Mohawk College Professor & E.As
Updated: May 25, 2021
Mohawk College Professor- Elizabeth
In September 2007, I started teaching at Mohawk College. One of the courses I taught was AutoCAD and Drafting. Kyle was in my class.
The Drafting labs in this particular course were graded on typical drafting techniques– neatness and consistency of lettering, size and format of dimensioning, location of arrowheads, title block layout, etc. But it was clear right from the start that I wasn’t able to grade Kyle in those things in the traditional way. So we worked together and came up with a plan to ensure that– even though he didn’t actually create the technical drawing– he could read it and understand all its parts.
Working together during that particular course was the beginning of our relationship at Mohawk.
A year or so later, Mohawk had a guest speaker. It was a young man who was also bound by the constraints of his wheelchair and who talked about how he had been able to succeed in his career. He demonstrated a device that “spoke” for him in a sort of pictorial shorthand accessed by a pad resting on the arms of his chair. It was incredible– especially back then! I told Kyle and his mom, Silvana, about the cool device and Kyle connected with the young man. Kyle discovered that a professor from the University of Western Ontario had designed the device.
After talking it over with Kyle, we both felt that it was worth meeting with this professor to see about customizing the shorthand for technical drafting that would help Kyle work with AutoCAD. Because of the limited use of Kyle’s motor skills, the professor would need to customize something that was quite sensitive to Kyle’s movements.
So, we went on a road trip! Kyle, Silvana and I drove to London and back on the same day– and spent a couple of hours with the professor. It was amazing that technology has such a huge potential to alter the opportunities available for Kyle’s career choices! And, during that day, I witnessed firsthand the closeness of Kyle and his mom. Kyle never stopped smiling the whole day and it is the infectious the-sky-is-the-limits optimism that endears me to Kyle.
Of course, as a professor, I dealt with students all the time. I saw anxious students, angry students, sad students– you get the picture. But Kyle was always calm, wanting to learn, never getting frustrated, patient, and always smiling! He was determined but accepting that he was on a learning curve– finding out what worked for him and what didn’t.
A few months later, I was excited to be invited to one of Kyle’s sledge hockey games. My husband, Bruno, and I couldn’t take our eyes off the ice – and in particular, Kyle. His friend was his “pusher” but I also found out later that his father and other friends sometimes took on the role when Kyle’s friend wasn’t available. It’s a dangerous role! Anyone who has seen a sledge hockey game will understand! But that is the strength of the Scott family– they are there for Kyle no matter what. And I can also say that Kyle is there for them. They are truly the centre of his world.
With Kyle’s optimistic personality, his love of his family and friends and his award-winning smile, there is nothing that Kyle cannot tackle!
Every person we encounter in our lifetime alters us in some small way. Kyle reminds me that the constraints we might have– real or imagined– can be challenged. It takes courage and confidence but it also takes the support, love and trust of a family that believes in you.
Mohawk College E.A.- Joan
I met Kyle while working at Mohawk College. My first impression of Kyle was . . . this guy is so good looking, it turns out he was just as smart, kind and funny as he was good looking. After some time had passed it was clear to me that we were going to be good friends. The kind of friends that laugh all the time. Working with Kyle was like having the best job in the world.
One thing I love about Kyle is his infectious smile. You cannot help but smile when you are in his company. We all have so much to be grateful for in this amazing gift we call life and Kyle is smiling most of the time because he understands the gift of life. I’m sure he has had his moments as we all do, but not when he was in my company. Kyle and I were always laughing, and carrying on about something. He is definitely someone you want to be with. The one thing that impressed me the most about Kyle was when I went out to watch some of his Sledge Hockey games. I love sports so it wasn’t a big stretch to go out and watch him play. Kyle always talked about how he played sports when he was younger. I thought to myself how is Kyle going to be able to play sledge hockey, a sport that involves being so physical, wow was I wrong to think such a negative thought about my friend. He was really good, I was surprised. I know it made him happy to play but it made me happier to watch him on the ice.
Kyle has travelled more than most. I think he has shares in Las Vegas. In 2014, I was heading home from Vegas and Kyle was landing in Vegas the same day, in fact, the same flight. We were hoping to hook up for a few minutes, but unfortunately, it didn’t happen. I’m sure we will connect sometime, somewhere soon I hope.
I’m pretty sure Kyle has excelled in life because of the amazing way he has been raised by his parents, supported by his brother and the rest of his relatives and friends. That is the true gift in life isn’t it, having a family that loves and supports you through your journey. I am grateful for many things in life and one of them is the friendship and laughter we shared at Mohawk College.
Thanks, Kyle, love ya so much . . . Now, let’s go to Las Vegas!
Mohawk College E.A.- Carmen
Most young men with Cerebral Palsy would have given up a long time ago but not Kyle. You are a trooper Kyle! As an Educational Assistant, I had the pleasure of working with Kyle at Mohawk College. Kyle had to take drafting and AutoCAD which were two of the most difficult courses I ever attended with students. I knew right away we would get along especially when we had our Tim Horton’s breaks drinking ice caps, coffee and eating doughnuts. Kyle always tried his best and when he was not happy with his work, he would have determined and never gave up! Kyle would nod his head and said to me, “No this is not right, let’s try something else.” He was focused and mature– well most of the time! Haha! Kyle always had great ideas! Remember when he designed a Hockey arena with big comfortable seats and coffee holders just for me– just because he knew that I love my coffee.
Kyle’s smile was captivating and magical! You always made everyone smile in class. You certainly made my day every day in class! Kyle, you are an inspiration to others because you never give up and are always happy! You are like the “Little Engine That Could.” You are strong, handsome and the most determined young man I have ever met. You are an excellent role model for all young people with any disability!
Kyle NEVER stops smiling!