “she kept up with everyone to make sure my plan was implemented. She kept track and documented everything.” Because she had a 504 Plan and a strong support team in place at her high school, she was able to connect with an equally resourceful support team at the University of Vermont. “My mom and I are currently working with the Assistive Technology Team at the University,” Hannah explained. “We are working to find ways I can be successful as I transition from high school to college life; to ensure I have the technology and support systems I need before classes even start.”

Hannah will be working toward her degree in Exercise and Movement Sciences at UVM’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences program.  We are sure, with assistance designed specifically to fit her needs, she will find great success.