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Organizers: Computer drive off to good start

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A push by volunteers at Cummins Inc. to collect tablet computers for special-needs children whose families can’t afford to buy technology of their own got off to a successful start last week, organizers say.

David McArdle, a Cummins pilot who headed up the all-day collection effort last Thursday, said 13 tablets have been donated so far, including two new iPads.

Volunteers are now processing the tablets, making sure all the personal information has been removed, McArdle said.

The next step will be for the charitable effort — dubbed Tablet ReConnect — to take applications from families in need of the equipment.

The idea is to get computer hardware in the hands of families with children who face developmental challenges and might benefit from using tablets filled with educational software to learn sounds, words, shapes, colors and other basics.

McArdle has a 5-year-old son, Brady, with a brain disorder who has been helped by using a tablet to learn vocabulary words and to communicate more fully.

McArdle said Tablet ReConnect will start collecting applications Saturday with help from another nonprofit, Connected Community Partnership.

Table ReConnect is willing to accept any brand of tablet or e-reader, even broken equipment that could be used for spare parts, McArdle said.

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