Stanmore visit

Spending lots of time with our friend Russell, great weekend at his celebrating Raj completing his Ph.D. Using the iPad with the mousestick is very enabling because it can be used in a social environment (where background noise makes voice recognition tedious) and offers a more pleasant web browsing experience (great screen resolution, smooth scrolling and selecting links favours a point-and-click input). Russell and I have been playing with “Scape”, an iPad application created by Brian Eno which converts a graphical landscape created with different elements (shapes) and backgrounds into ambient music. Then we progressed onto “iMashines” app, a music production application which enables you to sequence samples on multiple tracks in a loop. Great to make music again!
Visited Stanmore spinal injuries centre for the first time last week to help with some mentoring and talk to Andrew at “Aspire” about accessible technology and smart phone switch inputs in particular. The ones I tried were from a company called “Komodolabs”, they allow icons and other visible fields on an iPhone or android-based phone to be selected using a single switch. The fields are highlighted and are scanned through when the switch is pressed on the iPhone whereas with the android phone, there is a row of navigational buttons along the bottom of the screen used to direct the focus of the highlighted fields. I found the system on the iPhone to be the most intuitive, now to find a way to mount the phone on my chair.
It’s nice to feel that I’m helping with the charity work and mentoring, I have gained confidence and belief in my own understanding of spinal-cord injury and approach to problems that occur as a result.

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