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James Smedley's Story

Building a Brighter Future

James Smedley in his home office with camera in hand.

Despite his battle with tendonitis, James Smedley uses his HeadMouse Nano to continue his career and follow his passion for photography. Read James' story on the March of Dimes Canada site.

Giesbert Nijhuis

My Head Controlled Computer

"My (Giesbert Nijhuis) head controlled computer. This short movie shows how I can work on an ordinary computer (mac) thanks to the HeadMouse extreme (Origin Instruments), and KeyStrokes (AssistiveWare). I am almost completely paralyzed, can only move my head, because of a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI C3/4). Movie is shot in 2011, but because of the special effects, it got delayed to 2016-07-27. The 3D software I used is "Cheetah3D". The music I made with GarageBand."

Giesbert Nijhuis

Designing with His Head

Giesbert Nijhuis was a talented photographer and graphic designer when he suffered a spinal cord injury due to a car accident in December 1995. Left paralyzed from the neck down he took up his old professions again replacing his pencil with a computer. Now he does all his artwork with his head, using a HeadMouse Extreme to control his cursor. To write and control Photoshop and all those other applications that rely on keyboard shortcuts and modifier-key click combinations he uses KeyStrokes on-screen keyboard. He has a beautiful, head-designed web site chronicling his "first" and "second" life and designs t-shirts, CD covers, film posters, application icons and much more using his head and his Apple Mac.

Walter Pfrommer

Communication is the Central Thing

Walter was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 1999 and gradually became paralyzed. As illustrated in his video Walter extended his ability to work using technology. He mostly uses text based methods of communication in his professional life, but verbal communication is essential. "Without the ability to communicate you cease to exist socially."

This video was narrated by Walter using the text-to-speech voice of Graham of the Acapela Group.

Walter passed away in early 2006.

Tucker Stilley

Look Ma, No Hands!

The Story of how Tucker Stilley uses technology to continue doing what he loves - creating art and making music. Tucker contracted ALS, it slowed him down, but it hasn't stopped him. He uses his HeadMouse and on-screen keyboard KeyStrokes to access his Apple Macintosh computer.

Tucker Stilley

How We Do It

Tucker Stilley was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 2005. It slowed him down from long hours of work editing fun low-budget and blockbuster Hollywood movies, but it didn't stop him from creating his music and his visual art. Watch his take on "How We Do It," a fun and abstract story of how he continues working.

Michael Phillips

One Thumb to Rule Them All

Mike Phillips is a gamer and freelance technology writer born with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Using his thumb and a proximity switch to access his computer he is a prolific journalist and has contributed chapters to several books. Assistive technology has opened the world for him.


A Pivotal Role in the Household

Marie-France lost her voice and could only move a jaw muscle because of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and Lou Gherigs Disease. In the video she shows how, with a single switch and AssistiveWare's Proloquo, KeyStrokes and SwitchXS software, she continued to perform a pivotal role in the household by doing the shopping, managing the bank accounts and even designing her own web site. Sadly, Marie-France passed away on 30 January 2012.

Joe Barnick

Everything I can't do in the real world I can do with my Mac

Joe Barnick was born with spinal muscular atrophy and cannot use a keyboard or mouse, yet thanks to assistive technology he can use his computer to do all those things he cannot do in real life.

Disclaimer: These videos present unscripted case studies and any statements made are the opinions of the people involved. Your capabilities and needs may be different from those people in the videos and therefore these solutions may not be appropriate. You should seek professional guidance and perform a thorough evaluation before making a purchasing decision.

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