North Dakota Assistive

ND Assistive | Assistive Technology Blog

Nothing is Impossible: a woman with ALS uses a phone for the first time in four years

Through Assistive’s services Geraldine Oas, a woman with ALS, worked with an Assistive Technolgy (AT) Consultant and found AT solutions to connect her to her loved ones, complete daily tasks, and have a little fun. Tammy Jo A. Taft of the Traill County Tribune interviewed Oas last February, and here is an excerpt from her article:

Geraldine using her iPhone and two switches to play Candy Crush.

“I hadn’t heard about IPAT until my daughter called,” Oas said. “The first thing I asked is how much is it going to cost.” The answer in her case was nothing. As a non-profit, many of the services can be coordinated at little to no cost to the individual.

“Trish (Floyd) came up and saw that I couldn’t use my hands at all,” Oas explained. “She said, ‘I think you might be someone who could use an iPhone.’” Although she had used computers in the past and enjoyed playing games on the computer, Oas had never used a smart phone before. But she was willing to try.

IPAT(now Assistive) has a program that lends technology to individuals to see if it is something they would find useful. Oas was given an iPhone and Floyd set her up with two buttons attached to her right leg. Oas still has some moment in her right index finger and she controls the entire phone with those two buttons.

The first few weeks, she didn’t use it much. “My granddaughter came to visit me and showed me a few things,” Oas said. “When she left, I started playing with it and I haven’t stopped since.”

That was last summer. Now Oas takes calls, sends text messages, pays bills online, reads the news and plays Candy Crush on the phone. The phone is her link to the outside world, one she appreciates after having been without for a while. “I hadn’t had a phone for three or four years before this,” Oas said. Without the phone, Oas would have to wheel down to the nurses station and have assistance calling her children.

“Without North Dakota IPAT(Assistive), the last few months would have been very quiet for me,” Oas said. “This phone has kept me in touch with a lot of things.”

In this video watch Oas using her phone to play Candy Crush.

If you would like to learn how AT can help you or a family member, contact us at 1-800-895-4728 or info@ndassistive.org.  If you would like to give to Assistive, so we can help more people, donate on Giving Hearts Day February 9th at the Giving Heart Day website and search for Assistive. Every donation of $10 will be matched up to $8000!

Giving HEarts Day logo. It reads Giving Hearts Day, february 9th, givinghearts.org

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