Project Details

A wheelchair user and a mobile device

Tecla Shield DOS

Delivering tech access to the most disabled

By Komodo Open Labs

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @teclashield

  • Health
  • Social Exclusion
  • Audiovisual
  • Physical Computing

Tecla is a set of open hardware and software tools that lets people with severe mobility impairments control and navigate any app or website via phone or tablet, using their existing adaptive devices: such as wheelchair-driving controls or adapted switches. 

The tool, which was developed by Toronto not-for-profit start-up Komodo Open Lab, is the only switch interface that works with both iOS and Android. 

Founder Mauricio Meza designed it after meeting a woman who’d suffered a devastating spinal cord injury in 2005, and set about building an open, inclusive and affordable tool so she and anyone else with conditions that limit hand or finger movement could access mainstream tech: whether through quadriplegia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, brain injury or stroke. 

Tecla lets you continue to carry out all familiar touchscreen-based activity that such conditions can forbid: control a mouse, take photographs, listen to music, browse the web, make calls, watch video, access an on-screen keyboard to compose emails. And it lets you switch access to voice dictation, so there’s no need to type. 

Komodo, which is funded by grants from Google and the Ontario Centres of Excellence, designs open tech for disabled people. ‘We set out to increase the quality and quantity of accessible products at a fraction of the cost,’ says Meza.  

Image courtesy of Komodo Open Lab

Last updated: 30th of July, 2014

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