Y. PROBLEM SOLVING USING GADGETS (picking things up, typing and writing) and TECHNOLOGY
Whether its trouble typing, handling your keys, or carrying stuff, the answer is always finding the right gadget, one that works for you. In some cases the gadget required will be a bit of digital tech, so even if you are not much of a nerd, try to follow what’s out there a bit because lots of the new digital stuff is really great for quads.
In many cases when I feel I can’t do something I have found that all I need is a tool or gadget. The following few small examples may help to illustrate what I mean:
- If I can’t reach something I get a stick, and use the stick to pull or push the thing into a location where I can reach it
- if I can’t pick something up because my fingers don’t work, I get a bag with handles, roll the thing into the bag, and then pick the bag up
- I use a pen, any old pen, threaded through my fingers so I can type one fingered
- I put my keys on a mid size key ring so I can put my finger through the keyring and turn the key in the lock via the key ring
- When I got frustrated by the unattractiveness of ‘wheelchair bags’ and the impracticality of ‘business bags’ I bought a good quality leather business looking back pack but got the straps modified so it sits neatly on the back of my chair.
In most cases an everyday object can serve as the required tool. If the task is something I do all the time I buy, modify or get manufactured a gadget that does the job. In many cases these things are already out there in shops, such as kitchen shops or hardware stores. I have only rarely used special disability products. In some cases that is the best option, while in others designing something and getting it made is best option.
The advantages of this approach are that none of it looks ‘disability’, it’s available and it works.
When faced with what seems like an impossible task, it’s about calmly thinking through why you can’t do the task you want. To do this I break it down into steps and identify which step in the task is one I can’t do. I then think of a similar task to the impossible step that I can do, and then think of a tool that transforms the impossible step into a possible one. Then its a matter of completing all the steps until the task is done. For example, I cannot pick up small heavy smooth objects from the floor. However, I can pick up heavy things that have handles. I can also push heavy things around on the floor. So if I push a heavy thing into a container with a handle I can then pick it up.
Chief amongst my gadgets is my iPhone When mobile phones were just phones they were great for quads, in case of emergencies etc. Now that they have the whole internet, and apps that tell you about transport options, and the accessibility or otherwise of everything in your vicinity, they are tremendous.
I take my iPhone and IPad everywhere and I have them all synched to my IMac and loaded with various transport and map apps along with all my diaries and contacts etc.
Its all great for quads compared to paper based stuff because its so much easier to handle. The voice recognition stuff they come with now is also quite good so they are getting even better for quads.
me typing and writing
Here’s what the experts say
CLICK HERE for the C6 part of the spinalistips site which has lots of these sorts of tips
CLICK HERE for a long list of writing aids many of which look like they would work for quads
Rule number 25 – To get the job done you need the right tool