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Assistive technology breakthrough for pupil at special needs school

Improving the communities in which we live is one of Cummins' core values. A group of employees from Cummins Generator Technologies took this value to heart when they worked with the Willoughby School in Bourne, UK.

Phoebe Matthews is a 13 year old pupil at the Willoughby School and suffers from Cerebral Palsy. Her condition impacts her movements and her speech. She carries out her lessons and recreational activities using her nose to navigate on an iPad or keyboard. The iPad enables her to play games and read books. This is a strenuous physical task for Phoebe and prevents her from seeing what she is actually doing.

Current products on the market for assisting with this challenge do not interact well with iPads and are generally unattractive to children. In order to help Phoebe, members from the Europe, Middle East and Africa sales team, based in Peterborough, UK, came up with a solution.

The team's work resulted in a stylish bright yellow children's baseball cap design that is a vast improvement over the uncomfortable head gear available commercially. The team also added a stylus for using the iPad screens. This assistive technology breakthrough has allowed Phoebe to sit back when she works and allows her to play in greater comfort. To complete the project, the team also provided an adjustable height iPad platform.

Adam Booker, Head Teacher, sent an email to the Governors of the School to highlight the project:

Dear Governors,

If ever we needed another reminder of the value of our relationship with Cummins - here we have a young person who until today interacted with a keyboard and iPad with her nose. Cummins came and created a pointer device for her to use - and look at the results!