Environmental control units
An Environmental Control is a piece of equipment that enables a person with a physical disability to independently control items in their environment. For a person with a spinal cord injury this can mean having the ability to change the channel on the television, turn on and off a light, answer the telephone, switch on a radio, turn on an air conditioner or open and close a door.
Environmental control units (ECU's) can be operated via switches, computers (including iPads) or voice activation.
An OT can provide guidance and advice in relation to selecting an appropriate environmental control, this will normally involve trials of different products.
If you are eligible for the Statewide Equipment Program (SWEP) then an Occupational therapist can lodge an application on your behalf up to the amount of $3000. You can discuss this with an Occupational Therapist at your local community health service or spinal service.
If you have compensation through TAC or Workcover then an Occupational Therapist contracted by your insurance company will need to go through an assessment process to recommend an appropriate ECU for you.
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.
Technical Solutions Australia based in Melbourne have been designing, manufacturing, importing and installing environmental control devices for people with disabilities for over 20 years. The company works closely with individuals to design a system that meets their needs.
LifeStyle Technologies and Design are a local company that is embracing the newest technologies allowing control over environment through devices such as iPad and iPhone. Best utilised through the assistance of Occupational Therapist or an Assistive Technologies consultant.
For further information
SCI Pilot is a Canadian website that focuses on the user's experience of assistive technology. It contains a heap of ideas and stories from the perspective of the person with SCI.
Ability Technology is a Sydney based organisation and supplier of assistive technology.
Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association is a national body committed to advancing knowledge and practice around assistive technology and increasing benefits to the user.
Novitatech is a South Australian based organisation and supplier of assistive technology.
Spectronics is a New Zealand organisation and supplier of assistive technology.