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|Nowadays, the computer has become an almost indispensable tool.
I am in front of my computer and manage the bank accounts as well as my mail.
What is more, I do all kinds of shopping, groceries, clothes, Christmas presents, etc…
And all of that from home, without the need to go out.
As I am almost completely paralyzed and my hands do not move at all, it is impossible for me to type on a keyboard or use a mouse.
Therefore, I use a scanning program called SwitchXS.
This allows me, through the aid of a switch, to control the scanning of one or more keyboards designed by myself.
The switch is a little device that is taped to my cheek; all I need to do is make small jaw movements to activate the scanning.
As I do not speak, I use the speech synthesis of Proloquo.
"Mother, can you put my head straigth"
Proloquo also helps me when I write.
It allows me to verify that what I write is in accordance with what I want to write.
I developed a rapid writing method based on a pretty complicated writing keyboard.
I also use the KeyStrokes application, which offers the possibility of entering as many abbreviations as I want and, in addition, offers word prediction.
This allows me to write about four times as fast as when I would have to type each letter.
SwitchXS also allows me to communicate with my husband through iChat, when he is at his desk and I am at mine.
It also allows me to help my husband with his research work.
The computer has also allowed me to create a web site about my illness, the illness of Charcot.
The site provides me many contacts with other ill people or their families.
Without the computer, I would be little more than a vegetable.
I can say without exaggeration that the computer has saved my life.
Without SwitchXS I would not have access to Mac OS X, which has changed my life.
Thanks to all this technology I continue to play an important role in the household, because I am the one taking care of the groceries, the one managing the bank accounts and the one keeping contact with our friends.