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Scott Adams Overcomes Spasmodic Dysphonia



ScottadamsI’ve been a fan of Scott Adams’ wonderful cartoon series Dilbert and also a follower of his blog, The Dilbert Blog. since its inception. The Dilbert Blog is about as wacky and irreverent as you could imagine and is one of my must reads each day. Several days ago, on the blog, Scott Adams posted about some good news. He has been suffering from Spasmodic Dysphonia for awhile. Spasmodic Dysphonia is a condition that causes those it afflicts to loose their voice. Intriguingly SD sufferers can in fact speak in some circumstances, like after sneezing or laughing, or in an exaggereated falsetto or baritone, or while reciting poety. (read much more about that on Scott’s blog here.) Show Biz is rife with legends of singers who can’t speak due to an illness but can sing and I’ve seen that phenomenon happen myself.

The good news is this case was that Scott sort of forced himself back to speaking again by speaking in rhyme. Yeah, I know it sounds a little silly. But apparently it is working.

Well today, (and this is where the Tablet PC part of this story comes into play,) Mark “Sumocat” Sumimoto sent me a link to this article. Here’s a snippet:

SD may be caused by a chromosomal abnormality that results in spasms of the vocal chords. It may cause spasms in the eyes, arms, legs and mouth. Many victims suffer multiple dystonias, or movement disorders.

Nearly three years ago, Adams developed a tremor in his right pinky whenever he tried to put pen to paper. He turned to a digital drawing tablet and stylus, and the spasms disappeared. Dilbert has been computer-generated ever since.

I’m always on the lookout for stories where folks with disabilities or afflictions use Tablet technology (I don’t know if Scott Adams uses a Tablet PC or another digital ink technology) because I believe that they can indeed offer a different path. (Remember Jim Forbes and Dave the LifeKludger?) I’ve emailed Scott Adams and hope he responds. I’d love to discuss more about this with him.

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