To jumpstart this year, I am going to continue with my discussion about the LightWRITER devices covered in the last issue, but with particular attention to the Scanning LightWRITER.
Scanning is a character selection technique for people who are not able to use a normal keyboard. On the Scanning LightWRITER, the alphabet is displayed on the screen across which a selector box moves automatically from letter to letter. When the selector box reaches the desired letter, the user presses a switch to select that letter.Plug-In Scan Module
The Plug-In Scan Module converts a keyboard model LightWRITER to one with scanning access. This option is designed to cater for those users who, due to progressively deteriorating conditions, become unable to continue using the keyboard of the standard LightWRITER. The module plugs into the keyboard LightWRITER to allow scanning with one or two user switches. The Scan Module is fully self-contained and can be mounted on a wheelchair tray, floor-stand, or over a bed away from the LightWRITER itself, on a table stand or simply placed on a table.
The SL85 is designed as an extremely compact, dedicated scanning communication aid for people whose vision is not impaired. It fits neatly on a wheelchair mount, wheelchair tray, table, floor-stand or over a bed. An external keyboard is provided for use by a caregiver to make setting up easier.
The SL86 is a combination of the keyboard LightWRITER and the Plug-In Scan Module. The same display that is used for scanning is fastened to the LightWRITER to make a single package. It is appropriate for use in clinical evaluation centres, etc.
Easy to Use
The scanners are designed to be extremely easy to understand and quick to use. Based on the fact that scanner users have little or no use of their hands, and so are unlikely to be able to use the manual, the unit's operation has been designed to be as self-evident as possible.Auditory Scanning.
To assist users with vision impairment, the scanner can be preset to confirm selection by speaking the letter or word. For sighted users, selection is confirmed with a beep, or it can be silent.
Use over the Telephone
For many users the ability to communicate over the telephone is an important part of their communication requirements. This is increasingly important to enable people with disabilities living on their own to communicate with the outside world, for example to summon help. There is very little doubt about the impact that these very nifty devices can make!
In 1981, Gavin Preston suffered a serious head injury to the left side, resulting in total loss of speech and semi-paralysis of the right side. It became apparent from day one that communication was going to be a huge challenge.
“I had to carry a pen and notepad with me everywhere or pre-typed little notes that I would hand to cashiers, waiters or shop clerks etc. A drawback of this being may times I was mistaken for a beggar or collector for a charity!!
“A few months ago I received my LightWRITER and all of that changed instantly! I can now communicate with anyone on any level; I find the reaction from the public to be extremely positive. I even find that people will engage me in conversation to find out more about this amazing little device.
“It is light and portable, I can adjust the volume to suite the circumstance, or program questions or requests I need frequently. It has different voices and accents to choose from making it very people-friendly. For instance, when talking to my young niece, I can use a cute child’s voice, making it less intimidating and lots of fun.
“It also opens up a whole range of new possibilities, like conversing telephonically or conducting an interview with a prospective employer. The LightWRITER has improved my communication with the world and opened many new doors of opportunity.
“The Light writer has improved my quality of life in more ways than I can say. It do not know how I ever manager 20 years without it.”
Gavin Preston with the LightWRITER that has changed his life.