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  Headpointer

Headpointer Re-engineering

Design Challenge
To re-design a pointing device for cerebral palsy patients that is lightweight, flexible, user-friendly and attractive to all users.

Social Concern
In the early 1990’s, Headpointers, devices used by cerebral palsy patients to type and use computers, did not appeal to many cerebral palsy patients because of their lack of flexibility and heavy, unattractive components and materials.

Partners
Over the Rainbow Association
Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Design Team
Bill Armstrong, Facilitator (Industrial Designer)
Merritt Seymour, Facilitator (Industrial Designer)
Stanley Tigerman, Facilitator (Architecture)
Carolyn Anselmini (Designer)
Kitty Hartigan (Nurse)
Christopher Nigro (Architect)
Sue Ryder (Industrial Designer)

Process
The design team researched materials and worked with health professionals and cerebral palsy patients to construct three prototypes. A lighter graphite material was used and chinstraps were designed to be more comfortable and adjustable. The team also improved the pointer by originating it from further up on the head so that it would no longer obstruct a line of vision.

Results
A final prototype was designed, manufactured and consumer tested for persons with cerebral palsy. The prototype named AcuPoint is currently offered through Sammons Preston, a company that provides rehabilitation professionals and caregivers with assisted-living and developmental products for their clients.

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