Hi, my name is Joe Barnick. I was born in 1978 and at ten months was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a neuromuscular disease that causes muscles to weaken due to the destruction of motor neurons in the spinal cord. To access my Mac, I employ a finely tuned combination of hardware and software. With my right arm suspended in an elastic sling, I manipulate a switch adapted Logitech trackball situated on a wedge with one hand and click a Tash Micro Light Switch with the other. To type ("type" is an understatement, as it allows me to do so much more), I use KeyStrokes on-screen keyboard from AssistiveWare. Never feeling like cobbled together, clunky, "disability" software, KeyStrokes is as smooth and intuitive as a hardware keyboard and unlocks practically every facet of the Mac. Over the years, I have become actively involved in beta testing KeyStrokes along with several of AssistiveWare's other apps (namely LayoutKitchen, Proloquo, and VisioVoice), ConvenienceWare's GhostReader, and the Acapela Group's Infovox iVox voices. In addition, I am editor-in-chief and master of layout of the AssistiveWare Newsletter, and the audio & PDF podcast, Users in Control: A Fresh Perspective on Accessibility.
When I'm not making a nuisance of myself to family and friends, I pursue online college courses through the SUNY Learning Network (I live in upstate New York) in the hopes of someday earning a degree in Graphic or Advertising Design. My other interests include all things Apple, gourmet cooking, Japanese cuisine and culture, film, music, anime, video gaming, art, and collecting memorabilia relating to Star Wars, anime, video games, Roger Rabbit, and other pop culture miscellanea. Humor defines me, as I always place an absurd, somewhat irreverent, sometimes twisted, slant on life's situations.
- Joe Barnick