Case Studies in Assistive Technology and How It Helps – Part 5: Dan Earns a Living and Volunteers

   Dan is a very busy man.  Although he has a neuromuscular disorder known as Freidreich’s ataxia, he has his own Avon business.  Dan is also an active community volunteer with the Personal Assistance Service Program for the State of New Jersey, having served as its chairperson since 1997.   However, writing correspondence and doing spreadsheets are very tedious.  Dan’s IntelliKeys keyboard has large keys; with a guard with cutouts for each key to help guide his fingers to the correct key, Dan can write e-mails with greater speed and accuracy.  Dan also uses Dragon, speech-recognition software that transcribes his speech.  Beforehand, Dan would have to dictate his correspondence to another person to key in.  With these tools, Dan no longer needs to rely on others.  “Now, I can do it on my own,” says Dan.

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