[BCAB] Urgent Help Required - Communication Aid

Adrian Picton adrian.picton at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Aug 17 12:18:22 BST 2016


Hi Andrew,

Thanks for getting back to me. Yes it seems like most devices on the market
for dealing with this type of situation have a very visual interface.
However I have contacted Ability Net who have suggested a company called
Smartbox who may have a solution. I'll let the list know if I have any luck
with this.

Intrestingly enough the suggestion you made about using something to read
out the letters of alphabet and Sarah having something which makes a noise
is what I have come up with myself so far. I use her Braille Sense to read
out the letters and Sarah has a squeaky toy. I can then write on my pac Mate
anything we spell out. However, it is getting more difficult as Sarah's left
hand is now getting weaker as well.

Kind regards,

Adrian.

-----Original Message-----
From: Bcab [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of Andrew
Hodgson
Sent: 15 August 2016 10:46
To: BCAB Discussion List <bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>
Subject: Re: [BCAB] Urgent Help Required - Communication Aid

Hi Adrian,

Really sorry to hear this, and unfortunately I don't have a solution.

When at university I knew someone who was fully sighted who had a motorbike
accident and was unable to move from the neck down, and used an eye-gaze
device to communicate.  I often wondered how someone who was blind would be
able to communicate in a similar situation.

The only thing I can think of at this stage is something that would read out
the letters of the alphabet, and then when it is the letter she wants she
can make a noise or squeeze your hand etc to let you know that is the letter
she wants.  Very slow and probably unworkable in the long-term.

Andrew.
________________________________________
From: Bcab [bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] on behalf of Adrian Picton via
Bcab [bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk]
Sent: 15 August 2016 10:36
To: BCAB Discussion List
Cc: Adrian Picton
Subject: [BCAB] Urgent Help Required - Communication Aid

Dear all,

Please note this message carries a mascara/tissue warning so if you are at
work or somewhere where you can't deal with something sad then maybe come
back to this message later, but do come back to it if you can to see if you
can help. This message goes beyond just a frustrating computer problem.

Unfortunately my darling wife Sarah has a brain tumour and has only been
given a matter of weeks to live. She lost the use of her right arm and hand
several weeks ago and now her left arm and hand is going as well. Her speech
has also been deteriorating and she is now virtually unable to say anything
understandable. She can nod or shake her head to sighted people and can
squeeze my hand once for Yes and twice for No. You can imagine how
frustrating this is for someone who is fully mentally alert and for me as
their partner when Sarah is unable to communicate with me.

Initially I tried the Braille Sense in one-handed mode, but she no longer
has sufficient use in her left hand to use it. I also tried creating a
document with the letters of the alphabet on each line so she could use the
scroll keys on the Braille Sense to find a letter to spell out a word for me
but she can't even keep her fingers on the buttons. I also tried Braille
Lexicon cards but she is unable to pick them up to place them to spell out a
word or to see the large print letters from far enough away to point to
them.

What I want to know is does a device exist like perhaps what Steven Horking
uses where you can select letters or phrases to be read out in synthetic
speech, but where the interface controlled by a joystick or pointing device
also speaks to provide access for a visually impaired person. If so where
could we get access to such a thing?

Alternatively does anyone know of an app, piece of PC software or computer
or smartphone attachment which would do the job? Most things on the market
are by their very nature visual.

If any of you can help or point me in the direction of someone who can I
would be so grateful as it would help Sarah and I to make the most of our
precious moments together.
Many thanks in anticipation,

Adrian.

Sent from my iPhone

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