In 2015 I had a fall from a horse that left me paralysed from the shoulders down.  Whilst I was a patient in Stoke Mandeville Spinal Injury Centre, Andrew, Aspire’s Assistive Technology Manager, provided me with essential tools that I still use very effectively now.

With Smart Nav I can move the cursor around the screen by moving my head; a dot on my glasses is tracked by an infrared camera. It gives me really good control over the cursor and it works well with Dragon voice recognition software. Andrew helped me to operate it initially; at times it felt like learning to type again, and I’m still learning new commands now.  I have learnt it can be important to check how accurately Dragon has taken down your words. There was a period when I began to receive rather strange emails back from close friends. On re-reading emails that I had sent out, where I had dictated "XXX", Dragon had written "expect sex"!

With these tools, I am able to read and write emails and do everything I need to on my computer.  It’s meant I can continue my work as a Non-Executive Director Search Consultant. I run my own business, mostly working from home, but with a staff of seven.

George using his computer with assistive technology

Assistive Technology has been a life-saver; it’s meant I can get back to work at a time when I suspect otherwise things would have been very difficult. It also allows me to read books independently and do everything else we all use computers for. The only limitation I have is how long I can sit in front of a screen. 

Assistive Technology has given me peace of mind and allowed me to continue to live my life as normally as possible

-George

Assistive technology

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