Old 12-19-2011, 10:21 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default Hands-free AAC on the go?

So my speech is shot.

I'm looking at a way to communicate when I'm out in public.

I'm still walking and I am pretty handy with my feet.

I need a portable device that I can operate with my feet.

I was thinking of strapping a 5" or 7" tablet to my left leg and typing with my right foot - but this will be awkward and the display will be difficult to read.

Or maybe strapping an ipad to a skateboard and pullig it behind me?

I plan to hook up the device to speakers on my belt.
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:28 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hands-free AAC on the go?

Forget about strapping an ipad to a skateboard for it will surely lead to thievery. An ipad on a string is tempting enough, but you've added a get-away car. So back to this typing by foot - shoes on, or shoes off?
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:36 AM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hands-free AAC on the go?

My husband just got his dynavox vmax with eyemax yesterday. It has a carry strap and isn't too heavy. You could carry this with you. You wouldn't need the eyemax part now if you can still use your hands well enough to touch the screen to type. If you use the eyemax attached, it is heavier and wouldn't be portable without attaching it to some type of stand. He got the floor stand and the stand that attaches to the power chair. My husband has frustrations using it because he changes his head position and then it won't pick up his eyes. With more practice I feel he will really like it! Very interesting little device!
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:39 AM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hands-free AAC on the go?

Also, I think alsa loan closets have some supply of these and would loan it to you so you could see if it is a good fit for you. Have you met with a speech therapist to discuss your options?
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:43 AM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hands-free AAC on the go?

Mouthstick w/ iPhone? There are a couple w/ good reviews, including on Amazon.The phone could be attached to your belt, wrist, knee or ankle, depending on what kind of help you'd have on your stops. Maybe perch one leg on a chair...not glamorous, but --
Is your 'hood safe enough to carry a tablet around on your leg? I thought the phone might be less heavy/conspicuous. You could save certain sound snippets as menu items, for easier access to phrases that you use (the most important possibly being "I cannot speak, so please bear with me.")
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:31 AM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hands-free AAC on the go?

Thanks for the ideas.

I was half joking about dragging around my ipad and theft would not be an issue in the places I would be going.

I can't use my hands at all and anything requiring any kind of set up or stand would not be practical.

I've tried using a mouthstick with my ipad a while ago. I see know that they have mouth sticks designed for touch screens. I had to adapt my own using copper wire and aluminum foil. I could operate the ipad using the mouth stick - although it was a bit awkward. My neck and jaw muscles are weakened so they started to ache after a bit. I could not manage to push the home button with the stick. The biggest problem was the drool factor- it was like Niagara Falls flowing down my chin and neck. Whenever I hold my head down with my mouth open I drool uncontrollably. So that didn't work for me. Plus it was an effort pinpointing letters to type on my ipad at a distance of 18 inches so I can't imagine using a mouth stick with an iphone.

I am thinking low tech. When I am in the kitchen I can communicate by rearranging my daughter's magnetic letters on the fridge with my foot. I was thinking about dragging around a board with magnetic letters.

Then I remembered those magic pads I used when I was a kid. And then I came across something called a boogie board. It is an LCD writing tablet and it's only $40. It is very light and portable and I should be able to scribble letters on it using my feet I'll give it a try.

Actually the best solution would be to live on a beach. We were on a beach vacation recently and I had a great time writing words in the sand.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:05 AM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hands-free AAC on the go?

I admire your positive attitude and outside-the-box thinking! We're beach people, and I love your image of toe-writing in the sand. I'll be sure to share it with my husband.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:59 AM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hands-free AAC on the go?

Mommy of 3, you said your husband has a Dynavox if so and he can still move his head he needs what I have, it works like this you have these dots you put one on your forehead, I wear glasses so I put the dot on my glasses they last forever there also have one on my mask of my bipap machine. Using these dots you can control your mouse better you can set the speed also you can set it so it will make a click sound on what you want selected. Also Dynavox techs will set it up were he can operate his TV using the computer.
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