Toronto-Area Teen Designs Computer Mouse For The Physically Disabled
Besides recently graduating from high school, Emma Mogus, 17, made it possible for people with severe physical disabilities to operate computers. Mogus recently won the 2016 Weston Youth Innovation Award from the Ontario Science Centre for creating Tongue-Interface-Communication (TiC), a computer mouse for physically-disabled people. TiC is tongue-controlled and worn in the mouth like a mouth guard. There are five buttons for the tongue to click on. These buttons allow computer navigation and, ultimately, the ability to surf the Internet and improve communication.
Mogus created TiC during her last two years of high school in Oakville, Ontario, after discovering that her friend with ALS had increased difficulty with verbal communication. TiC will make it possible for people with ALS, multiple sclerosis, and other physical disabilities to write, send e-mails, and surf the Internet with ease. With the $,2000 award from the Ontario Science Centre, Mogus will be able to develop her fourth prototype of TiC. She will also be squeezing in time for her studies at McMaster University starting this fall.
Internet providers in Ontario will also be happy for the launch of TiC since it will allow inclusive Internet access for more residents who currently can’t use computers or find it too difficult. Internet access and computer use are things many people take for granted. The Internet is an outlet, providing a variety of functions for users, such as business, communication, education, entertainment, and news. The Internet even makes day-to-day tasks easier, like banking or deciding what to wear based on the weather. Now, with TiC, these day-to-day luxuries will be available to more people, which is definitely award worthy.
In addition to developing TiC, Mogus has also co-founded “Books with No Bounds” with her sister, Julia. Since 2012, the Mogus sisters have sent 115,000 books to communities around the world. Helping people is clearly the Mogus mission.
With easier Internet access, those with physical disabilities can make use of the offerings of the Internet, connect with online communities, access information, and enjoy some of the simple things we take for granted every day. If you really think about it, you wouldn’t be able to find and read this article if you couldn’t navigate a computer, contact an Internet provider, and browse the Internet. For further reading, and to listen to an interview with Emma Mogus, check out this article.