A couple months ago, I began waking up with an aching neck and, regularly, a dull, throbbing headache to go with it. After a few days of uncertainty and confusion, I realized it was time to replace my pillows.
Before you think you're visiting the wrong blog, don't worry… this is not a post about my search for the perfect pillow. But after ultimately having found a couple that I like, I realized that my pillow search can be quite indicative of the journey you may be undertaking in finding your own assistive technology. Confused? Allow me to share a few ways in which these seemingly very different journeys compare with one another.
- Frustration can abound in the beginning. Narrowing down my search for a number of pillows I felt might work for me took lots of time, effort and research. Likewise, finding the assistive technology that may work best for you can be research intensive, and can feel like you're slogging through mmud with heavy boots on. The assistive technology that works for your colleague or friend may not be the best fit for your unique situation. There are a lot of factors that come into play when you're trying to find the perfect products… for you. It may take more time, support and, unfortunately, money, than you want to spend in order to key in on what's best for you personally.
- One size doesn't fit all… not even close! In my search for new pillows, I came across every kind of material imaginable… from memory foam to bamboo to buckwheat and some seriously questionable fillers, the identities of which I don't want to know. Likewise, you're going to find a lot of features, functionality and layouts in your assistive technology search. The vast amount of information can make it overwhelming to stay focused on what's right for you. Do you really need 40 cells in a braille display? Should you learn to use iOS rather than buying that $5000 braille notetaker? Should you buy that cool new DAISY player, or work towards improving your braille-reading skills? These are questions that you'll need to answer for yourself, and I would encourage you to get support to talk through the options. Ultimately, though, these are questions that you, and only you, can answer, and decisions you'll need to make before you can find what works best for your particular situation.
- There may be more than one right answer. Ultimately, I purchased two very different pilloews, with different fillers and levels of support. Likewise, you may decide that you really would benefit from that cool new DAISY player, but that improving your braile-reading skills is also a valuable way to spend your time. sometimes, you need to dig deep to find the answers that work for you, and that an either / or decision isn't practical. with that being said, you may also have to practice some patience. If you can't afford all of the technology that you want right now, or justify all of your needs to an agency supporting your purchases, you may need to prioritize your technology wish list. Again, having some outside support to talk about your unique needs can be valuable in helping you to gain perspective, and know how to best direct your financial resources for the present.
It takes some work to find your perfect assistive technology, and to be honest, it's absolutely worth it. Better to find what's best for you than to rush the process and end up unsatisfied. But as with my pillows, if you take the time, do your research and be willing to investigate what's truly right for you, then hopefully you, like me, will end up feeling comfortable, supported and happy with your results. I wish you the very best of luck with your journey to discover the perfect (for you) assistive technology, and if you'd like the support of Mystic Access on your journey, we'd be delighted to help.