Computers and phones
Computer and phone technology available in Australia can be of great assistance to people with a spinal cord injury. In fact, today's computer technology can allow someone to work, shop, communicate with family and friends, take online classes, play video games, or just surf the Web with relative ease.
There are also plenty of options to use a computer hands free, including technology that allows you to operate your computer and software with head motions, puffs of air, blinking or voice commands.
Technology is developing very quickly. Mobile technology with smart phones and tablet computing such as the iPad, have a large number of applications readily available to suit a wide range of needs. There are many ways to interact with these devices including touch technology, voice control, and stylus.
Tablet devices and smart phones can be attached to wheelchairs and computers can be built into a wheelchair.
Some mobile phones and landline phones can be set up to be operated via a computer. Likewise phones can be operated via Bluetooth technology which can make them hands free. There is also VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) which enables you to use your computer as a phone and can be linked to a phone number so that people can call you.
Your OT can discuss with you various ways to access computers and phones as well as to refer you to more specialised services should this be necessary.
ComTEC is an information and advisory service with expertise in assistive technology for communication, computer access and environmental control. The ComTEC team consists of speech pathologists, occupational therapists and I.T. support and is based at the Independent Living Centre in Brooklyn.
One Step Education Network is a consultancy business focussing on all areas of assistive technologies. They can develop an overall technology strategy and fully implement it including training and customisation to suit. They have a strong technology and educational background with specialist skills in Dragon Naturally Speaking Voice Recognition. They also can assist with the use of technology in environmental control.
Technical Solutions are a supplier of off the shelf and custom made assistive technology. They are experts in environmental control, and in developing adaptations for electrical devices and home utilities to make them easier to use.
Ability Technology is a Sydney based not for profit organisation specialising in computer and home control technology for people with disabilities. Their website is regularly updated with current information about emerging research and technology.
Ability Hub is a North American based site about everything to do with assistive technology. It was developed by Dan Gilman, who has a C4/5 level SCI.