The Accessible Setup

What do people with disabilities use to get stuff done?

Srin Madipalli

Srin Madipalli

Corporate lawyer

1. Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Srin Madipalli and I am from London, United Kingdom. I have a disability called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (Type II). I am 26 years old and I work as a corporate lawyer in the City of London. My practice currently involves advising leading corporations, institutional investors and private equity firms on transactions in the real estate and infrastructure sector.

In addition to being a lawyer, I co-founded and co-edit a leading disability lifestyle and travel magazine called Disability Horizons.

In my spare time, I love to travel and experience adventure of all kinds. In the past couple of years this has included traveling around the world for four months, scuba-diving in Bali, camping safaris in Africa and trekking mountains in my wheelchair in Switzerland.

2. What hardware are you using?

As I have very little movement in my arms and legs I am heavily reliant on technology of many kinds to assist with my day to day activities.

For work, I have my hardware precisely positioned on my workstation. Such hardware includes a Windows PC, a smaller keyboard and a telephone which I use via Bluetooth headset. I also have a digital Dictaphone that is linked to my secretary’s computer

As I find it difficult to manually handle hardcopy documents, my work is always transferred to a screen by my secretary. Therefore, I have additional monitors in my room to allow me to operate several screens at one time.

Beyond the office, I use an iPad, a Samsung Galaxy S2 Smartphone and a Sony VAIO laptop. My iPad is primarily used as an e-reader for books and newspapers and I have found it preferable to other e-readers such as the Kindle. I am a heavy user of my Samsung Galaxy S2. The introduction of touch screens to mobile phones has been of great benefit and allows me to type much faster.

3. And what software?

The Microsoft Office applications are what I am most reliant on for the day job, and I use Dragon Naturally Speaking dictation software to type. Socially, I use all the usual stuff (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WordPress, Skype, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.) to keep in touch with the world! I also have a really good Android app called SwiftKey which makes it easier for me to type on my mobile phone.

4. What assistive technology equipment are you using?

For mobility, I currently use a Balder F290 powered wheelchair. As a back-up, I have an older Permobil C2K and for travel I have a lightweight and collapsible OttoBock A200 powerchair. I also use a Goes Anywhere Shower Chair when I am travelling.

To get me in and out of my wheelchair, my personal care assistants use a ceiling track lifting hoist, and when travelling, they use a portable MoLift Smart Hoist.

5. What would be your dream setup?

I think it would be really cool to have an iPad integrated into my wheelchair, which I could use to control every other gadget and piece of technology around me. One day, I’d also love to use dictation software that would have a level of accuracy akin to what another human could achieve when transcribing a recording.