International Day of Persons with Disabilities: Keith Knight
As the world celebrates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3rd, 2014, we decided to take a look at some of the interesting ways those in the Muscular Dystrophy Canada community use technology.
We asked client Keith Knight to tell us about how he uses technology to raise awareness, funds and to simply have some fun!
As an individual with a neuromuscular condition, I’ve grown to rely on technology. Through the use of my computer, I’ve been able to reach hundreds of thousands of people and show them that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I’ve made friends from all over the World when before I struggled to make friends where I live because they only saw me as different. All of this has been from my involvement in playing computer games.
I’ve played video games since I was a little kid as it was one way for me to connect with my peers that wasn’t physically limiting like sports as long as I could find a way to play. As I got older, playing console games became more challenging as the remotes got more complex, so I transitioned to computer games. Over the years, I’ve tried everything from touchscreen to voice recognition to motion sensors to interface with a computer to find a best method. Every solution has its own merits and downsides, and the method I use changes depending on the game I’m playing. I currently use a combination of switches by my feet and elbow, typing with a pen in my mouth, and moving my mouse with my cheek/earlobe. While this method is quite low tech compared to the alternatives out there, I’ve found that things like motion sensors and neural sensors have too much of a delay in their current forms to compete in most games. With that said, the future is bright for individuals with neuromuscular conditions who enjoy playing video games. Neural sensor based controllers will one day be good enough to allow us the freedom of being restricted by our physical limitations, and I look forward to that day.
Here is a great short documentary on Keith, showing both his gaming and his day to day life.
You can check out Keith’s YouTube page so see videos of him in action – like this one: