tecla-e by Bell Canada: opening up a world of independence

This post the first in a three-part series. We thank BELL for being our 2020 Corporate and Presenting Sponsor!

It’s an understatement to say technology has drastically changed our lives, and while we may be getting a little tired of our virtual gatherings at this point in 2020, it’s safe to say we are also thankful that at least we have technology to help get us through and stay connected.

But it’s possible that technology has had the most profound impact on people with disabilities – in particular those with mobility impairments – to increase independence in meaningful ways. The tecla-e device by Bell Canada is one such game changing devices. 

As tecla-e user Carolyn Pioro told Canada AM, “Before the tecla-e device I relied on old technology. I had a flip phone attached to an ear piece which would always fall out and I had to depend on voice access. Now the tecla-e device is used through the controls of my wheelchair so I haven’t had to get an extra switch or device to access the phone.”

The device allows users to do simple things those without mobility impairments may take for granted – such as sending a text privately without using speech-to-text – or checking your bank statement online.

Tecla-e works with standard ability switches to control touch-based devices, which include:

  • light touch buttons
  • sip and puff
  • proximity switches
  • driving controls of a wheelchair (joy sticks and head arrays)

With advances in smart technology and the ability to connect with up to eight devices, tecla-e is able to offer users even more independence. Using smart home technology, users can open doors, control room temperatures and turn on lights using the device.

“I am able to do my own conversation in private,” Pioro said in her Canada AM interview. “I don’t have to rely on an attendant or a family member to text. So it’s given me a lot more independence and privacy, which I think are excellent which I think are excellent everyone requires and deserves to have.” Tecla-e runs for 48 hours of continued use.

Bell customers can get a $550 discount on the device, giving it a cost of $263. You can find out more about Tecla-e here: https://www.bell.ca/Accessibility_services/tecla-e and it can be ordered by contacting Bell at:  1 800 268-9243.

Need support contacting Bell?

BIST can help, contact our ABI Community Connections Coordinator Isabelle at: isabelle@bist.ca OR 437-241-6751.