Kevin Berg, Computer Consultant

Kevin Berg

Daddy-Daughter-Dates Made Possible Thanks to an iPad, Mount'n Mover and the Generosity of Family, Friends, and Strangers

Kevin knew before the end of his first week of his free two week Mount'n Mover trial, he couldn't live without a Mount'n Mover. Through crowd-funding he raised the money to buy it within 19 days.

In Kevin's Words:

The iPad for Independence

A couple of years ago, after using full computers since I was 8 years old, I made a fairly quick transition to using an iPad for nearly everything I once did on the computer.  I hadn't planned on that happening, but the iPad is just so easy to use and has some great accessibility features and I found I couldn't stop using it.

One of the best features of the iPad, however, is its portability, something I had every intention of taking advantage of but rarely did due to my reliance on others setting it up and then putting it away for me. I would often take it with me places but it would inevitably stay in my backpack until I returned home again.

Highly-motivated people with mobility impairments are often most thankful for the people, milestones, and technology that gives them that extra bit of independence, the independence that helps them focus on what they can do rather than what they can't do. 

Kevin BergThis photo was taken using the iPad on my Mount'n Mover; it might not show the mount but it shows the memories I can create because of it. And, really, that’s my take on the mount and any other well-designed adaptive equipment…it should become almost invisible as the user is able to not really even think about the equipment but just enjoy the independence it brings.

As a nearly 40-year-old man with fairly severe Cerebral Palsy, I have had my share of gratitude for my amazing parents, my first power wheelchair, living in the college dorms, marrying an incredible woman, raising two children to be full of integrity, and the many computing devices I have had.  Most recently, I have been overwhelmed by blessings, gratitude, and new independence by integrating the Mount'n Mover into my life.

The Mount'n Mover

I knew a mount on my wheelchair would be helpful, but any that I found were impractical. They were either too unstable to withstand my spasticity, or too awkward to reposition as needed. About a year ago, I found the Mount'n Mover online. It looked like it might be my ideal solution, but without funding (I don't qualify for most programs and we refuse to use credit any more) the cost was somewhat prohibitive. I couldn't stop thinking about it. I knew it had the potential to make my life just a bit better.

A couple months ago, I checked the Mount'n Mover website again and noticed they had a free two week trial available. I figured it would let me verify whether this mount would be appropriate for me. I had bigger ideas as well if I determined that I really liked the mount. So, I arranged to have the kit sent to me.

Knowing how anxious I was to try it, my wife helped me set it up on my wheelchair the same day it arrived. Over the next day or so, we tweaked it a bit so it was just right for my needs, and I was not only hooked, but within just a couple of days I couldn't imagine being without it.

I began comparing the idea of being without it to being in a manual wheelchair instead of my power chair and my wife completely agreed.

It is phenomenal being able to have my iPad always in the correct, stable position in front of me so I can work anywhere and communicate with people independently wherever I go.

It astonishes me that with a couple purposeful moves on my part, I can change nearly every aspect of the position of the iPad myself, no needing to ask for help, no trying to explain to someone how I want it repositioned, no waiting for someone to help. This is such an empowering piece of equipment!

He is able to go out into public alone and I don't worry about him communicating with others. He's now able to take our daughter on Daddy-daughter dates which both of them love. This device has opened up a whole new world for my husband and our family. Thank you for making such a wonderful device, it means the world to us. - Melinda Berg (wife) 

Bigger Ideas: Go Fund Me

When I decided I couldn’t live without my own Mount'n Mover, I launched into my bigger idea to secure funding.

With the help of my family, we went out and recorded, photographed, and documented the ways I was more independent with the iPad mounted correctly. This included me being able to take pictures and communicating with store clerks when they had trouble understanding my unclear speech.

I edited and compiled everything to be posted on GoFundMe.com. The idea is similar to KickStarter where people across the Internet can contribute. GoFundMe.com, however, lets people raise funds for just about any cause or need.

The Mount helps Daddy with communication, work and lots of other things. Daddy is in a wheelchair so it helps Daddy a lot and we can spend more time together. This mount really makes Daddy, Mommy, Zachey and I very happy because it is so helpful. I am so glad it works out for him and makes him so happy. -Gabby Berg (daughter, 9)

After I posted my request, money trickled in for a few days then stopped. About a week later, I started to post updates about the ways the evaluation mount was impacting my everyday life, including being able to take my 9-year-old daughter out on daddy/daughter dates, take pictures and videos of anything at any time, and the independence of communicating with people when they can't understand my speech.

The updates I posted on GoFundMe automatically posted to my social network accounts as well. The more I posted, the more my friends shared my request with others. Within 19 days, I had raised more than the amount I needed!

While the average contribution ranged from $25 to $100, an acquaintance from my college years (I knew him, but not well) actually gave $600…I was absolutely shocked! The funny part is that my goal was met and surpassed while I was in bed, so when I woke up I had to post an update asking people not to give any more while I figured out how to disable the donate button because people were still giving!

BlueSky was fabulous through the whole process, from extending my evaluation period at no cost, posting my fundraiser on their Facebook page, and helping me customize the tray I purchased to hold my iPad (I requested a couple of special features). To top it off, they upgraded the shipping method of my mount at their cost because it was the week of Thanksgiving and they knew how anxious I was to get my own mount! It was better than an early Christmas!

Independence Unleashed

Kevin BergI have now had my own Mount'n Mover for a few weeks and have found myself naturally doing things I couldn't before. Last weekend, we attended a small wedding at our church, and I was able to take several pictures of the ceremony and then email them to the couple immediately afterwards.

 When talking to people, I now automatically start typing what I am trying to say if the other person doesn't understand after I say it a few times or if the thought is lengthy enough that it would be easier to get it out all at once instead of a few words at a time.

Just the security of having my iPad easily accessible for communication has significantly increased my confidence and boldness when I am around other people; this makes my speech much clearer. I have found that some people understand me better than they ever have, resulting in a reduced need to use my iPad for communicating.

I could go on about the ways the Mount'n Mover has changed my life, but that would take time away from you, the reader, looking into how to get the evaluation kit for yourself or someone you know. Don't hesitate one more moment; either find a vendor in your area that has access to an evaluation kit or contact BlueSky about getting one sent to you for a couple of weeks. You won't be sorry!

I am overwhelmed and elated by the love and support of all my friends and even people I don't know.