Tag Archives: New Technology

My Assistive Technology Dream Come True

Whenever I see back to school commercials that talk about laptops, tablets and cell phones, I feel really old. When I was going back to school, only adults had personal computers and only the really important ones had laptops; not a single one of my friends had a cell phone. And now, just 13 years after I graduated high school, most students have one or more of these devices on hand. As a person with a disability, I’m glad I was born at a time when technology was on the rise; I have seen this technology grow and change the lives of people with disabilities. Read here how to spend time effectively.

Thanks to technology, people without the ability to speak can talk, many of the people who want to hear are now able to, and those who cannot walk have more and more options for mobility. Everyday new technology is created that can improve a life, and you have to admit that is pretty cool. I have benefited from many of the new technologies out there, they have allowed me to be more independent and more productive. However, there is a part of me that still waits, hoping that someday technology will come up with something that will allow me to walk hands free.

I have Cerebral Palsy, and like everyone with C.P., my case is unique to me. I am able walk with assistive devices such as a walker or crutches; I can also walk around my house by holding onto the furniture or walls, and I have decent balance. However, despite multiple surgeries, countless hours of physical therapy, and multiple bribes from my parents, I cannot take more than one or two steps unassisted.

This is something that I have come to accept. However, I do wish that there was something out there that would allow me to walk hands free. Having my hands free for reaching items is one benefit I get from using a chair; but when I want, or need, to walk somewhere, my hands are tied up doing other things. They have plenty of handsfree walkers meant for children to help train their muscles for walking and balance; but these walkers are typically bulky and a have ton of straps for support As an adult who just needs that tiny bit of extra support, there seemed to be nothing that could help my cause. At least until I saw this walker.

I can’t help but be a little excited. It does not seem like a perfect solution, and it still seems quite new given the limited information on the site; but the fact that it even exists gives me some hope. Hope that technology is catching up to my needs. Hope that someday, in the nearish future, I might be able to walk down the street carrying a child, holding hands with my husband, pull multiple items out of the fridge in one trip, or grab gallon of milk from the store without needing to put it in a cart first.

Is there anything on your assistive technology wish list?

Tending to Grandma!

My granddaughter Amelia, (pictured here with her dad, my son) is a very recent Summa Cum Laude graduate of NC State and I am extremely proud of her.   She knows her Grandma well and even lived with me for a year when she was 11.  She acknowledges that I am a thrifty old geezer and probably the only person known to her that has never owned a dishwasher.

Let me set the record straight however.  I embrace this new world of technology and love emailing, blogging, and searching the web.  It’s just that, like so many of us at my age, I do not understand the complexities of it all.

I am also thrifty, as I mentioned.  I was born in 1933 and I can remember those years of deprivation where nothing went to waste.  This has never left me and I am constantly appalled at the cost of all these electronic gadgets on the market today.

And this brings me back to Amelia.  She is determined to bring me into the 21stCentury and I think it’s working.  She presented me with a one cup Kuerig coffee maker last Christmas and this year for my 80th birthday she and her fiancé completely floored me with their gift …a Kindle Fire.

She knows how much I love to read and thought it would be perfect for me. I was thrilled, of course, but in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but think how expensive it was going to be to buy all those books on the Kindle. I am a voracious reader but my books come from the library or I buy them for next to nothing at yard sales or Used Book stores.

Imagine my delight when I found out that you can actually use the Kindle as a library card. In my state it’s called “The NC Digital Library” and now I can order books on line and have two weeks to read them … just as I would the old fashioned way!  I also took a tutorial (while learning how to set up the digital library) and am slowly getting to know my way around the “Kindle world”… so once again our two generations have joined forces and I can’t thank Amelia enough.

Who could ask for a sweeter granddaughter ???

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