The world of technology has made communication easier and more efficient than ever. We’re now able to communicate face-to-face with other people on the other side of the planet. We can hold lengthy conversations without saying a word through social media and other online channels like email.
Perhaps even more importantly, technology (especially digital technology) has helped to give a voice to the voiceless…. Quite literally. Many have either never had or have lost the ability to speak who are empowered by advances in assistive technology.
For those with Aphasia, Rett Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Motor Neurone Disease, and similar afflictions, digital technologies can facilitate clear communication where talking, and even breathing can be challenging.
At least in theory.
The frustrations of the touch screen age for wheelchair users
We live in an age where, able-bodied and disabled alike, we communicate increasingly through the use of digital devices.
Whether it’s through Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices or more quotidian tablets like iPads, digital technology has become an increasingly necessary means by which people with a range of debilitating conditions can communicate freely and effectively.
The trouble, of course, is that these can be incredibly difficult to use while in a wheelchair. Even those able-bodied enough to balance a tablet on their lap will usually find that there’s a serious risk of dropping and damaging the tablet while in transit. Let’s not forget that such devices are expensive, and in the case of AAC devices represent an investment of hundreds of hours of detailed programming, training and learning on the part of users, carers and providers. These devices mean a lot to the user and the prospect of dropping, losing or damaging them can be extremely upsetting.
That’s why mounting these devices is extremely important.
The importance of the right mount
Whether you want to help ensure that someone you care for always has access to their AAC or if you wish to be able to use an iPad in your wheelchair without worrying about losing it, the right mount is an important consideration.
It needs to be strong and sturdy enough to eliminate the risk of dropping yet flexible enough to be moved to the side when not in use (e.g., when the user needs to get in and out of the wheelchair).
Ergonomics are another significant consideration. Whether the device is accessed via direct touch screen control, switch scanning or head/eye tracking, the correct positioning is crucial to making the system work properly and facilitate quick and effective communication without fatigue or causing pain to the user.
Correct mounting with options to adjust to a very detailed level are not only an ergonomic requirement, but they also play a huge part in increasing users’ quality of life. People with disabilities often face a great deal more daily complications than their able-bodied counterparts, and the right mounts can provide ease of use while also making devices look less obtrusive and stigmatizing.
Fortunately, there are now a variety of mounts on the market specifically made to hold all kinds of tablets from AACs to Apple, Android and Windows tablets.
Mounting solutions for users with special needs, and the people who care for them
If you are in a wheelchair or care for someone who spends most of their time in one, it’s essential to be able to find quality solutions based around the needs of users of wheelchairs. Take a moment to browse our selection, and you’ll see that we have a wide array of quality items in stock to help ensure that our customers and their carers, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, etc. find the perfect solution for their unique needs.
Of course, we are also always on hand to answer any questions you might have about which mounts are best suited to different devices and different user needs, disability types, etc.
With the right mount, using a tablet is easy, intuitive and more stress-free!