Tyler Schrenk is the force behind The TSF, a foundation that provides assistive technology and support for quads like himself and others with disabilities to live in their own homes as independently and affordably as possible.
“The goal is to help pass along some of the knowledge I have learned to be independent because it made a huge difference in my life, changed my world and is something I can do to help other people,” says Schrenk, 33. “It gives me purpose and helps me interact with the world again.”
Under Schrenk’s direction, The TSF teaches how to use an iPhone to interact with a power wheelchair, an Xbox One with Kinect to control a television, a Wemo Outlet to turn lights on and off with a phone, and so on. The focus is on finding ways to use off-the-shelf affordable products to enhance independence. Schrenk offers tech support personally: “I’ll set it up locally or via Skype. I’ve helped people in Europe as well as the United States so they can use these tools once they have them.”
Schrenk has discovered ways to use everyday tech to solve huge problems, such as coughing independently. As a C1 quad, he’d been told he would always need a caregiver’s help to cough, but then he thought, “If I could control a lamp, why not a cough machine?” The components are an inexpensive smart outlet and an Amazon Echo. Keep the machine turned on and plugged into the smart outlet, and then use Echo to toggle it. Mount the facemask somewhere you can roll up to easily, and boom — you now can cough independently.
We believe our projects will introduce how assistive technologies can be vital in the lives of those who are mobility impaired. As a result, we anticipate that when these technologies are introduced, the quality of life will improve in those who we serve by giving them an independence they have lost and we hope that they can use this independence to begin leaving their comfort zones and connecting with other people who have similar interests and struggles.
Since 2013 the TSF has provided over $90,000 worth of assistive technologies helping over 60 people living as far as Romania regain independence using assistive technologies.
The TSF was created with the mission and focus on offering a wider variety of assistive technologies and not only reaching out to people locally to Washington but around the world! We are the only nonprofit foundation in the greater Seattle area offering this service and are committed to continuing improving lives of those who are mobility impaired.