Case Studies in Assistive Technology and How It Helps – Part 2: David Finds a Voice

Assistive technology is a term that covers any tool that helps a person with a disability perform a task on his or her own.  The variety of tools is as great as the types of disability and the number of tasks that need to be done.  The Assistive Technlogy Center at Advancing Opportunities has provided individuals with custom guidance on selecting and using diverse devices and software to perform everyday tasks and recreational activities and to communicate with a greater degree of independence they thought possible.

David Finds a Voice
David, a high school student, loves to play chess and watch golf.  These activities pose a challenge, as he has cerebral palsy. He uses a wheelchair to get around and must use special devices to communicate, as he is unable to speak.  David used to point to letters printed on sheets of paper to form words; someone needed to be behind him to see what he was tapping.  The process was extremely tedious, and sometimes communication would be interrupted when David was not sure of the spelling of a word.  He now has a digital augmentative communication device with a touch screen made up of symbols representing words, which he accesses with a special stylus.  He also uses his device as a remote control for his digital video recorder, so he can watch the golf games he avidly loves.  “I feel independent and proud of myself.”

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