November 05, 2015


Alison had a brainstem stroke on March 12, 2012. She lost her ability to speak and to move. Over the past year she has regained a little thumb movement and some left foot movement. We met Alison and her husband Chris in February, 2013. Alison keeps up a blog at if you are interested in the latest news.


Alison's goal is to get "plugged in", in the sense that she wants to reconnect with family and friends via Facebook and email, and to have a sense of what is happening in the world. She also needs to communicate using a computer because she doesn't have use of her speech. While Alison has some movement, figuring out how to use it reliably and in multiple environments is a challenge.

Alison became an advisor for the RERC on AAC and is the driving force behind Ethan's (InvoTek) thesis project. The project began with an email about getting Chris' attention and after a little bit of confusion was named "Alison's barking dog.” Through some cool new technology Alison will be able to move her thumb and send a text message to Chris. If all goes well, we would like to also give her the ability to type using the same technology. 

Recently, Alison proved that she can control a wheelchair with the switches she uses for blogging. InvoTek engineers are creating a better switch system that is more reliable for her.