Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Getting camera-ready: how AT helped a CPD intern work independently

Clay attaches an iPad to modular hose, fixed to Bryson's wheelchair
Clay and Bryson try out an early design
When Bryson Carpenter started work as an intern with the Center for Persons with Disabilities, he had some barriers to overcome. He would be shooting video and photos for the CPD, but it was hard to do that independently at first.

Bryson, a freshman at Utah State University, is on the CPD’s media team.

“The goal was to pretty much have something that I could do entirely on my own,” he said. To make it happen, he needed to operate an iPad. But Bryson needed something to hold the iPad up where he could see it. He also needed a way to operate it without using the touch screen.

So he talked to Clay Christensen at the Utah Assistive Technology Program in Logan. UATP is part of the CPD at Utah State University, and its mission is to help people find assistive technology that improves their independence.

AbleNet Blue2 switch. It's big.
Clay and Bryson used the accessible features already built into the iPad to help Bryson operate it. They added a big-button Bluetooth switch (the AbleNet Blue2). When Bryson touches the switch, it’s the same as tapping on the touch screen.  

Then, they used modular hose to hold the iPad up where Bryson could see it. The modular hose works well in a lot of applications, but this one wasn’t a great fit. “Whenever I would drive it would just slowly fall over,” he said. “I was afraid it would fall off.”

So Bryson and Clay got together again, and they settled on a fixed bar with an attached Velcro surface to hold the iPad up. Clay bolted the arm to the tray already fixed to Bryson’s wheelchair.

“It’s always a bit of trial and error,” Clay said. But the end, customized result worked for Bryson, who uses the arm, iPad and switch it as he shoots photos and videos for the CPD.

The CPD also adapted Bryson’s workspace to make sure his computer screen was the right height. To operate the computer, he uses a tiny mouse called a Sanwa supply ring mouse. A regular-sized mouse won’t work for him, but Bryson said this tiny one works fine—and with it he can access and respond to emails.

“It’s good,” he said. “I like it.”

If you live in Utah and would like to find out more about assistive technology that could work for you, visit the UATP website or call 800-524-5152.

No comments:

Post a Comment