My brother, John, was born with cerebral palsy and uses adaptive technology to overcome his given difficulties. John can’t use his hands, and has trouble speaking clearly, but with his power wheelchair and an ever evolving suite of gadgets, he’s accomplished more than most people I know. He’s made it through school and college, traveled the world, given speeches for the royal family of Qatar, and lives completely independently in Los Angeles.
John drives his wheelchair with his chin. He uses his computer with a head tracking device designed for CAD technicians. He gives presentations with a synthetic voice that’s cooler than my own natural voice (his sounds like Sir Alec Guinness). Nothing really seems to get in his way. In fact, the only thing that I’d ever seen stump him was the iPhone, but even that didn’t last long.
John had been wanting the iPhone ever since that first keynote, but we kept scratching our heads and telling him he would just have to let this one go. But a few months ago, long after I’d given up hope myself, John sent me an email that ended with the infamous default signature — “Sent from my iPhone”. I couldn’t believe what I was reading, but the next time I went to visit, sure enough, he’d figured something out.
Hilary and I were so impressed that we resolved then and there to make a video with John, to show off his innovation to as many people as possible. Hopefully it will inspire someone to do something similar, or something even better! So without further ado, we present John Duganne: Noser!