Hi my name is Pete and I’m a graphic artist. I recently got a job at Intel near Portland. I gravitated towards art and design as a kid. When I got injured, I thought that area of my life was over. I didn’t think that I would ever be able to draw again, being that I have limited upper body movement.
About 5 years into my injury, computers began to get smarter and more graphical. The first copies of Photoshop and Illustrator came out. I got my first copy of Photoshop at version 3. Now they’re up to version 8 which I’ve been using ever since. With these two programs, I was able to get back into using the computer and become design orientated again.
I also use a digitizing tablet by Wacom to interface with the computer. It’s pressure sensitive, meaning the harder I push on the tablet, the darker the line gets.
Then, there are my mouse sticks, which I make myself. The way that came about was that when I first started looking into the stick idea, mouse sticks were extremely expensive to have built for you. And the ends would often snap off when you put any sort of torque on them. So, I began to search for alternatives. At one point, I saw someone use old archery arrows with rubber ends and decided to give that method a try. I found a few archery arrows. Then, I discovered brass tubing that could be cut down to any size you wanted. I found one that was 9/32 that allowed a ¼ inch surgical tubing to fit over the outside of it perfectly and an eraser to fit on the other end just as perfectly. So, my mouth stick was born and it only cost about a dollar fifty to make.
The goal for me then is to draw, design or even work like any other person would with a pen and piece of paper. I can do this by using my Wacom tablet and my whole computer system.
How important has the computer been to my life? I just love the computer. The computer has changed my life. It is my life.
The information provided in the Paralysis Resource Center was supported by Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number 1U59DD000338 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.