An experimental device is letting paralysed people drive wheelchairs simply by flicking their tongue in the right direction.
Key to this wireless system: Users get their tongue pierced with a magnetic stud that resembles jewellery and acts like a joystick, in hopes of offering them more mobility and independence.
Researchers reported Wednesday that 11 people paralysed from the neck down rapidly learned to use the tongue device to pilot their wheelchairs through an obstacle course full of twists and turns, and to operate a computer, too. Continue Reading »
Incurring a spinal injury when you’re young is surely difficult enough without having to convalesce in a home for older people
Linda Liebenberg did not expect to be in a home for older people at the age of 32. Nonetheless she spent 20 months living in one after being discharged from hospital, following treatment for a broken neck that had left her paralysed.
New research from the spinal injury charity, Aspire, suggests that one in five people with spinal injuries are likely to be discharged into residential or nursing homes for older people because of a lack of appropriate housing options. Continue Reading »
During one especially cold morning in January of last year, a disabled man who uses a wheelchair and ventilator , and his wife were heading for their office in the 100 block of South 11th Street in downtown St. Louis. They were accosted that morning by a woman, standing outside the building, smoking a cigarette.
She wanted to know why in the world a man in a wheelchair would be out in this weather. She wasn’t placated by the obvious response from the man’s companion that he, like many other St.Louisans, was simply on his way to work. It apparently didn’t occur to the woman that some severely disabled people work every day. Continue Reading »
Severity of spinal cord injury in adults is not related to how they rate their health, Wayne State University researchers have found.
In a study of self-rated health (SRH) published this month in the Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, Cathy Lysack, Ph.D., deputy director of WSU’s Institute of Gerontology, along with former Wayne State researcher Katerina Machacova, Ph.D., and Stewart Neufeld, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Institute of Gerontology, evaluated people with spinal cord injuries (SCI) in an effort to better understand the relationship between their self-rated physical ability to perform necessary daily activities and their SRH — the way people perceive their own health. Continue Reading »
Life in a wheelchair isn’t as limiting as you’d expect, once you’ve learned the moves
The first time I got into a wheelchair I felt euphoric. After a month spent in bed, reflecting on all the things I would never do again – no more climbing or playing football – it was a joy just to be able to move again. Four weeks earlier my physically active lifestyle had come to a sudden stop when I fell from a tree, resulting in a spinal-cord injury which left me facing life with paraplegia. Continue Reading »
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Computer science might not be the obvious major for students looking to change the world. But two teams of University at Buffalo students are proving that programming can translate into compassion.
Last spring, Austin Miller, Robert Rodenhaus, Leonard Story Jr. and Matthew Taylor, classmates in a computer engineering class, developed OmniSwitch, a software program that enables quadriplegics and other people with limited mobility to type letters, surf the web, listen to music and play computer games with a single button or switch. Continue Reading »