With several holidays approaching, interacting and communicating with friends and family is on many people’s mind. Stephen Cronin recently shared a useful alteration he has made to his communication device that can be a game changer for in person conversations during this holiday season.

Guisseppe sits in his brand new power wheelchair

In hopes of minimizing the hovering and to better share and interact with others, Stephen attached a secondary screen to the back of his communication device. By using a virtual desktop, the secondary screen mirrors the screen Stephen is interacting with. This provides a number of benefits:  

  • It enables others to understand and “see” how Stephen is communicating. This is especially important to those who do not communicate with Stephen on a regular basis, like extended family, friends, and new nurses.
  • It allows others to know when he is typing, so that they understand that they should slow/pause the conversation and wait for Stephen’s response.
  • It enables the communication partners to stand in front of Stephen and look at him, instead of standing behind him and looking over his shoulder. 
  • It minimizes those “awkward” goodbyes that don’t give Stephen the time to respond.
This system also allows Stephen to indicate to those around him when he is not looking to interact, share some information about himself, and cheer during his children’s sporting events. 

Finally, an interesting by-product of using a virtual desktop is that the additional screen can also control the Stephen’s computer, so if someone is needed to help reset something, in-put a difficult password, or otherwise help navigate the device, this can be done from a position in which the person assisting can be looking at Stephen and not over his shoulder. 

Stephen has put together a guide that you can follow if you would like to learn more about this system or read instructions on how you can set this up.

The above instructions are a recommendation sent in by a community member. Team Gleason has not tested this method and currently can not provide support for setting up a second screen. Please follow the instructions at your own risk.