Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hands Free Tablet PC/AAC Carrying Case Choices for Amublatory Individuals

Last week I spent some time with an AAC user who is ambulatory but typically sets the device down on a desk at school or the table at home. The student was pretty uncomfortable after two hours of carrying the nearly five pound device around hanging from the neck/shoulder.

Since I was in the middle of an ongoing e-mail conversation with someone from research and development at Dynavox anyway I asked if they knew of anything to help this youngster carry the device around. My correspondent in R&D redirected my question and I found out Dynavox has been struggling with the same issue. I was pointed in the direction of the hand's free cases from Intelligent Technologies, which luckily aren't as freaky looking as the CommBelt from CJT which was the only thing I had heard of until then.

Here are the links the Intelligent Technologies and CJT's CommBelt in addition to some other hands free cases for Tablet PC's I found. You will need to know the dimensions of your AAC device and it is helpful to know the name of a mainstream Tablet that is similar in size.

  • Intelligent Technologies - over the shoulder coverts to around the neck, comes in black
  • CJT CommBelt - specifically designed for carrying AAC devices, comes in child or adult sizes, not exactly attractive or "normal" looking
  • The Pouch - created for OSHA workers to use Tablet PCs hands free at work, several colors, harness style
  • Hoggan's - designed for rugged, outdoor use, over a dozen colors, and can be made to order, harness style with hip belt
  • GD-Itronix - designed for proprietary tablet, but may work with some AAC devices
  • InfoCase - a variety of styles
I don't think any of these is ideal, at least for the ambulatory users I have met using the middle size high tech AAC devices.

Ultimately a hands free carrying case will likely need to be invented just for these users; ideally I see such a carrying case looking as "normal" as possible while distributing the weight of the device over the child's shoulders/back/hips evenly and allowing the child to have the device somehow held up in front of him or her without supporting it so that he or she can access it using only one hand and still have the other hand free (therefore making it usable for individuals with hemiplegia or people who are carrying shopping bags or something).

Today I was blocked in by a UPS truck and admired the way the UPS person was carrying his computer device that he uses for signatures. It was belt worn and flipped up for signatures and typing. Maybe something like that would work?

Zemanta Pixie

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