September 09, 2014

Manchin Congratulates Shinnston Native on Being Honored as a 'Champion of Change' at the White House

Senator Manchin thanks Brittany Valdez for her commitment to helping West Virginians through her use of the TapToTalk smartphone application

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin congratulated Brittany Valdez, a Shinnston native, on being honored at the White House as a national “Champion of Change.” Brittany has been recognized for her development of the TapToTalk smartphone application to help emergency responders communicate with individuals during disasters and emergency situations. 

A graduate student in Educational Psychology at West Virginia University, Brittany is one of ten individuals from around the country being honored for her extraordinary work to build safer communities and better prepare individuals and communities for emergencies.  She works with Partnerships in Assistive Technologies (PATHs, Inc.) and the West Virginia Assistive Technology System, both of which are focused on helping individuals in need access assistive technology devices and services.

“I am proud of Brittany for being chosen to represent West Virginia at the White House today as one of ten nationwide 2014 Champions of Change,” Senator Manchin said. “Her development of the TaptoTalk smartphone application is an incredible communication tool for first responders in emergency situations, and I thank Brittany for her dedication to protecting the lives of all West Virginians. Her focus on innovation and safety encourages a culture of technological advancement that I am excited to see West Virginia continue to develop and embrace.”

The Champions of Change program was created to recognize individuals performing extraordinary work to empower and inspire members of their communities.  To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program, please visit