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Microcomputer technology is already being applied in areas that only a decade ago were impossible. One of these areas is in medicine and its related fields. For example, severely handicapped people with cerebral palsy, who have very little limb control, can now use the Blissterm, a computerized version of the 500-symbol Bliss system. Because of their handicap, these people can hear but can't respond. Now, with the Blissterm, it is possible to extend their skills.
In addition to the Blissterm, other devices have been designed to aid the handicapped who are confined to wheel-chairs and have no control, or virtually no control, of their limbs. A special microcomputer that responds to eye movement has been developed which, when attached to a wheelchair's mechanism, allows the person to move about independently. By opening and closing the eyes and blinking, the person can make the wheelchair start or stop; and when the eyes move left or right, so does the wheelchair. Similarly, there are other devices that have been developed to help severely handicapped people employ the limited use of their fingers or toes to type. Furthermore, such people
can now type with their eyes, by simply focusing on the letter to be typed. Attached to the eyeglasses is a small device that responds to the eye and transmits the signal to a typewriter. It takes time to write a letter this way, but it's better than not being able to write at all.
Again, another example of electronic development in computer technology, that has opened vast opportunities for the blind, is the voice box. Until now, people with heavily restricted vision have had to rely on Braille or sighted people to pick out mistakes on the computer screens or printouts. Now, errors shown on the screen are duplicated audibly through a voice synthesizer. This new simpler voice correction system is a boon to all visually-handicapped students, because computers are now being used more and more as an educational aid.