The Magical World of Tablets and Touchscreens

01.09.2011
"Flower gleam and glow. Let your powers shine. Make the clock reverse. Bring back what once was mine. Heal what has been hurt. Change the fates' design. Save what has been lost. Bring back what once was mine..." -Rapunzel, Tangled

Kevin Berg's 7-year-old daughter wants to watch the Disney movie Tangled with her dad while he works next to her--a child's request that would have been impossible to grant only a few years ago. Berg, a computer technician who services small companies out of his home near Seattle, WA, was born with Cerebral Palsy.

With slurred speech and little motor skills, Berg, 37, would work long days tied to his desk staring into a computer screen and controlling a trackball with his chin. He would roll the ball around, look up at the screen, roll the ball around, look up at the screen. "It was painful to watch," says Berg's wife, Melinda, who acts as his translator. "We replaced the trackball every six months. He couldn't get away."

Then technology intervened: a magical tablet, touchscreen and head wand.

With a touchscreen and head wand, Berg is much faster on the computer, even beating out able-bodied computer consultants. He can serve up to six clients simultaneously via a remote support app, whereas in the past he could only handle two. "He went from doing something in 20 minutes to doing something in 2 seconds," Melinda says.

On the social front, the portability of the tablet has literally opened doors. Berg can type 25 words per minute and have face-to-face meetings with clients using the tablet to relay his words. He can work anywhere, even in the living room watching Tangled with his daughter.