Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Which AT Devices Signify Independence to You?

by Samantha Garcia, CFILC's Office and Logistics Coordinator

In celebration of Independence Day, we asked some of our colleagues and friends to chime in on what AT makes them feel more independent, what they wish existed that would make them feel more independent, or even just what independence means to them. 

We loved hearing from them about the varied types of AT that make an impact on their daily lives! 

However you celebrated, we hope you all a very happy Independence Day! 

Priyanka Nookala

I use many different types of assistive technology including crutches, a power scooter, e-readers, and Dragon speech recognition software. Of these devices, Dragon is a relatively new discovery for me and, as I get ready to go off to college this fall, I know that Dragon will be a tremendous asset in helping me continue to be more independent. 

This school year I began exploring all the different facets of the software. As a person whose typing speed is 9 words per minute by hand, Dragon has definitely helped me get my ideas on paper more smoothly without worrying about the fine motor difficulties that come with the physical act of typing. 

Dragon enables me to complete homework assignments without asking someone else for help with typing when my hands get tired.  Dragon has also given me more control over my work flow because I have created automated programs to do tasks that would require many tedious, repetitive clicks by hand. With the software, I can sit back with my hands nowhere near the keyboard or mouse and Dragon clicks all the appropriate items after a single voice command such as 'Print Macro'. 

I also have the creative license to edit and format my documents by voice. Additionally, I program Dragon to open a new email window, dump in an address, subject, greeting, closing and generic sentences for different types of emails I commonly use and then I tweak it as necessary, and ask Dragon to hit send. 

From homework to personal items Dragon helps me do more on my own and be more efficient so that I can take moments like these to celebrate my independence. 

What does independence mean to you? Share the AT that keeps you independent by writing about it in our comment box.


  1. I get so excited to read stories like your's because i can share it with my consumers. I have been a Vocational Counselor for 10 years, and dragon speaking has come such a long way, and what you have been able to do i give you a thumbs up. briany from NJ

  2. I was wondering if you are working with a VR counselor in yoru state to help you explore AT equipment that will make your life more independent or are you primarily doing the search for AT. As a soon to be counselor I hope you are in a program that will support your needs to ensure your independence. Also, I like the idea of how Dragon works, I have not had the privilege of using it, but this gives me good information should I need to help a client. Thanks for the info.