"After a tragic accident, this tech startup helped one woman regain independence": Video by MaRS
Meet one of Tecla’s first beta testers: Carolyn. Carolyn sustained a spinal cord injury in 2005, having to adjust to a new life with quadriplegia just two years before the first iPhone was released that ignited the smartphone revolution. Switch Control, the iOS accessibility feature that allows users with limited mobility to control their entire iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, and Apple TV with adaptive switches was not introduced until the release of iOS 7 in 2013, limiting users to those who could interact independently with touchscreens.
Mauricio Meza, CEO of Komodo OpenLab, met Carolyn at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute when he was working as an Assistive Technology Consultant. They became friends, so when Komodo began developing the first iteration of Tecla, Carolyn was eager to gain access to a smartphone and joined the beta group. As a beta tester, Carolyn received the device and a smartphone with the Tecla app installed and provided feedback on a regular basis for a few months. Carolyn’s participation enabled us to create devices that fit her needs and the needs of others who have experienced the struggle of using inaccessible smart devices independently.
Carolyn spoke with MaRS Discovery District, one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs located in Toronto, on how using a Tecla assistive device has impacted her life. Watch the video above to hear a bit of her story.