To Whom It May Concern:
As the assistive technology coordinator at the San Diego AssistiveTechnology Center at UCP of San Diego County, I see people with awide array of severe physical disabilities including: spinal cord injury,ALS / Lou Gehrig's disease, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis andcerebral palsy. Oftentimes, our clients have limited or no hand use and require the use of headpointing technologies, which are computer input devices that can be activated, by using head motion. Generally, we tryheadpointing with approximately five to seven clients each month. Wehave made a considerable effort to have all of the existing headpointing products available so that people may determine what works best for them. Upon finding a product that appears to be promising, challengesoften arise related to funding the technology and securing a trial.
I was thrilled when the Boost Technology's Tracer was released. The Tracer is much less expensive than anything even close to its level ofusability and I particularly love its accuracy. Most of the otherheadpointers use Infrared, which can cause severe problems in certainlighting conditions. However, the Tracer uses radio so it can be used in all environments. Of great interest to me is the Tracer's ability to workon any computer, including augmentative communication devices.
However, what I truly wish to stress is the success stories we have experienced over the past year. One of my ALS clients had a one-month trial of a headpointing system. Though she was relatively successful, it was a lot of work and required extensive patience. Following our acquisition of the Tracer a short time later, she had the opportunity to use the Tracer on our laptop. In less than five minutes, she was able to accurately and easily navigate around the screen. In Paul Seminarioaddition, she was able to use the Tracer to access her augmentative communication device. The use of the Tracer is much faster than scanning, an input method that requires the user to activate a switchwhen a desired location is highlighted. This has allowed communication to occur at a more natural pace.
Another success story was a veteran who came to us with bilateral wrist fusion and an inability to use a standard hand mouse. This person works in graphic design, so she had very stringent requirements for a computer-pointing device. The Tracer is the only device that she could use that provides the necessary pixel-level accuracy with no lag time that she needs to do her graphic design work.
Anyone who is unable to use his or her hands for computer access but retains good head motion should have the opportunity to try the Tracer. However, many people who could benefit most from this product are unable to afford it. That is why the work being done by GiveTech is so vital. I am confident that GiveTech will improve the lives of persons with disabilities for many years to come.
Kristin Bonilla, MA, CCC/SLP
Assistive Technology Coordinator
San Diego Assistive Technology Center