Carol joined AssistiveWare to strengthen our Support Team. She had been on our radar already for quite some time as someone who was helping others on Facebook and forums to get started with Proloquo2Go and Pictello. She combined an eagerness to help and support others with a keen interest in technology. She was perfect for the job and the job was perfect for her.
As a parent and mother to Trisha, her teenage daughter with Down syndrome, she had experienced first hand many of the challenges that our users face: whether those involved technology directly or dealing with technology-averse educators and therapists. She adored her children, Patrick and Trisha. She was always committed to Trisha's communication and shared what she learned with others.
Carol was a natural at AssistiveWare. She worked in email support and ran the Family Members of Proloquo2Go users and wrote Pictello stories for the Pictello users group. She always knew just the right questions and suggestions to get people chatting. She listened to people’s issues and showed them how to fix them. She was involved over the years in many different groups and forums, always looking to improve her daughters life and supporting others facing similar challenges.
She managed to stay so positive through the many hurdles life threw at her. The strength and resilience she showed supporting her daughter, who also has a hearing impairment and autism, throughout the school years and into adult services was an example to us all.
It came as a shock when she was suddenly hospitalized three months ago and diagnosed with terminal cancer. It is still hard to accept that she is no longer among us. We will truly miss Carol, and we know many of the people she met through her work at AssistiveWare miss her too.
Carol was a tireless advocate for individuals with disabilities and their families. That is why we decided to honor her legacy in the form of a Carol Villars Scholarship that will allow a family member of a child with a disability to attend the annual Closing The Gap conference in Minneapolis. Carol is and will always be missed, but through this scholarship she will continue to make a difference in the life’s of the families she cared so much about.