Blue Rectangle
title Image for Rehab Engineer main page
Link To ADRS Technology Specialist information
Link to my list of bookmarks
Link to Section 508 Information
Link to Case Study Index
Link to my Resume
Link to my design projects
Link to Technology Watch for this month
Link to upper body ergonomics pages
link to page on making web sites accessible
Augmentative Communication Information Site
Job opportunities in the field of assistive technology
e-mail me
Leonardo DaVinci's Vitruvian drawing
This information is provided "as is" without warranty or any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. In no event shall or Michael Papp be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, or consequential damages of any kind whatsoever with respect to the service, the materials and the products referenced in these documents. This applies to all pages on this web site.

PicoSearch Help
Site Map
Link to RehabEngineer
Job Accomodation Network
Access Board
Technical Assistance Projects
Blue Rectangle
White Rectangle
This page was last updated on: 23 October, 2012
Case Study:
Let's Meet Frank
Frank's Strengths:
Has been adopted into a supporting family
Mother has been working with him to learn cause and effect
Has been learning hand over hand access for simple keyboards
Has a good seating and positioning system
Has good hearing
Is able to respond to verbal questions

Frank's Learning Challenges:
Total vision loss
Diagnosed as mentally retarded
Spastic quadriplegia

Frank's Educational Needs:
Frank's mother wants him to be able to independently access reading material, and have the opportunity to answer questions and take tests.

Frank is totally blind, and has never had effective access to a computer. He has never been exposed to any educational assistive technology, nor has he ever been tested on what he is learning in school.
Computer Access
Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERC)
Design Projects | Ergonomics | Section 508 | Case Studies | Qualifications | RTS Info
Tech Watch | Links | Accessible Web Design
Augmentative Communication | Augmentative Communication Computer Hardware | Contact
Frank was brought into an Augmentative Communication and Technology Clinic for evaluation by a rehabilitation engineer, physical and occupational therapists, social worker, and an expert from an institute for the deaf and blind. His mother was there to describe her thoughts on what she would like Frank to be able to do, and school officials were also in attendance to observe the evaluation.

The system that was evaluated was a combination of a screen reader designed specifically for people who are blind, and an Intellikeys membrane keyboard with custom tactile overlays designed by the engineer. The keyboard was set as the cursor up and down keys on a standard keyboard. Tactile wooden blocks in the shape of a square and a triangle (3 to 4 inches long per side) represented the up and down arrows. Combine with the screen reader, this allowed him to navigate though a children's story that had been downloaded from the Internet. As Frank read though the story, his mother asked him questions about the content to make sure he was listening to the text as it was read. He was able to correctly answer the questions.

Follow up:
The goal behind introducing this combination of systems to Frank was to get him used to using a screen reader to access a computer (he found the computer voice funny, and needed prompting to pay attention to what was being said), and the Intellikeys, which can be expanded to more complex keyboards as his computer skills increase. The OT and PT experimented with using Velcro as tactile indicators with a different key configuration that included left, right, up, and down cursors, as well as Yes and No buttons. When his computer skills improve to the point he can use this to navigate, he could answer yes/no questions at the end of any story he was reading. More complex overlays could be added over time to teach him the alphabet and numbers, and possibly the standard QWERTY keyboard used on standard computer systems. The school system purchased the equipment for Frank, and the Engineer met with his teacher to show her how the system worked, and is providing technical support as needed.

Back to Case Studies