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Which Assistive Devices Do You Use?

The only different thing today is… I am using my brand-new dictation software in order to create this post. I have to say it was mighty hard for me to accept the fact that I could no longer type freely on my computer. Especially since my computer has become my outlet from Multiple Sclerosis. Don’t get me wrong, I have many outlets, but it is just that writing is more of a release for me. To think that I could no longer do it was quite overwhelming and frightening. So, just before I had a complete mental breakdown my husband stepped in and purchased this software for me. I am finally trying to give it a try because I said a long time ago that I would not let MS stop me from doing the things that I love the most and writing happens to be one of them!

I realize that many of you have probably been using dictation software for some time and good for you! I guess I had to be pushed into using it.  It’s the same as with all my assistive devices. This in itself is quite ironic because this device is there to help us be more “normal” for lack of a better word.  Or at least assimilate amongst the able bodied.

But back to the software, I simply hook it up to my computer and dictate into this microphone. It saves me a lot of angst. It humbles me. But then again multiple sclerosis has a way of doing that! I’m still learning the ins and outs  of the program. For instance, I’m not quite sure how to edit. I’m not quite sure how to type with out using Microsoft Word. But I guess all that is included in my learning curve.

I’m actually proud of myself for taking on this new endeavor. My biggest fear is that I would be losing a little part of who I am. Or whom I was depending on how you look at it. But I guess this is all part of reinventing myself; like it or not.

The way I see it as long as I hold on to my core principles I will be okay. As long as I manage to find ways to do the things that I enjoy; I will be okay. And if this means I’ll have to use assistive devices; I will be okay.

After all, this is not my very first assistive device. I have used many ambulatory aids and things to help me walk. It’s just the first thing I’ve used to help me write.  I never thought I would lose the use of the proficiency of my hands. Besides typing, I have trouble with dressing and combing my hair; all very important things to a 38-year-old woman. Do you not agree?

So bottom line is if I have to use this dictation software to get things done amongst the able-bodied then that is what I’m going to do!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Ronald Huff
    7 years ago

    Good for you, and good attitude! I went through one of the scariest times of my life when I could not sign my own name or write the memos that made work ‘work’ in those days. I thought the bank would find me a ‘faker’ when I signed checks to deposit. Oh, and how one’s hair and dressing look may matter ‘more’ to women, but not being able to do it is not easy for a 38 y.o. man either. (Smile). Now my hands are working about 85/90% — praise the Lord etc.! But I’ve been there, and lot’s of other places. Some of them I still get to enjoy — is that right?

  • dkr55
    7 years ago

    You did a fantastic job of writing this with dictation software. Good for you! I used Dragon and the voice recognition software that comes with Windows for a while last year when I also could not use my hands to write, and they both worked with Word, but the process of teaching the program to understand me and the editing tricks were a challenge to learn.

    I totally agree that it is important to not let our MS issues stop us from doing the things we like and maybe even things we don’t like so much (housecleaning and dishes – yuck). I have had to make changes to do gardening, woodworking, reading, and other things, but I am just glad to discover there are ways to still get those things done rather than just sitting around and feeling sorry for myself or feeling bad that I have to add some assistive devices.

  • Ronald Huff
    7 years ago

    Bravo to you too.

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