At 10:17 on Wednesday 3rd March was the day that Rajiv was able to change the channel on his television himself; sparking the boost of independence he had longed for. Diagnosed with Athetoid Cerebral Palsy at birth and with no natural speech, Rajiv Neel-Sivan has spent his time growing up learning how to use specialist communication devices to control his environment for everyday tasks. His desire to do things autonomously, led to him trialing the Activ 500, enabling him to take control of numerous functions for a more independent lifestyle.
Rajiv’s entry into the world was complicated from the outset. A lack of oxygen at birth and severe complications resulted in a diagnosis of Athetoid Cerebral Palsy. Soon after his diagnosis, Rajiv started daily physical and speech therapy with the aim of reducing the severity of his symptoms. However, the complexity of his condition and his lack of natural speech from the onset meant that he needed to rely heavily on using specialist communication devices.
Despite his disability, Rajiv has always longed to do things for himself and has continually strived for independence. His family, keen to respond to Rajiv’s needs, investigated the possibility of environmental controls. With various options open to Rajiv, he consulted with his therapist and Steeper engineers to assess which solutions would have the biggest impact upon his life. After careful consideration, Rajiv and his family decided that the ability to control his television and to change the channels without assistance would grant him the freedom that he was striving for.
The program recommended by his therapist was a Steeper Fox, which enabled Rajiv to control his television with an accessible switch. After a short while, Rajiv was amazed to discover how easy it was to control and how quickly he had adjusted to the new program. Growing in confidence, Rajiv decided his next challenge would be to access the special features on his DVD player. With the help of his dedicated therapists and Steeper engineers, Rajiv tried the Activ 500. With more features and commands than the Fox, Rajiv was keen to get to grips with the new commands. This clever, easy to operate system can carry out numerous and simultaneous functions for comprehensive home automation at the touch of a button; the ideal solution for Rajiv. Once more, Rajiv was impressed at how easily he was able to control his new device and just how much independence the Activ 500 had given him.
The turning point
Rajiv will never forget the moment he used his first communication device, the Real Voice, aged four, in 1988. Growing up with the help of assistive technology was a lifeline, and over the years he has grown in confidence. Now, with the highly sophisticated Activ 500; he is now more capable than ever at controlling his home environment, from scheduling Holby City to browsing through the movies, his hi-tech device gives him the independence and sense of achievement that he strives for. Keen to share his experiences and to help other disabled children and their parents, Rajiv works closely with Steeper engineers to trial new technology aids. The moment Rajiv used Real Voice, it changed his life and he is keen to enable as many other disabled children to have the same life changing experience as him.
Rajiv's Case Study