We had a visit up to Hopkins for the communications technology clinic. Kelly, the OT, and Angela, the speech pathologist who is an expert in comms devices. I want to share a little bit with you.
As you may know, speaking is hard for me right now. I believe in ALS circles it’s called bulbar affect ALS, but I could be wrong. Either way, talking and eating are now adventures! And I can’t help but feel that Mel is thinking this every time I start to talk…
But it’s ok. because I can type for a little while longer!
So at the clinic, we went over some of the apps I could use on iPads (FATHER’S DAY!!) and phones that would allow me to type in words and have it speak for me, and also phrases and whatnot. Think, Lost Voice Guy…
Proloquo 4 Text. I’ll be buying that for a cool $119…. ouch.
But EVEN Cooler! When the time comes when I can’t type anymore, and can’t talk, someone out there has invented a comms device that Star Trek would envy. Eye gaze technology. It watches your eyeballs and tracks what they hover on the screen. Whaaaaaaaatt????? And why are we still using mice??? Seriously, I was able to calibrate to my eyes and then this thing just follows them. It’s a computer, a comms device, I can read books, watch movies, listen to podcasts (The Catholic Cafe, anyone?) When you can’t do it anymore, they have created a lifeline. People who make things like this believe that even disabled people have value.
I was floored. I hope to not need this tech anytime soon, but am very grateful it is there for us to use!
After the clinic, Mel and I drove back to Centreville and Sweetwater Tavern, where they have a microbrewery, and a delicious Belgian Dubbel! Except… well the server was like Marlin in the first video, and then the glass was too heavy and didn’t have a lid like The Perfect Cup, so Mel and I got a smaller cup and I had 5 beers for the price of 1!!! (Not really, it just poured the pint into the smaller cup 5 times.)
It was a very good day, with family watching the children and patching tires…
Be on the lookout for the wheelchair rant. You are warned.