I am just another disabled American. I function in society as a quadriplegic. As technology advances, different disabilities benefit.
I live alone and without knowing how to use technology this would not be possible. I keep track of my own finances with on-line banking, record transactions in my self designed Microsoft Excel program, use the telephone through my laptop, keep in touch with family and friends using e-mail, socialize with my neighbors, shop on-line. All of this plus owning my own transport van with 24 hour care makes it possible to stay out of a nursing home. I utilize the Internet to have a text reader read newspapers and keep in touch with other survivors of stroke.
My dependency on technology is 100%. It all started back in 1993 when I had my stroke. This little corner of the world honored me with a talking device Dynavox. This technology put me on the road to recovery.
My first laptop was a Macintosh and I was anxious to use a United Cereable Palsy Association Technology. This laptop is the perfect solution to the over sized Dynavox because I am able to close the lid and drive my wheelchair under my desk to position myself at my desktop without removing the laptop. When I was building my personal web site my laptop was hardly used and having to use a stick to type made it awkward to operate things on laptops, which made my desktop my main headquarters for writing short stories.
The day came where I worked myself to a one handed typing using just my right arm fingers to press down on my computer keyboard I retired my sticks. This did not immediately cause me to increase my laptop use. In fact I bought a space saver keyboard -- it was half the size of a regular keyboard. This made it easy for me to reach typing keys and I was also able to type quicker.
My desktop crashed in two months and I was forced to use my laptop. It took me a week to realize the laptop is the best thing since pockets on a shirt. I was doing all the things my desktop accomplished and this technology allowed me to communicate while in my wheelchair. Then a very tragic event happened. I was using my laptop outdoors and it was dinner time. My computer was forgotten and left outside all night in the rain.
When it rains, it pours, because trying to get a Macintosh repaired was next to impossible but a PC was no problem. The light started to shine when the news came about getting a new laptop. This time I ordered a PC, since it was a piece of technology everyone and their brother repaired. Two weeks later, before the arrival of my new Compaq Presario laptop, my desktop computer crashed. This turned out to be a nightmare because I could not retrieve all HTML necessary for my website.
I learned the new HTML program Microsoft FrontPage. The site is still under construction so no address is established.
It is two years since the crash, and I have no plans of using anything but my laptop. My Compaq laptop started giving me problems and a new laptop showed up. Because wireless technology was available on my new laptop, I took advantage of this convince.
I am currently Webmaster Assistant for The Stroke Network.