Twenty five-year-old Martin Kline is happy, enthusiastic and a hard worker. He says of himself, “I have no complaints with life.”
Many people believe that a man with Cerebral Palsy feels sorry for himself. Looking at Martin they see an individual who has difficulty walking, who is vision and dexterity challenged and whose speech can sometimes be difficult to understand.
Kline is aware of his physical challenges and shrugs them off. “I can’t change what and who I am. And so I find ways to compensate for my physical limitations.”
Technology has an important role in creating Martin positive attitude. Sometimes he uses text-to-speech technology to speak for himself when calling people. He uses large print when reading. Recently, he started using the More Keyboard for word processing and being an avid golfing enthusiast, he has started playing computer golf games.
Kline researches information on economics for an international investment firm in Washington, DC. His Alma Mater is Ohio State. He is one of nearly 175 people working at the office. He will not discuss his work responsibilities.
“Technology eliminates the challenges facing me daily,” says Kline who spends an average of five hours daily on a computer. He is pleased to have discovered the MoreKeyboard http://www.morekeyboard.com/an innovative large key and large-print computer keyboard. It is designed to benefit the physically and/or vision disabled. The big keys and easy-to-see lettering enable Kline to improve his skills in both of these areas.
The larger keys make it easier for Kline to do word processing. The MoreKeyboard's letter and number keys are more than 25% wider than those of standard keyboards. The larger landing area on the big keys helps with locating and operating the keyboard and is a perfect solution to enable users to type with more accuracy and confidence. The larger landing space is beneficial to new users (young or older), those with physically disabilities.
Kline knows Braille and has put Braille labels on the keys. The labels improve his productivity and accuracy.
Kline has used other alternative keyboards, and he is certain he will use others. He is grateful to manufacturers who make products designed to compensate for physical disabilities. He sees technology as equalizing opportunities for him.
According to Theodore Kline, Martin’s father, his son is athletically competitive. They spend hours weekly playing sports games on Martin’s computers. A frustrated golfer, Martin loves playing golf games. His favorite golf game is My Golf Game featuring Ernie Els (http://www.vtreellc.com/home/my-golf-game.html).
‘There are many, free, fun golf games on the web, and I’ve played many of them. My Golf Game suits my competitiveness,” says Martin.
Martin wears very thick glasses that enable him to see a very strong outline of the golfers well enough for him to play. “I magnify the golfers which also helps when playing,” Martin says.
The game is easy to install on the computer and fun to play,” Theodore says. It takes minutes to install, and you only have to type in a code that comes with each game.
Maritn plays My Golf Game alone, and often with his father, younger brother Frank and sometimes with his mother. When he plays alone, Martin plays nine holes. When he players with others, he tries to get them to play 18 holes. An 18 hole game with two players lasts about 75 minutes. If three or more play, the game lasts nearly two hours. The game gives the players five courses to play on. Pinehurst, Westchester and Firestone are some of them.
The gamehas three levels. Level 1 gives players a chance to practice putting, chip shots, getting out of a sand trap and offers a driving range. Level 2 allows players to pick golfers to play with or create a golfer. Level 3 is golfing.
Martin likes the choices offered in level 1. “It’s the hand-eye coordination that I relish when playing this level,” Kline emphasizes.
“The Avatar golfers look real and show emotions when they are good or when they play lousy,” says Theodore.
Other features of the game that Kline thinks are cool are the claps, cheers and boos from the crowd.
Kline’s mother Frances has her likes, also. “The women golfers are very attractive,” says Mrs. Kline. She thinks the good looking women are one of the reasons the men spend so much time playing the game. They play three times a week.
Kline believes My Golf Game offers individuals with CP therapeutic benefits such as relaxing and building friendships. He feels he is included into his community when he can play games on an equal par with friends who do not have a disability.
In a future version of the game Kline wants to see golfers with disabilities as players.