Assistive Technology Gives Me Greater Independence

Assistive technology has had a tremendous impact on my daily life and how I function. I’m using it right now to write this blog post! Here are a few ways that assistive technology helps me as a student, a therapist and allows me to live a more independent life.

Assistive Technology in My Work and the Classroom

Marianne uses assistive technology to work and learn.

First, I use an onscreen keyboard and a wireless mouse to type on my laptop, as I am unable to use the traditional keyboard and trackpad. Since I have largely lost my ability to write by hand, I rely heavily on this strategy to write and communicate. I am a full-time doctoral student in psychology and have been a student for a long time. My laptop is my lifeline. I can read textbooks, participate in remote learning classes, type papers, and communicate with professors and peers all using the same device and independently!

Assistive technology also helps me in my work as a therapist. I can write notes and see clients via telehealth, all using my computer. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, my job has become much more remote, so I’m grateful that I can work independently through technology.

Communicating Through Voice Commands

I use Apple products, so I can use my phone through my computer, which gives me independence that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I don’t have the mobility to use my cell phone properly, so this comes in handy. The voice features on the iPhone allow me to make calls and text people without relying on others to help.

In terms of safety, voice commands on my iPhone and on Alexa allow me to communicate when I’m home alone. In the event of an emergency, I can reach out to get my needs met, all through my voice. This gives me the chance to stay home to watch Netflix in peace, and gives my family the peace of mind knowing that I can reach out to them in an emergency!

It’s very clear that assistive technology is an integral part of my daily life, and crucial for my safety in situations where I am alone without assistance. It allows me to work, learn, and live independently!

About Marianne Middlebrook: Born with spinal muscular atrophy, Marianne uses a Quantum power wheelchair for mobility and independence. She works as a therapist and enjoys coffee, reading and watching reality television. Click here to learn more about Marianne.

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