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The Really Difficult Reality of MS

August 11 2008 | by

I just finished writing a book proposal for a publishing company that wants me to write a book on Assistive Technology for those suffering with Multiple Sclerosis. The proposal itself really opened my eyes to the myriads of symptoms associated with MS, including numbness, difficulty walking and balancing, fatigue, vision and cognitive limitations, speech slurring, and more. I recently met with an executive at Pepsi who has MS and some of these symptoms. He showed me around his office, and showed me the kind of Assistive Tech that he uses to power his workday, such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice recognition with a wireless headset, as well as a power wheelchair. Pepsi is a really “disability-forward” company; they gave him a parking spot next to the loading dock so that he could slip into his office with ease, rather than having to park in the regular employee lot. Like many companies Pepsi does have handicapped parking spaces but few people realize that these spots still expose wheelchair users to potholes and slush and all those factors that can wreck an expensive power chair not to mention put the user in jeopardy of slipping and sliding all over the place.

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