Ellen – Using Assistive Technology

“Hello, my name is Ellen.” Ellen uses a communication aid as her main means of communication. “Can you tell us a bit about how you communicate Ellen?” “I use my two switches to select the icons on the Pathfinder. When I press my right switch, a bright red light comes on to the first row of icons. If I wanted that row, then I would press my left switch to select that row. Then I have to do the same thing to select the second icon to say a word.” This type of communication is called Alternative and Augmentative Communication – AAC. “Do you think it’s important that more people know about communication aids and how they work?” “Yeah.” “Does it make it difficult for you if people don’t know how you communicate?” “Yeah.” Ellen also uses her communication aid to control equipment around her.


“Is there anything else you can do with your communication aid? What else do you use it for?” “I can use my Pathfinder to control my television and my video and my stereo.” This type of control is called Environmental Control. “Is it set up for anything else? Can you use it with your computer for example?” “Yeah.” Ellen also drives a powered chair. “What other things can you do with your switches?” “Can you see the blue box on the side of my Pathfinder? That’s called a Click2Go device, which means I can drive my electric chair with using my head switches. If I wanted to turn left, I have to press my left switch until the red light goes on the left arrow. Then I have to hold my right switch to turn left.” To drive Ellen uses an Integrated Specialist Wheelchair Control. “Can you tell me how driving your chair is important to you?” “I can go into lessons.” “Ellen…”

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