Case studies

Accessibility case studies are a great way to show how accessible technology has helped individuals with various types of impairments. Case studies feature best practices and lessons learned, as well as examples of why it also makes good business sense to provide accessible technology in the workplace.

Caroline's computer experiences

Angela's experience of voice recognition

Example of Eye Pointing system

Using a computer with just one thumb !

In this video, Mike has spinal muscular atrophy and uses his computer equipment with just one thumb - and very effectively. He uses his Mac to play games, write game reviews, work on his novel and is also a photographer and digital artist.

Workplace Case Studies

"I thought my career was over, but with AbilityNet´s help, I was back to my normal duties within weeks." Olive at her desk with assistive technology recommended by AbilityNet Olive had been an administrator at British Aerospace for two years when she began to experience severe ‘RSI’ type symptoms. After trying a range of medical interventions, she eventually had to go on sick leave to recover and was subsequently obliged to move to reception duties, as a keyboard and mouse were impossible to use without serious discomfort. Her AbilityNet consultant suggested a gradual return to her former administrative post using voice recognition software, a tracker ball and an ergonomic keyboard. The result was almost immediate. Says Olive: "Within weeks I was back to my normal level of productivity using a completely different set of finger, arm and hand position."
"Using standard kit required a lot of effort and was becoming very stressful."George with assistive technology recommended by AbilityNet George is Systems Administrator at Triangle – a software communications company – and has Friedrich's Ataxia – a degenerative disease affecting his balance and coordination. Triangle called in AbilityNet to ensure all reasonable provisions were made for the computing needs of their first disabled employee. As a result, George was equipped with a smaller keyboard, a tracker ball and was introduced to some key software modifications available for free within Windows. An expenditure of less than £100 has made George significantly more comfortable and efficient. George says: "I can now work faster and more productively – I make fewer mistakes and therefore feel more relaxed. With AbilityNet´s help, I am more at ease both physically and psychologically."

"Life doesn't have to end after paralysis – computer technology allows me to deliver in the same way as my colleagues and compete in the employment market as an equal." David at his desk with assistive technology recommended by AbilityNet David is employed by the Transport Executive in Liverpool. A wheelchair user for near 40 years as a result of spinal injury, he is paralysed from the neck down and is an enthusiastic IT user both at work and at home. Equipped with a lap-top, voice recognition software, a tracker ball, digital camera and an electronic diary, he is responsible for ensuring that the City's transport infrastructure is fully accessible. AbilityNet supplies David with both technical support and the adapted systems he needs. He is unequivocal in his praise: "AbilityNet offers a real ‘Austin Reed’ service. With their help I can pursue a fulfilling career, which gives me both an identity and quality of life. At the end of the day, having a job means that I can pay the mortgage too – just like everyone else!"

Case studies at Home

"I cannot imagine life without my computer – it's a good friend and has made an enormous difference to my quality of life." Case studies - Laura sitting in front of her computer at home A nurse when she was diagnosed with MS in 1996, Laura soon began to lose her mobility and sight – a tremendous shock for the fiercely independent and active person she was. With the help of family and friends and the support of the MS Society and AbilityNet, Laura is now an enthusiastic computer-user with a zest for life that impresses all who meet her. In addition to undertaking a BSc Hons in Social Sciences, her new found friend enables her to access a whole range of other activities, from watching DVD´s and TV, to playing games and listening to music, as well as keeping in touch with an ever increasing number of friends across the globe. An adapted PC with zoom text, an Intellkeys keyboard and voice recognition software means that she can focus on her potential, widen her horizons and look forward to completing her studies and working from home: "At my computer I can forget my disabilities and concentrate solely on my capabilities – I can travel, shop and go to the cinema all in the same day – now that's what I call progress,– she says.
"It has made a terrific difference to our lives – our mobility problems used to make shopping a nightmarish experience." Hazel and Geoffrey with their computer
Both in their seventies, Hazel and Geoffrey enjoy an active retirement. Geoffrey is blind and so Hazel was the family ‘scribe’, until rheumatoid arthritis made both writing and typing impossible. With AbilityNet´s advice, they have acquired a computer specially adapted to meet their differing requirements – a screen reading system with voice output and a scanner enable Geoffrey to ‘read’ his own mail and listen to his favourite magazines, whist voice recognition software allows Hazel to write ‘hands free’ as well as indulge her passion for art and design. And a trip to the supermarket is hassle free!

"Having an adapted computer is opening up Luke´s world" Luke touching computer screen Luke is nine years old and as a result of macrogyria – a genetic condition – he is quadriplegic and has no speech. Following AbilityNet´s recommendations, he is now benefiting enormously from having a computer at home, much to the delight of his mum, Jane. A touch screen and a large switch enable him to access specialist software and scanned images and as a result he is learning new concepts like colours, numbers and sentence construction. The prospect of achieving effective communication with others is becoming a reality – a widening of his horizons, which would not have been possible without the right technological help.

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