• Working My Way Back

    Inspiring story from one of our amazing customers.

    My journey started on September 8, 1995 at 5:30 p.m. I was 47. My family and I were out to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. I got up from my chair and said I did not feel good and then collapsed onto the floor.

    Survivor Victor Orr

    I was transported to Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Sacramento, California. Diagnosed with an intracerebral hemorrhage, I spent a week in ICU. Thereafter, I went to a nursing home for a week and then to inpatient rehab for five weeks. At the time, I could not walk or speak. The hemorrhage left me with right-side paralysis of the arm and leg and severe speech problems. I figured my working life was over so I inquired into disability retirement. I was the manager of workers’ compensation programs at the Sacramento office of the U.S. Postal Service.

    After I received and analyzed my estimate of monthly benefits, I was motivated to go back to work. We could not live on disability benefits. I had 2,600 hours of sick leave saved, which would provide me with my full salary for about 18 months. With that timeframe in mind, the work began. First I had to learn how to walk and talk. I quickly found that walking was easier than talking. I worked hard in inpatient therapy, then home therapy and then outpatient therapy, and I learned to walk and talk.

    In March 1996, I received a certified letter from the DMV suspending my driver’s license. This made me determined to start driving. In June 1996, I purchased a left foot gas pedal and a steering knob. The DMV refused to issue me a learner’s permit so I practiced in a school parking lot. Then I had a driver’s evaluation by an occupational therapist, who determined that I could drive.

    On July 10, 1996, I went to the DMV office for both written and driving tests. After a long driving test, the examiner said I passed everything and my license was reinstated. I was proud of this accomplishment because I really needed my license to get back and forth to work.

    That same month, I was given some work assignments to do at home. That only lasted about a week because I knew I had to get physically back to work.

    During my time away from work, I practiced typing on the computer, worked on my speech, and walked as best as I could. I was paralyzed on my right side, but I was determined that the paralysis would not to deter me from working.

    On August 5, 1996, I walked into the office and worked for four hours. Although I had modified my keyboard, I could not type fast enough. In desperation I called the state department that handles rehabilitation cases and told them my dilemma. They told me that they could not offer me vocational rehabilitation, but they gave me the name of a man that typed with one hand. I called him, and he told me about the BAT keyboard by Infogrip. I ordered this wonderful device and quickly learned how to use it. The BAT keyboard is made for both left and right hand use.


    The BAT one-handed keyboard

    Soon I was able to respond to emails, a big plus because my job entailed lots of typing, including correspondence, spreadsheets and lots of different lists. Soon I was able to type about 35 wpm, which is not great but I was able to get the job done.

    After a month, I was released to work for eight hours a day. Soon after, I was called into my boss’s office and told that the lady doing my job was retiring. He asked if I was ready to resume the manager’s position. “Yes, I am,” I responded.

    At that point, I still had a speech problem and had not been talking on the phone. Talking on the phone terrified me, but I knew sooner or later I would have to conquer the phone. One of my first calls was to a claims examiner at the Department of Labor. I identified myself and gave her the reason for my call. She thought I was an intoxicated injured worker because my speech sounded like I was drunk. I wrote a letter to her boss and explained that I had returned to work and my speech did, indeed, sound like I was drunk. A few days later, I called the claims examiner back and we had a good laugh over that conversation. From then on, if I felt my speech going south, I told the person that I had had a stroke and if they could not understand me, to just ask me to repeat myself.

    Without the support of my family and coworkers, this would have been an impossible journey.

    Throughout the years, one of my main duties has been to educate the medical community on our return-to-work programs for injured employees. I met with many doctors and they were amazed that I returned to work. Being in charge of a workers’ compensation office that covered 11,000 employees was a difficult and frustrating position, however, being disabled gave me compassion for our injured workers.

    One of the highlights of my return to work happened on November 2, 1997. I was selected to deliver the game coin for a San Francisco 49ers game. I was accompanied by my wife, Donna.


    Victor with his wife and caregiver Donna

    Throughout the years, I have had lots of ups and downs in my job, but overall I enjoyed my journey and it certainly paid off. I could not have accomplished this without the support of Donna and my sons, Victor and Richard. Also, without the support of my immediate manager and coworkers, this would have been an impossible journey. They looked out for me while offering assistance when needed and tons of encouragement and support. I was motivated and determined to make my return to work a success.


    Victor delivering the game coin at a 49ers game in 1997

    In January 2006, 11 years after my stroke, I retired from the Postal Service. At the time of my retirement, I had approximately 41 years of federal service and received credit for my unused sick leave.

    Today, I am still paralyzed on my right side, however, I am still leading an active life. I attend three support group meetings every month. We have a 25-foot travel trailer, and we love to go camping in it. I have learned how to set it up and it is a breeze for me to tow. I could write a book on how to hook up and maintain a travel trailer with one hand and a not-so-steady leg.

    In summary, I have learned that with motivation and determination most things are possible. Never give up!

  • AT Network's Assistive Technology Exchange

    The Exchange is a free service of the AT Network for consumers and caregivers in California. Here you will find new and used gadgets and devices (assistive technologies) that empower independence.

    You can:

    • Sell used devices
    • Give away devices
    • Place want ads for devices you need
    • Borrow devices to try

    Just click on items in the menu bar above to get started.

    See what is available at any of 13 centers in California that make short term loans of assistive devices for people with temporary needs or so you can try out devices to see which work best for you.

    Can't find what you need? Call the AT Network, toll free at 800-390-2699 and speak with an information and referral specialist who can help you find the right solutions for your functional needs.

  • Does Infogrip have financing available?

    We get this question all of the time. The answer is yes. To finance an item simply shop on our website and check out using PayPal. PayPal offers their Bill Me Later service and its a great way to purchase the Infogrip products you need today and pay for them later. Click here for more Bill Me Later information.

  • Infogrip Newsletter

    Our February newsletter is here.

  • Infogrip's new Wishlist feature makes purchasing a breeze.

    As many of you have already noticed there has been a lot of changes going on at Infogrip. The thing we are all most excited about is our new website. We are working hard everyday on the site adding new products and features to bring you the absolute best possible shopping experience. We respect your opinion and encourage all of you to browse the site and shoot us an email with any comments or suggestions.

    All of us here have our own favorite feature but mine is the new Wishlist. Many of you submit product wishlists to your purchasing departments so that they can buy the products that you need with a purchase order. We think our Wishlist feature is going to save you a ton of time. Simply put all the product you need into your shopping cart then check the Wishlist box and click continue. You can print or email your Wishlist to your purchasing department or if you are looking for additional products or maybe just a better price email it over to us and let us find you the products that you didn't see on our site and we'll make sure you get the best possible price.

  • Using The Bat Keyboard With Jaws 11

    We have many users that use our BAT keyboard with Freedom Scientific's JAWS screen reader. To setup JAWS 11 to use the BAT please follow the below instructions:

    In the JAWS menu go to Utilities, Configuration Manager, Set Options, User Options and put a check next to Insert Key Mode. Save changes and you're all set.

  • BAT User Quote of the Day!

    Another inspirational quote from a very happy BAT user.

    "I spend hours every day working from hard copy drawings to create 3-D models using SolidWorks CAD software. Most of the input is just entering numbers and manipulating pull-down menus and drag-and-drop geometry. The wide open desk space right in front of me, improved ergonomics, and best of all being able to dedicate one hand to the mouse has made me much more productive. That would also be the case for the thousands of CAD analysts and engineers who are faced with the same challenges."

    Jon G.

  • KVM Switch and the BAT Keyboard

    We had a BAT USB user report that when he tried the BAT USB with his TRENDnet TK-207K KVM Switch he initially had to plug the BAT directly into one of his computer's USB ports then while the computer was still on unplug the BAT and plug it into the KVM switch. From that point forward it worked like a charm.

    This may be a fluke but thought it was worth a post.

  • Roller Trackball & Joystick Technical Issues

    The Roller II Trackball & Joystick and the Roller Plus Trackball & Joystick are some of our most popular products and we rarely have support calls on them. When we do get a call the questions and the answers are always the same. So here they are:

    If the clicks seems to be reversed, the left click is doing a right click and visa versa then you have accidently put your unit in left hand mode. To put it back in right hand mode so the clicks act normal simply press and hold the middle and left buttons for a few seconds then release.

    Also if your pointer seems to be moving unusually slow and you have checked the Window's mouse setting and they seem to be normal there are two reasons for this. If you are using the Roller Plus there is a speed control button on it. Its the one with the picture of a running man. There are 5 variable speeds that this button controls. Press the button once and test the mouse speed. Repeat 4 more times. If this is not the issue then it means you have accidentally put your Roller product into slow mode. To reset it back to normal simply press and hold the middle and right button for a few seconds.

  • BAT User Quote of the Day!

    Hi Aaron, just a little memo to say how much I am satisfied with my new BAT keyboard it is like a good guitar with easy action at your fingertips. It makes writing like a ride on a slide.

    Thanks and keep up the good work your client....John Ware

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