Pedaling for Possibilities (P4P) is IPAT’s grant program that helps individuals all across the state of North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota purchase the assistive technology (AT) devices and services they need for independence at school, work, or home. Often P4P grant recipients meet with an IPAT AT Consultant to discuss and try out different types of devices to assure the best AT match is made. I recently worked with P4P grant recipient Jason, and here’s what happened!
Upon meeting P4P grant recipient Jason for the first time, I quickly learned three things: 1. Jason can talk with anyone, and has the type of personality that makes people feel welcomed and at ease; 2. Jason has worked as a salesman in the past and isn’t afraid to step out of his comfort zone for any of life’s challenges, and; 3. Jason loves technology, and is willing to try and learn new things. These are all great personality traits for anyone, but they are especially helpful traits for success while learning new technology, like many P4P grant recipients typically do.
A little more about Jason.
Jason has experienced three strokes, has a history of Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, lower extremity paralysis, and chronic pain which limits the time he can spend using his power-chair. He spends a large portion of his day at home positioned comfortably in a hospital bed located in his living room either spending time with his family, using his cell phone, or watching television.
Jason works with Beth Dewald, Independent Living Advocate of Freedom Resources, to plan and work towards his goals for independence. After spending some time working together, Beth and Jason quickly realized AT, specifically for computer access, would play a large role in working towards Jason’s goals. Computer access would allow Jason to take greater control of his independence by helping him research and stay up to date on information about Type 2 Diabetes, stay in tune with current events, send and receive emails, pay bills, shop online, and more. However, the only road block between Jason and computer access was funding, and that’s where P4P came into play; it help’s individuals bridge the funding gap between AT and independence.
The AT solution!
After submitting a P4P application for computer access, Jason was approved for a grant. (This is where I step in!) As an IPAT AT Consultant, I was asked to travel to Jason’s home to determine what equipment would help him access the computer. After trying out several mouse, keyboard, and computer software options, an AT solution became clear!
First, we hooked Jason’s laptop up to his television monitor using an HDMI cable. This provides a larger screen to work off from and reduces eye strain and overall fatigue.
Jason has limited use of his right hand and arm. He found the handheld mini-trackball mouse the most comfortable and efficient way to control his mouse cursor!
Jason has limited use of his left and right arms and hands, so we needed to find an alternative keyboard/text input solution. Jason is using Click-N-Type, a virtual onscreen keyboard with word prediction and –
Dragon Naturally Speaking with a table microphone (mounted on his bed using Loc-Line) as a keyboard alternative. Jason prefers the table mic because it is too difficult for him to manipulate any microphone adaptation he would have to take on and off his head or neck.
Jason is now set-up and ready to use his computer independently and with ease! Without assistive technology solutions, this would not be possible!
For more information about AT for computer access or P4P feel free to contact IPAT!