Modifying A Typing Aid:
A typing aid, shown at the right, is a piece of equipment designed to help an individual with a disability use a keyboard more easily. After you reads this, you will see it can be modified for many different purposes. You can buy typing aids at Patterson Medical, Sportaid and many other places selling equipment for individuals with disabilities. The aids are available for the right or left hand and cost about $14. Here are some of the tools Andy made for personal use; starting on the left in the picture below are a fork and knife that he bolted to a typing aid. He believes the knife is one of his more successful ideas. He says; "I can put quite a bit of downward pressure on things that I am cutting or working with. I can even cut through a piece of steak". The knife on the far right is a bread knife his brother-in-law found at the thrift store. He warmed up the blade and bent it at a 90 degree angle. It works quite well for a variety of things. You can also see Andy's spoon in the blue bowl in the background. It has a homemade cuff on it which makes it easier to hold on to. To the right is a picture of his fork on his hand (not bad considering he took the picture with his other hand, using the timer).
I myself have taken a typing aid, removed the tip and with electrical tape taped a piece of a driveway marker (rigid plastic) to the aid and placed the end back on the tip of the marker. The tool is very stiff and I use it to program the microwave and open it when the food is done. It helps me retrieve some object too far for me to reach. If you look at the tape around the handle you can see the outline of a metal washer. The washer allows me to pick it up with my magnet. Do not be afraid to experiment and use the typing aid to create a specialized tool for your personal needs.
I ride over the typing aids from time to time and it is often possible to straighten one back out by heating it with my wife's hair dryer.