Lots of people wonder how I use my computer so quickly. They see my hands that don’t exactly work (I am a quadriplegic after all) and wonder how I can get so much accomplished/respond to emails so quickly/write these blog posts with just a little plastic stick in my hand. The simple answer, I hardly use that plastic stick at all. Instead, I speak to my computer, and that combined with a few sporadic pecks with the pointer in my left hand, and some smart use of the trackball in my right hand allows me to keep right up with all you 10 fingered users.
How about a few pictures of my setup and then I’ll give you a better idea how I do it.
Looks pretty normal, eh… Nothing more than a couple of 24” Dell Ultrasharp monitors, multimedia keyboard, Kensington Expert trackball, and Buddy Gooseneck microphone.
And that is it, all I need for adaptive equipment to use the computer incredibly well, to the tune of being able to talk… I mean type… over 80 words per minute with almost absolute accuracy, navigate webpages, write HTML/PHP/Java/etc., play video games, and do pretty much anything else I’d like with the computer.
Hi Mike, found your website through Care Cure. My son is a C5 quad what voice recognition software do you use? By the way, I seen your from Presque Isle, I was stationed in Limestone, when Loring AFB was there my oldest son was born there. I remember you guys had the only places to shop a Jamesway, a Service Merchandise and a Burger King.
Hey Kevin! Another past Northern Mainer… Sounds like that was way before my time! For the voice recognition there is only one choice, Dragon NaturallySpeaking. By far has the best recognition accuracy, and does a pretty good job tying in with a whole bunch of other programs so that you can more or less use the computer hands free.
I wrote my thoughts about it a few weeks ago at:
And then wrote a review about an awesome new voice recognition microphone I’m now using earlier this week at:
Thanks Mike, my son is going to back to school for computer science, how do you think the software would work for programming? Is there a technical mode?
Hi there. , My ex-husband my daughter’s father Is a quadriplegic , His accident happened about three years ago, And I’m wondering how much a computer would cost for him
Should be doable to build a nice voice recognition computer and the $800-1000 range.
I am happy for you and I admire the fact that you have and continue to be able to function better than myself despite your physical limitations in the tech world. God bless and strengthen you.
I have a friend who has a 10 years old quadriplegic son and I was hoping you can tell me where I can find tech devices and support for him. Your help will be greatly appreciated.
Please can you also inbox me your suggestions.
My sister had a stroke cannot speak and is a quadriplegic.Is there any technology out there that would help her communicate?
I’ve GOTTEN THE MICROPHONE AND DRAGON DICTATE VOICE ACTIVATED SOFTWARE BUT CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHAT ELSE I NEED 2 GET IT2 WORK;ANY SUGGESTIONS WOULD B APPRECIATED GREATLY !
I have a friend who is quadriplegic, with no use of his limbs at all. He uses a mouthstick-operated Magic Wand keyboard which is very old and has stopped functioning. I don’t think speech recognition software is suitable for him, and I expect that eye- and head-tracking devices will be much slower than he is accustomed to. Can you suggest a keyboard replacement (MAC-compatible and preferably wireless) which supports mouse control?
I am looking for my nephew who is a quad. He wants to be able to talk into a machine that will type it out for him. He is also little slow and it needs to something that he could do himself. He has his own computer but can not really use it. So any help you can give is greatly appreciated.
Thank you Janice Petersen
Can you please let me know where I can buy those rubber tipped typing aid and cuffs. Thanks.
Hi, my 25 year old nephew is a quadriplegic and he’ll be coming home soon and I want to have some communication set up for him so he can email and text, etc.
It looks like Dragon is chosen over Tecla device more often by quadriplegic’s? Do you think Dragon is best for voice recognition and email,etc. over Tecla?
I have zero knowledge of any technology, but I’m learning.
Thank you for your posts and being so positive .
I believe so many more quadriplegic’s would get farther in their life if they would take a positive outlook. Then again I’m not in their shoes and it’s easy for me to say.
I can’t help but push my nephew to keep moving forward rather then just give up.
It’s either live everyday sad or wake up and change what you can I told him. I’m there for him and I’ll do as much as I can.
When I read articles and blogs of positive quadriplegic’s. I always tell my nephew about them and it helps so much.
Thank’s Mike for your inspiration, I to am a quad do to M.S. This reply will take some time, but if it inspires 1 person it is worth it. People ask me the “how do you use the computer?”. First, desire and the will. Second, patients, what works best for you.. For me, I use chin control paired with computer for cursor, onscreen keyboard, and fortunately enough use of left hand to push clicker. Good luck!
Hey Roman, thanks so much for the message, and my apologies for the several month lapse before responding. I’ve spent some time away from my blog and after getting back on here and seeing the incredible outpouring support I’m both sad and exhilarated to see messages like yours left unanswered for so long. Glad to know even in my absence that my website is still having an impact on others.
This all looks awesome but one thing I haven’t seen is how much does all this cost?
Actually just recently built a new voice recognition computer with all the bells and whistles. I definitely went way overboard with this system and will use it for video processing and virtual reality as well as voice recognition, but you should be able to build a pretty good/robust system for $800 or so.
Hi! I am searching for a computer that a 8 year old quadriplegic boy could use his voice only to communicate with the world.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking might work, but the user has to have a relatively good grasp of the software and the rules which it operates under. Might be a little bit difficult for somebody 8 years old, but I’m sure he could learn. Does he have all his cognitive abilities?