At the 2004 Talking With Technology Camp in Colorado, I met Margaret Moll. She had been controlling her AAC system using a scanning selection technique operated by a switch that she operated with her head. Her mother suggested that she might have better control using her foot.
Margaret used a wheelchair that had footrests. She seemed to have good ability to extend her ankle. I loosened the clamp on the horizontal tube under the footrest so that it could be rotated. Stops to limit the travel and a switch were added.
Performance was clearly superior to the head switch. Margaret mother reported the significant improvement in her productivity.
As an engineer, I wanted to quantify the performance improvement. This prompted a connection between AAC Institute and Millersville University, where computer science students developed the Single Switch Performance Test. The software was sent to Margaret's mother, who organized a comparison of the original head switch and the footrest switch. The performance was about twice as fast.
For additional information contact:
Barry Romich, P.E.
Return to Assistive Technology
Return to Barry Romich
Return to Romich Foundation