ecu control unit

Environmental control units (ECU) have transformed the lives of quadriplegics by giving them independence and the ability to control much of their surroundings.    ECU units in hospital settings have gained popularity over the years. Accessibility Services, Inc. is proud to be considered a leader in the hospital ECU field.  We have installed our autonoME – which is an integrated ECU and speech generating device – in numerous spinal cord injury units throughout the country.  Let’s take a look at some benefits of ECU control units in hospital settings.

Environmental Control

One of the primary reasons to install hospital ECU units is for its environmental control features.  ECU hospital features include the ability to adjust the bed, turn on the lights and control the television.  Empowering individuals with spinal cord injuries with a hospital ECU not only promotes independence for patients, but also frees up staff time as well.

Nurse Call Button

Traditional call buttons can be difficult to access.  A hospital ECU is equipped with an easily accessible nurse call button.

Customizable for Different Patients

Each patient has their own set of unique needs. Patients may require different input methods to operate the ECU. Hospital staff can easily customize the autonoME so patients with differing levels of spinal cord injury can easily operate the ECU.

Familiarize Patients with an ECU

ECU control units in hospitals play an important quality of life role.  Patients with spinal cord injuries benefit from using a hospital ECU while in the spinal cord injury unit.  At the same time, they learn how the ECU works so they can continue to maintain their independence when they return home.

What makes what we do so rewarding is seeing how our ECU hospital solutions have helped so many quadriplegics achieve independence!  Were you introduced to the autonoME  or hospital ECU while recovering in a spinal cord injury unit?  If so, we would love for you to share your story!

Online Service Representative

Accessibility Services, Inc. takes time each month to focus on job opportunities for quadriplegics.  We feel employment is an extremely important aspect of helping persons with quadriplegia achieve independence.  Advances in adaptive equipment for quadriplegics, assistive technology for quadriplegics and communication devices for quadriplegics have made it possible to perform tasks that were nearly impossible a decade ago.

This month’s featured job is Online Service Representative.  Online Service Representatives can work either in an office environment or at home, depending on company policies and preferences.  Job duties revolve around providing sales support, customer support and/or technical support to individuals via an online chat.  Employees in this field usually need to have good computer knowledge, ability to communicate via online chat, and knowledge of the product and /or service being represented.

Assistive technology for quadriplegics, including environmental control units (ECU units) and speech generating devices, have made it possible for quadriplegics to learn and operate the computer programs necessary to become an Online Service Representative.  Communication devices for quadriplegics and adaptive equipment for quadriplegics allow individuals to attend and actively participate in training and any staff meetings pertaining to the job.

Our autonoME is a custom environmental control unit and speech generating device conveniently integrated in a single package.  Many of our clients have pursued successful careers thanks to the autonoME.  If you or a loved one with quadriplegia are considering an Online Service Representative job, give us a call.  We can fit you with the right custom environmental control unit to help you achieve your career goals!

Quad Squad

Check this out! A group of 20 paraplegics and quadriplegics recently got together for a game of paintball:

The participants named their teams (i.e. the quad squad) then embarked on an afternoon of strategy, fun and serious paintball action.  Adaptive equipment for quadriplegics and assistive technology for quadriplegics make what seems impossible possible.  And, look at how much fun everyone had!

Accessibility Services, Inc. advocates independence, and stories like these warm our hearts.

Are you currently participating in a game, activity or sport thanks to the help of an environmental control unit, speech generating device, or another type of assistive technology for quadriplegics?  If so, we would love to learn more and feature you in our News section!

Power Pad

The wait is over.  The Power Pad is now available and this highly anticipated product definitely exceeds expectations! Power Pad is being called the industry’s most powerful, all-in-one augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solution.  Designed for those with complex needs including quadriplegics, the Power Pad is a speech generating device like no other.  For one, it is compatible with any AAC access method.  This is important for those with progressive diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) as the Power Pad is able to accommodate different input methods as the disease progresses.

Everyone is raving about the exceptional computing performance of the Power Pad, which is powered by Grid 3 software, equipped with the Intel® Core™ i5 processor and has expanded memory.  These allow the Power Pad to operate faster and seamlessly, even while running multiple applications.  Couple this with extended battery life and a second battery which can be changed without powering down and you have one impressive unit.

Another attractive feature is the integrated EyeTech TM5 gaze camera featuring an extremely large track box designed to accommodate users with involuntary head movement.  High quality Bespoke stereo sound, shatterproof HD Gorilla Glass display and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth round out the Power Pad’s long list of impressive qualities.

If you are looking for an all-in-one augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solution, give us a call.  We will be happy evaluate your situation to see if the Power Pad is the right AAC solution for you.

Grid Pad

The Grid Pad Go, Grid Pad Eye and Grid Pad Pro models have been replaced by the new 12” Grid Pad. This next generation Grid Pad can accommodate anyone, including quadriplegics, with complex communication and access needs.  The new Grid Pad features a rugged shell and has up to 15 hours of battery life. Perhaps most impressive is its multiple augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) access options, including touch, Eye Gaze, switch with two recessed ports and USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports that are compatible with joystick, trackball and Quha Zono head mouse.

Powered by Grid 3 software and boasting the latest generation of Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, the next generation Grid Pad is equipped with the Windows 10 Pro operating system.  The 12.5” anti-glare hardened glass screen is another attractive feature of this unit.  It also comes equipped with a remote power button and is keyguard ready.  Oh, and let’s not forget the high-quality integrated speakers, stand, handle and mounting.

Whether you are looking to upgrade your current Grid Pad or are a new user all together, Accessibility Services can help customize the right AAC solution for you.

We’ve been taking time to feature various job opportunities for quadriplegics.  This month, we will focus on motivational speaking.  Many motivational speakers have a back story they refer to when addressing a crowd.  Persons with quadriplegia definitely have a story to tell, which is why motivational speaking is one of the more popular jobs for quadriplegics.

A prime example is Chris Skinner, who we wrote about in a previous post.  He uses his story to not only prevent others from making the same mistakes he did, but to also show that despite tragic events, you can go on to lead a normal and productive life.

Motivational speaking can command a very lucrative salary, along with additional benefits including travel and meals.  Plus, you also get to meet and share your story with a lot of interesting people. Advances in adaptive equipment for quadriplegics, assistive technology for quadriplegics and communication devices for quadriplegics have all helped to make motivational speaking one of the more fun and viable jobs for quadriplegics.

Grid 3 software is an especially helpful tool when it comes to motivational speaking.  Not only does it operate with various inputs, but it allows users to conduct research on the Internet, compose a speech and control their environment.  It’s augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) features are pretty impressive as well.  Accessibility Services, Inc. powers all of our environmental control units (ECU) – including the autonoME, which is an integrated ECU/speech generating device – with Grid 3 software.

If you are considering a career in motivational speaking, give us a call.  We will make sure you have everything you need – from environmental control to AAC and more – to help fuel your success in this exciting career.

Tragedy Does Not Always Mean an End…Sometimes It’s a New BeginningWe thought we would share a story of a young man who turned a tragedy into a new beginning. A careless moment of drinking, driving and no seat belt led to a violent car crash that resulted in Chris Skinner being thrown from the vehicle and becoming a quadriplegic.

Years after the crash, Skinner met his wife Suzie.  She was his physical therapist.  They now have two children and live in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Since the tragedy, Skinner  graduated from Radford University, earning a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and a master’s degree in counseling and human development. He went on to earn a second master’s degree in Christian education from Dallas Theological Seminary.  Today, Skinner shares his story at colleges, schools and other venues throughout the country in hopes of preventing others from making the same mistake he did on that tragic day.

Read more:

Although Skinner is a person with quadriplegia, he never let it stop him from pursuing higher education, career and family.  Accessibility Services, Inc. has dedicated itself to providing independence for persons with quadriplegia.  Assistive technology for quadriplegics and communication devices for quadriplegics have come a long way over the years.  We stay on top of ever-changing technology to ensure the individuals we serve have access to the best environmental control unit / speech generating device (our signature autonoME package) on the market.

Contact us today for a free demo and consultation!

Grid 3 Software UpdateGrid version 3.0.35 can be accessed in Early Access and will be available for all Grid 3 software users soon. Improvements include:

  • Grid set demo period such as PODD will start without having to run License Manager
  • Dwell activation methods with ‘repeat activation on same cell’ no longer turns off and allows repeat activations when you follow a jump into a different grid
  • Remote support features improved capture Partner ID and Password capabilities
  • Joystick scanning no longer resets when there are prediction cells in the grid
  • Grid 3 software no longer occasionally crashes when trying to print large grid sets such as PODD, WordPower or Super Core
  • ‘Set volume’ and ‘Set brightness’ commands now change color when selected.

Option to choose whether the cell is highlighted when ‘Set volume’ and ‘Set brightness’ are turned on.

Are you either preparing for or getting stared with eye gaze?  If so, Look to Learn software is a must!  If you are using an autonoME speech generating device/ECU in hospital or home, Look to Learn software offers an excellent platform to help you master and fine tune eye gaze access. Let’s take a closer look at some of its most prominent features:

  • More than 40 activities designed to help users learn and practice eye gaze.
  • Explore – Look to Learn encourages the user to utilize the entire screen
  • Target – Improves eye gaze accuracy
  • Control – Helps the user fine tune and better control eye gaze access
  • Developed with the input of teachers and therapists, Look to Learn Scenes and Sounds features 26 activities designed to help teach valuable skills.

Best of all, Look to Learn software is customizable to you.  Look to Learn software allows you to load your own images and videos for use with the activities.  It is the perfect addition to any eye gaze equipped ECU in hospital or residential settings.

Grid 3 Software – The Gold Standard in Augmentative and Alternative CommunicationAccessibility Services, Inc. is proud to offer Grid 3 software – the gold standard in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) – with the products we offer.  Whether you are considering a Grid Pad or a custom environmental control unit (ECU) / AAC package such as the autonoME,  you can count on Grid 3 software to deliver advanced features and optimal performance.

Assistive technology for quadriplegics and adaptive equipment for quadriplegics have come a long way over the years.  The autonoME – powered by Grid 3 software  – is one of the most advanced communication devices for quadriplegics on the market today, which is probably why it is considered a preferred communication device/ECU in hospital and residential settings. Let’s take a look at what makes Grid 3 software so versatile and useful when it comes to AAC:

  1. Text communication – Grid 3 software allows users to easily access text communication options. It comes with more than 5000 pre-loaded sentences as well as the ability to add your own.
  2. Symbol communication – Similar to text communication, symbol communication allows users to use symbols vs. text to communicate.
  3. Access options – Communication devices for quadriplegics should have access options to accommodate different levels and types of disabilities. Grid 3 software integrates with eye gaze, switches, sip and puff, touch screens and more.
  4. Grid sets and accessible apps – Assistive technology for quadriplegics should allow users to accomplish everyday tasks. Grid 3 software has a plethora of downloadable grid sets and accessible apps that allow users make a phone call, send an e-mail, play games, send a text, take and share photos, browse the Internet, play music and games, watch videos, etc.
  5. Computer control – Being able to use a computer is one of the most requested options when it comes to adaptive equipment for quadriplegics. Grid 3 software allows persons with quadriplegia and other disabilities to access Window based software and applications and grid sets for work, school or home.

Want to learn more about how Grid 3 software is used to power our signature autonoME ECU/speech generating device?  Give us a call and one of our experts will be happy talk with you.