David's story

David

David loves telling jokes. He likes to make people laugh – and it’s infectious. Using head and cheek switches that are attached to his heelchair head support, David operates a tablet mounted to his chair.

He scrolls to the joke page: ‘What’s a crocodile’s favourite game? Snap!’

Laughter is one of the ways David expresses himself and connects with people at the Sense College resource centre in Cambridge. The technology he uses, as it evolves to meet his needs, supports his communication and gives him the freedom to make more choices.

It was the efforts of Sense’s Technology Team that led to David receiving a long-term loan of the Smartbox Grid hardware and software. The latest version means that he can access the internet, send and receive emails, and write his own blog.

“It’s great to send emails and I love receiving them,” David writes. “I logged on the internet and looked up cinema times of the BFG film. Brilliant.”

David also enjoys going to museums, and having access to the internet means that he can research what’s on, opening times and contact them about accessibility.

Smiling man looking up

“That’s what motivates him to use the device,” says his dad. “We like to focus on things that he’s interested in. So for example, we’ve developed the tablet’s vocabulary to help him to express what he wants when we go to the supermarket.”

Read more from David on the Sense Blog

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Communication through technology

Technology is developing at an amazing pace – everything from accessible computer programmes to smart phones – and this has huge potential to help individuals to communicate and stay in touch with others.

Visit the Sense technology pages

Helping people shine

  • Sense helps people to find and use the technology and adaptations that are right for them. Our services also use a range of tailored technology to help people to enjoy as much independence and choice as possible.
  • Sense’s resource centres and college offer a wide range of activities and programmes which help people to develop their communication and living skills, and provide opportunities for self-expression.

2015-16 highlights

  • We received 400 calls about technology from Sense members and the public – everything from enquiries about alarm clocks to the latest computer technology.
  • In partnership with Sunderland NHS Trust and the National Institute for Hearing Research, we have trained hearing champions so that people in our services are better supported to use hearing technologies.

First published: Thursday 22 December 2016
Updated: Friday 6 January 2017