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Jeff’s Story

Jeff’s Story

Embrace the moment

Meet Jeff

Jeff Fogel is first and foremost a coach. Whether it’s guiding his junior girls’ basketball team or teaching kids important life lessons through sports, coaching has been his profession and passion throughout his adult life. Since his ALS diagnosis nine years ago, Jeff has lost his mobility and his voice, which prompted him to get an assistive technology device. This allowed him to remain active and continue working with kids. If anything, his condition has motivated and inspired him to live a more purposeful life.

Live the day for the day, embrace the moment, because nobody is
promised tomorrow.

-Jeff Fogel

Man using the Tobii Dynavox I-Series to talk with friends and family

Life with assistive technology

Jeff discovered assistive technology on the internet shortly after his ALS diagnosis. He uses an I-16 speech generating device, which he commands with his eyes using Computer Control, a program on his device that allows him to access the Windows environment. He uses Communicator 5 software to ‘type’ with his eyes and have his phrases read aloud in a synthetic voice, for example when he wants to give a pep talk to the kids he coaches. It also enables him to independently search the internet, watch Youtube and Netflix and stay in touch with friends, family, his athletes and their parents on social media through Accessible Apps, in much the same way he did before living with ALS.

Man using the Tobii Dynavox I-Series to talk with friends and family

Life with assistive technology

Jeff discovered assistive technology on the internet shortly after his ALS diagnosis. He uses an I-16 speech generating device, which he commands with his eyes using Computer Control, a program on his device that allows him to access the Windows environment. He uses Communicator 5 software to ‘type’ with his eyes and have his phrases read aloud in a synthetic voice, for example when he wants to give a pep talk to the kids he coaches. It also enables him to independently search the internet, watch Youtube and Netflix and stay in touch with friends, family, his athletes and their parents on social media through Accessible Apps, in much the same way he did before living with ALS.

The power of teams

Although he’s a force of positivity and independence, like most people using assistive technology, Jeff has a team of people to help him manage his daily life. His mom and sisters are pillars of his support team but he counts on Greg - his best friend and partner in crime of nearly 30 years - as his main caregiver to accomplish tasks great and small, like going to the beach, the movies or live music gigs and organizing get-togethers with family and friends. These small activities bring Jeff a great deal of joy and pave the way for much bigger ambitions, like making this original docudrama about his life. The combination of a great attitude, positive mindset, amazing support team and cutting-edge technology allows Jeff to live and work fully in the present and to handle whatever comes his way.