AbleNet Inc, Roseville, Minn, will receive the ACCESS-IT 2009 Good Practice Label for its Impulse Bluetooth computer access device. The award recognizes assistive technology leaders worldwide for innovation in new technologies.

ACCESS-IT is a joint initiative between two nonprofit organizations active in the area of e-Accessibility and Assistive Technology, e-ISOTIS  and AbilityNet with a shared aim of ICT for All.

The Impulse device, which operates via Bluetooth technology, is specifically designed for people who have diseases such as ALS, Parkinson’s, and cerebral palsy. Many people with these conditions have significant physical limitations that make it very difficult to communicate or move around in their environment, says the company.

Visit and click on ‘See Impulse In Use’ to view a video of the Impulse in use by ALS survivor David Jayne.

With the Impulse device, someone who can’t use their hands can now operate their computer to communicate and mange their environment. Impulse is attached to the user with electrodes allowing for a noninvasive brain computer interface. The electrode senses very small movements that trigger the Impulse device to access their computer, says the company. The computer, in turn, can send an email, surf the Internet, make a phone call, or even move a wheelchair from one place to another.

A significant benefit of Impulse is its design—no wires, cords, or connecting cables are needed, says the company. And because the Impulse device is about the size of a Bluetooth earpiece, it can attach anywhere the person has even the smallest amount of muscle control.

AbleNet is an international company that  provides a complete line of communication aids for nonverbal individuals; access aids, such as switches and wheelchair mounting devices for people who require physical supports; and special education classroom curriculum and software that aid in learning progress. 

[Source: AbleNet]