Canon Communicator (1981)

Image of a Canon Communicator advert from 1981.Canon Communicator advert from 1981: "Hello my name is Mary Jo". How things have changed and yet stayed the same in nearly 30 years...

"I AM 12 YEARS OLD. AND HAVE CEREBRAL PALSY. BECAUSE OF MY HANDICAP. I HAVE NO VOICE AND ONLY LIMITED USE OF MY HANDS. WHICH MADE IT PAINFUL TO WRITE. UNTIL I BEGAN USING THE CANON COMMUNICATOR. NOW I CAN ASK QUESTIONS. TALK TO MY FAMILY. DO MY SCHOOLWORK. ALL ON CLEAR EASY TO READ TAPE YOU SEE HERE. WHAT I HAVE TO SAY MAY NOT ALWAYS BE IMPORTANT. BUT THE IMPORTANT THING IS NOW I CAN SAY IT."

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12 Responses to 'Canon Communicator (1981)'

  1. # Blogger daveat

    I actually have three of those in the library, I maily use for teching purpose as a "old tech tool"  

  2. # Blogger OneSwitch.org.uk

    Do they still work? I heard they were pretty bullet proof in 1979/1980 when I (assume) they first came out.  

  3. # Blogger sp

    Are there any places that still sell these?  

  4. # Blogger OneSwitch.org.uk

    You could try Dave via his excellent blog:

    http://assistivetechnews.blogspot.com/  

  5. # Blogger daveat

    They are pretty bullett proof, they remind me of old calculators. I charged one up in August to check themin make sure they are still working(a daunting task times all the others. I would be willing to let one go, lets put it this way it still works...well and I have a donated fl4sh that is almost new and crashes freezes and shutsdown, boy would I like to find out the oem on that one  

  6. # Blogger sp

    That would be awesome if you could let us have one! Perhaps you could email me (nomeshug@hotmail.com) and we could arrange something? Thank you so much  

  7. # Blogger OneSwitch.org.uk

    Hope this works out for you "sp". Would you care to share any background info on why you're after one by the way? Just being nosey!  

  8. # Blogger sp

    Sure, I am a carer for a lady with spastic paraparesis, which is a condition that means she uses a wheelchair and communicates through one of these machines, obviously this kinds pretty old but the new ones we have really just aren't built for her needs, the machine is either too big which means she has to move her arm more to type (which is really difficult and quite painful) or they dont have a attention bell (so she can be in a room alone and let us know when she needs us) or they speak out loud (which is terrible for wanting to have a private conversation!!) The one we had got water spilt on it when her leg was spasming and unfortunately couldnt be revived this time, it was making an ear spliting tone at first but now its dead and nothing seems to work to change that. At the moment we have moved back to one of the other machines but she is getting really frustrated with it and quite disheartened so we have been looking everywhere for a place that might sell this one which worked so well for us before, unfortunately no where seems to sell them anymore! It would really make her life a lot easier to be able to use one of these again,
    Sophie (sp)  

  9. # Blogger sp

    Havent heard anything more about this, is it not going to work out?  

  10. # Blogger Mikael E.

    I'm a 44 y old man in Finland with CP like Mary Jo. I got my first Canon Communicator in 1977 and I still use these devices because it's the most practical device ever maid. And yes, they're bullet proof, as long they don't come in contact with too much water or snow.  

  11. # Blogger OneSwitch.org.uk

    Wow! How many Assistive Tech gadgets built today will still be working in 30 years time I wonder? Thanks for sharing, Mikael. Hope you get many more years out of it.  

  12. # Anonymous Rosie

    I'm in Melbourne Australia. I've got a number of working Canons in various layouts, having had their rechargeable batteries rebuilt.

    If interested please contact me on dealcc@vicnet.net.au

    Rosie  

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