Gaylon Ponder to speak at Colony Educational Complex; back-to-school kickoff to follow


Photo: Children enjoying the summer program this year at the Colony Educational Complex.

COLONY – According to Colony Town Clerk Patricia Ponder, Gaylon Ponder, owner of Words+, has agreed to make a presentation on Friday, Aug. 5 at 3 p.m. in the town’s Educational Complex.          

Gaylon Ponder, a veteran of the United States Air Force, served from July 1966 to July 6, 1970 and is a 1975 graduate of Auburn University with an electrical engineering degree.               

Words+, a company founded by a man named Walt Waltosz, produced the software that famed theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking uses to communicate, despite being afflicted with crippling Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Waltosz's motivation was not to help Hawking, but to give a voice to his mother-in-law, who was similarly stricken by Lou Gehrig's disease in the 1980s. (See

Waltosz’s company was eventually acquired by Gaylon Ponder, who operates it from his office in Cold Springs, Alabama.

The Town of Colony’s back-to-school kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Aug. 5 at the Educational Complex. The kickoff will be an event where the distribution of basic school supplies will take place. The event will also serve as the wrap up to the summer program for the town.

“The presentation will provide a hands-on introduction to technology that people who can’t talk use to communicate, participate in school, attend college and work,” said Gaylon Ponder. “(Those in attendance) will learn new career possibilities, be introduced to work pragmatics and better understand the challenges and opportunities faced by people who are severely physically challenged.”

The Educational Complex is located at 151 Byars Road, Hanceville, AL 35077.


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