Do What They Want to Do

A couple of months ago I attended a webinar by Mike who is in IT and set up a company that uses assistive technology to help people with disabilities do what they want to do. The majority of Mike’s clients have acquired brain injury sustained through an accident. Little did Mike know that his two sons would benefit from his knowledge and skills as they have acquired brain injury.

I have long been a fan of technology, the internet, social media and more, so I found this webinar extremely interesting and uplifting. I shall attempt, in the next few paragraphs, to explain some of Mike’s work. It is by no means as simple as I convey it here. It takes much patience and research, and knowledge and skill, for Mike and to reach a solution, but find one he does.

Mike first introduced us to Jack, a 17-year old who is non-verbal and has physical disabilities. Jack took over the presentation and showed us how he is studying maths and the sciences using off-the-shelf software with his ipad and computers but with access to his devices in a way that is easier for him to use. He is also a gamer and he is so adept and innovative, that he has been contacting Mike, with suggestions and ideas to further make use of technology to help him, and possibly others. He has an adapted joy stick to play his games on his X-box. Mike has been working with Jack for many years and says that his parents are very supportive so that Jack can live a fulfilling life and do things that any 17-year old would like to do. Jack is now an Ambassador for Mike’s company and asked Mike if he could do his work placement with him. It was fun watching him, an intelligent and proud young man, achieve what he set his mind to do. I smiled as he corrected his Mum … “it’s an X-Box, Mum”, he said when she mentioned Playstation.

Then we were introduced to 7-year old Sam. His parents have been working with Mike since their son was 4 years old. He has limited use of his limbs and Mike talked about finding out what Sam wants so he could provide him with ways to do what he wants to do. Mike says that he had to find a way to make Sam aware of ’cause and effect’. Through much research, he discovered that Sam loved the feeling of being ‘jiggled’. So they sited pads on either side of his head on this wheelchair, showed him that when his head hit the pads, it activated his computer. He took a long and hard look at what was on the screen and this activated his wheelchair to jiggle. This made Sam laugh as he enjoyed the sensation. But the head movements weren’t easy for him and through further research Mike set up a pad close to his knee. This enabled him to move his knee to hit the pad, and the same action would present the screen for him to look at to activate the jiggling movement of his chair. Once he learnt about cause and effect, Mike went on to set up cartoons that would jiggle and Sam learnt to activate them which gave him enormous pleasure. It’s the simple things in life! Over the years they have progressed and Sam uses his knee pad to switch lights on and off in the home – what child doesn’t enjoy playing with lights! The lights are controlled by remote so Sam uses the switches that the rest of the family use. This means he is included despite his disabilities. Using bluetooth, he also helps his Mum with the cleaning as he instructs “Alexa” to vacuum. Mike says he tries to use off-the-shelf technology as far as possible and makes them work with hardware, apps, programmes and networks that are already available. There is a world waiting ahead for Sam as he becomes familiar with using his knee pad to enable him to do everyday things, and the technology is taken into school. It will take time, but Mike says they will get there. As a child grows and develops his needs will change.

Mike’s ethos is to enable people with disabilities such as Jack and Sam to live as good a life as they can, making use of technology and what is around us to help them do what they want to do. In a few years Mike says things will have changed dramatically. And we need to keep up.

I am in awe of what people invent. What they know. What they do to help others. I continue to research life on the internet. It is where the modern world lives, works and plays. Where life is shared, promoted, learnt. Where intense relationships are formed. Where able bodied and disabled can come together, get to know one another as people without being judged physically for their attractiveness, but rather for the depth of their feelings through words. Where voice-to-voice, text-to-text, and face-to-face in real time forge long lasting bonds across miles, oceans and countries.

Despite the many disadvantages and negativity we hear about life on the internet, there are very many advantages and I look forward to following the lives of people like Jack and Sam. They find ways to make their lives better, rather than make excuses for being unable to do everyday things that we take for granted. May the Mike’s of this world continue with their innovation.

If you’d like to find out more about Mike’s work or would like an introduction to him, do let me know in the comments or message me.


My song for this post is by Sly and the Family Stone – Everyday People. At the end of the day, we all want to be happy, to be thankful for what we have, no matter our outward appearance.

Lyrics

Sometimes I’m right and I can be wrong
My own beliefs are in my song
The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then
Makes no difference what group I’m in
I am everyday people, yeah yeah

There is a blue one who can’t accept
The green one for living with
A fat one tryin’ to be a skinny one
Different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby dooby

Ooh sha sha
We got to live together

I am no better and neither are you
We’re all the same whatever we do
You love me you hate me
You know me and then
You can’t figure out the bag I’m in
I am everyday people

There is a long hair
That doesn’t like the short hair
For being such a rich one
That will not help the poor one
Different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on scooby dooby dooby

Ooh sha sha
We got to live together

There is a yellow one that won’t
Accept the black one
That won’t accept the red one
That won’t accept the white one

Different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and
Scooby dooby dooby
Ooh sha sha
I am everyday people

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Sylvester Stewart

Everyday People lyrics © Mijac Music


I write when I have the urge. I write to express feelings. I write to explore my imagination. I write about my thoughts and dreams. I write for enjoyment. I write to relax. I write because I like to write.

If you find words that resonate with you, I’d love to hear from you. If you find a situation that reminds you of something, someone, sometime, I’d love to hear from you. Do hope you enjoy reading Cecilyswritings.

Where I use images, music and quotes in my blog, that do not belong to me, no copyright infringement is intended. I shall wherever possible attribute or apply links to the original where it’s on the internet.

Today’s song is from YouTube and feature image from Pexels free photos.

Thank you for visiting

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Written by Cecily in September and posted on 25 October 2021 

(c)Cecily Lalloo 2021

Follow my blogs  Cecilyswritings.wordpress.com and cecilystravels.wordpress.com.

2 thoughts on “Do What They Want to Do

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