Neil Squire Society receives Google grant to develop mobile access device for persons who cannot use their hands

Neil Squire Society was awarded a USD800,000 grant through the “Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities” to release LipSync mouth controlled device for enabling persons with disabilities to operate mobile devices without using their hands. This project is one of the 29 nonprofit initiatives funded by the Impact Challenge program with a total amount of USD20 million to target technology accessibility challenges.

Taking into consideration that around one million persons in Canada and US have limited or no use of their arms, traditional technology user models should be adapted in order to fit their needs. LipSync designs will seek to provide an open source solution that allows makers to affordably offer users with difficulties using their hands to operate devices with a mouth-operated control. According to Dr. Gary Birch, Executive Director of Neil Squire Society, the widespread use of mobile technologies brings diverse benefits to society, however it can also become a barrier for persons with disabilities.

The LipSync device is a USB mouse that is directly connected to mobile phones and enables a mouth operated joystick that allows an individual to control a computer cursor without much head and neck movement. The device is portable and may be mounted on wheelchairs. The joystick sensor is adjusted to respond to very slight pressure and allows both right and left mouse clicking by either puffing or sipping into a tube.

Watch a demo of the LipSync Project at the Neil Squire Society website

Additional Sources: GAATES