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Communication Within Reach

According to TAD Volunteer Colin McIntyre, patience, listening and building trust all play a large part in making sure that the solutions he designs and constructs meet the needs of the clients.

For Carline who has motor neurone disease and is unable to speak, trusting Colin to take away her only form of communication, her iPad, was no small matter. It was the only way he could construct a secure mount to attach the iPad and its special protective case to her powered wheelchair.

Carline has weakness in her arms but, by using a touch stylus pen to enter text to be converted to speech, she can take full advantage of the special software that The Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) has installed on the iPad. It has allowed Carline to communicate much more efficiently and is essential in her daily life.

Carline’s husband Mike, himself an engineer, had investigated with no real success viable commercial options for securing the iPad to a flexible photographic mount. He had even tried taping the iPad to an adaptor plate on the mount but this was obviously not a long term solution.

Carline and Mike were put in contact with Colin through their Occupational Therapist, Heather.

“Heather is a very professional young lady. She contacted TAD and found Colin for us,” says Carline.

An initial visit, taking time to speak at length with Carline and Mike, led to Colin’s design of a claw-like holder which allows the iPad to be locked into place onto the photographic mount.

“I had to work quickly, knowing how hard it would be for Carline to be without her device,” says Colin.

Colin’s solution worked straight away and for Carline and Mike the whole process was a positive experience.

In the words of Mike, “Colin is definitely a good engineer. We are grateful for the simple, effective piece of engineering that has no problems and is now an indispensable part of Carline’s life.”

Heather says, “Colin is very deserving of recognition, he was such a caring and respectful person to deal with.”

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Send us your goals and challenges and our therapists and skilled volunteers will review and come back to you with how we can work together to achieve them.

TAD acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures and to elders past, present and emerging.