Organization Highlights

by Steve Mallory

I am posting this notice again. We need officers for the Board of Directors for our organization sometime in the near future. The board member position requires devoting several hours/week to develop and implement plans for the development and growth of the organization. We cannot do these tasks by ourselves and need Directors who are committed to our mission. Please let me know if you are interested with doing this. We will need 15 Directors for the upcoming year. The term of service is for at least one year.

We also have several volunteer staff positions available. The primary position that we need to fill immediately is for Medical Director. Please email Pat Provost or me if you know of somebody available for this job or if you are interested in helping the organization. 

I have been telling you how successful the Strokes for Stroke golf tournament fundraiser was this year.  I posted a few pictures of the luncheon after the tournament so you can get an idea of just how big of an event the golf tournament actually was.  Take a look on the web at http://www.strokenetwork.net/fundraiser/. The picture of the awards and door prize table is awesome!  No wonder everyone there enjoyed the day so much.  

I felt that the conference last week for Augmentative Speech and Communication Assistive technology was excellent! We probably only had about eight people there so I will try to pass on the gist of our discussion. 

My primary form of communication is an on-screen keyboard, which I manipulate the cursor by using an infrared head pointer. This is quite a unique setup for most stroke survivors, but since I have quadriplegia, its either something like this or essentially nothing. I had a setup that was working okay but I wanted to upgrade to Windows 2000, which I could not do with my old setup. I started searching the web for head pointers and somebody who I was asking for information suggested a site called Natural Point, http://rjcooper.com/naturalpoint/. This head pointer is simply a dot that is placed on my glasses lenses. The my monitor. Wherever I look at the screen the cursor immediately is moved to that point. It is extremely accurate. This head pointer is very reasonable. The price is $399.

Next, I began searching for a new on-screen keyboard. Again, somebody providing me with other information told me about an on-screen keyboard called Onscreen, http://www.imgpresents.com/. I could not believe how well the design team had made this keyboard. It has EVERYTHING! It has things like word-prediction, which saves hundreds of keystrokes, programmable macros, which probably saves thousands of keystrokes and a function that can add a suffix to almost any word. I am really psyched about this on-screen keyboard! The reason that this is such a big deal is because I understand the potential for use by a stroke survivor, who typically type using one hand and can have a very difficult time of typing and spelling without mistyped words. This on-screen keyboard is inexpensive, $99, and the demo can be downloaded for a free trial period. 

 I know that most of the people at the conference were impressed and were willing to try the demo. Using Assistive Technology was, for me, one of the most difficult things to accept. I wanted absolutely no part of anything that showed others that I am disabled. I finally accepted that I could at least try it and I have not looked back ever since. Using Assistive Technology has made a huge impact in my life and is what brought me to know all of you. Give it a chance and see what it can do for you.  I strongly recommend the on-screen keyboard that I mentioned. 

The winner of the on-screen keyboard door prize is Steve Padilla, Sr, trekiegrandma@gracecenter.org.  Steve, I will make arrangements to have the keyboard delivered to your address in California, congratulations! 

The last thing that I need to talk about is having a fully registered membership who personally acknowledges that they want to continue receiving email from our organization.  There are over 300 members who registered under our old membership but did not voluntarily agree to receive our monthly newsletter or other organization emails.  Our Anti-spam Policy says that we will not send unsolicited email.  I have posted a list of email addresses of people who have registered with our organization but did not sign up to receive organization email.  These people will be removed from our active membership so as not to send them email that they might not want.  These people must register again in order to receive emails from us.  The list of names is on the web at http://www.strokenetwork.org/Notregistered.htm.

Copyright December 2002

The Stroke Network, Inc.

P.O. Box 492 Abingdon, Maryland 21009

All rights reserved.