Paralyzed hands and the Magical Smartphone Touch Screen

It’s been a good year so far. New blog gig in the works, working on my disability podcast (No Free Rides) and I got a new cell phone at the end of the year (thanks, Mom!). After a million (ok 7) years with the same phone, I finally upgraded from my old Nokia to a beautiful new LG Rumor Touch smartphone (meaning a touch screen cell phone to those not verbose in cell phone terminology).

I wasn’t sure if it was necessary at first. Even though I’ve always had a cell phone since they became cheap, and got one for just-in-case emergencies in ’98, I’ve never really used a cell in a big way. I work from home, have a land line, and email my friends. I was just bemoaning the continual iPhone hype a month ago in fact. Blah blah, smartphones. Who cares.

Well, I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I love my LG smartphone. smart phone for quadriplegicsHow in the world did I cross over to the dark side and become one of those annoying people who coo over their smartphone like a religious figurine, a phone that’ll likely make do the uncouth “Smartphone Prayer” at family dinners, and on dates with my boyfriend, and transform me into a slave to a talking device, a trait I was previously very proud of I might add? Well it’s simple. Its because of the most magical thing to ever happen to cell phone technology: The touch screen.

I have seen a TON of adapted technology through the years. Some awesome (Dragon Dictate), and some ridiculous (the sandwich holder), and nothing, and I mean NOTHING, has really made me go, “Wow, that really helps,” like thus. Let me explain: When before on an old-style cell phone with the traditional key pad, I had to press my left hand up against my right thumb (to keep it straight; paralyzed fingers), then used my right shoulder to press my hand down into the phone to press the key, (even with auto-text on), it took me a good minute to type a “be right there” text. Annoying, yes.

But now with my new phone’s on-screen “key pad,” all I have to do is tap the digitized key, and that’s it. It recognizes even the lightest tap. I zipped through a text the first use of my phone like a fast-handed teenage girl. It felt awesome.  If typing was a 10 on the difficulty scale before my smartphone, my touch screen has taken it to 2. And that my friends, is astounding. It kind of annoys me that no one told me about the greatness of touch screens for quadriplegics earlier, or that it wasn’t advertised as such somewhere, but what do you do.

Also, because the touch screen makes accessing everything on the phone easier, from getting online to saving contacts, for someone with limited dexterity, I can now write ridiculous Facebook statuses and take photos on the fly just like all the cool kids. Pop it out of my side pocket, tap tap, done. I can even take vanity mirror shots when I’m out and about now. Look @ me in my rear view van mirror! Yes I exist!

My options are endless. I heart my phone.

What adaptive technology has made your life easier or faster? Do you have technology or tools that you cannot live without?

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Comments

  1. I have the iPad too. It’s so awesome!

  2. Allan Miller, P.T. says:

    If you like your touch screen smart phone, you should definitely check out an iPad.

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jackie Kaufenberg, kinggimp. kinggimp said: RT @EasyStand: The touch screen Smart phone is heaven on earth for @tiffcarlson as a #quadriplegic #assistivetechnology http://ht.ly/3U0KE [...]

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