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Open Sesame app enables quadriplegics to answer phone with no help

December 25, 2017

An app called Open Sesame allows people to control a touch-screen smartphone or tablet, hands-free.

Tech is a boon for people with neurodegenerative diseases

Instead of swiping with a finger, the technology lets users control the device with small head movements or voice commands. The technology can help people who are paralysed or have limited mobility due to neurodegenerative diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis.

The state of Maryland in the United States is now covering the cost of tablets with the Open Sesame technology that has been installed for low-income people with certain disabilities. It does the same with text and braille telephones for the deaf and blind through its Maryland Accessible Telecommunications program.

By adding Open Sesame to the growing number of assistive technology resources, the state hopes to connect people with disabilities with the technology they need to lead more productive lives.

The Open Sesame app is one of the latest products in the growing field of technology for people living with paralysis and other disabled people. There are devices that translate sign language into text messages and alert people in wheelchairs that they need to move to avoid pressure sores.

The devices are enabling many with disabilities to live more independently and perform basic activities they could not do on their own.

App's affordability makes it accessible to more people with disabilities

Like Rick Frame, who became a quadriplegic 15 years ago after he was injured in an motorbike accident. Until he began using the Open Sesame app, Frame needed someone to dial the phone for him and pick it up when it rang. Now he can use the phone by himself.

Rehabilitation experts say that Open Sesame is one of the more advanced systems they have seen to help the disabled use the phone. Other devices are costly and therefore not available for wider use.

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