6 Awesome Assistive Devices for Those with Motor Control Issues


BY LUCINDA WATROUS posted on Huffpost Healthy Living Blog on May 13, 2016.

In the United States, 18.7 percent of the civilian population between the ages of 18-64 lives with some kind of disability. Of that group, 1.9 percent of them live with a self-care disability, whether physical, mental, or emotional, that affects their ability to do basic tasks like bathe, dress themselves, or get around inside their home. Several conditions including autism, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s, and dyspraxia can make it difficult to nearly impossible to perform simple tasks, everything from holding items, to turning knobs, signing a signature, and cutting food.

I have my own fine motor control issues because of cerebral palsy. While I can generally hold on to items, write decently well, and turn the knobs on my stove, sometimes muscle spasms mean I spill my drink and drop stuff. With all the technology and tools out there, I decided to look for affordable assistive devicesthat could help me — and others like me.

Steady Write Pen
The Steady Write Pen is a special pen with a triangular base, for easy use with either hand. The pen slides into the base so the user has something larger to hold onto. This is particularly useful for people who shake, or for those unable to hold a traditional pen or pencil due to arthritis. You can find it online at a variety of merchants, for around $10.


EazyHold produces a number of silicone cuffs, that are universally designed to attach to toothbrushes, pens, cups, spoons and forks, and more. They’re available in different sizes and colors to make using them a little more fun. As an adult, it’s hard for me to admit when I could use something like this - and somewhat embarrassing. But, at least I can choose them in my favorite color to accessorize my stuff. Prices start at $14.99, and vary based on size and quantity.

Knob Turners

These devices are designed to help people turn the knobs on doors and appliances, so they can function without the assistance of others. These are particularly useful for people who can’t reach the knobs because they are wheelchair bound, or who cannot turn them because of arthritis or other conditions. In addition to turners, there are also devices available for knobs that must be pushed. You can find them online for under $30.

Eye Drop Guides

Eye drops are a pain for a lot of people — because the idea of anything coming too close to the eyes triggers the protective reflex to close the eyes. When you add motor control issues to the mix, getting eye drops in is a massive undertaking. I myself have wasted a lot of time (and drops) since I wear contacts. Sticking my finger in my eye to put my contacts in or take them out? No problem. Getting rewetting drops in there? I hope I don’t have anywhere to be because it can take up to half an hour.

Eye drop guides attach to the bottle and cover the eye, so all you have to do is put it over your eye and squeeze the bottle to get the drops in. You can find them at pharmacies and other mass retailers for under $10.

Signature Name Stamps

For anyone unable to consistently sign their name, with or without a steady write pen type device, there’s always the option of a signature stamp, available at VistaPrint for $18. Simply scan the signature and send to the company to receive a self-inking signature stamp. Carry it with you wherever you go, so you can sign checks, credit card receipts, and other documents.

Adaptive Knives

Cutting my food is always a risky endeavor, one that I take slowly because I’m so afraid I’ll cut myself. I’m married to a chef, so we have quality sharp knives in the home, but I don’t hold the knife correctly. It’s not because I don’t know how — trust me, he’s tried to show me more times than I can count — it’s that I physically can’t do it. My husband’s always willing to cut my food when I need it, but he’s not always here — especially because he works the dinner shift. So — the adaptive knife is definitely on my list.

Adaptive knives are available from a number of manufacturers across the Internet, and are designed specifically for people like me who lack the coordination to use a standard knife safely. There’s an adaptive knife for any culinary job, from a standard meat cutter knife to an easy grip bread knife.

Thanks to technology, the sky is the limit when it comes to assistive devices available to assist the disabled. There’s even an app that allows the disabled to get assistance on-the-go in real-time. From fine motor control to blindness, deafness, and even epilepsy, there’s something to assist nearly any disabled person with any task.




There are currently no comments

New Comment


required (not published)




Disability Network Northern Michigan

415 East Eighth Street
Traverse City, MI   49686

Phone: (231) 922-0903

Accessibility Statement

Disability Network Northern Michigan is committed to making its website accessible to the widest possible audience. This website has been developed to comply under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which was enacted to eliminate barriers to information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities and to encourage the development of new technologies to help achieve these goals. This law requires that all individuals with disabilities have access to information and data comparable to that which is available to individuals without disabilities.

DisabilityNetwork.org is regularly monitored to ensure that it meets the requirements of Section 508, along with the best practices outlined by the W3C’s (World Wide Web Consortium’s) Web Accessibility Initiative, specifically WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) Level A Compliance. We are diligently working to reach and maintain a higher standard of accessibility, which is Level AA Compliance of W3C’s WCAG standards. Because technology changes rapidly, this is an ongoing process.

If you experience any accessibility issues in relation to this website, please contact us. Let us know which page or item you need help with and we will provide a solution that works for you within a reasonable period of time. Questions, comments or complaints about the accessibility of our website, videos or documents can be sent to info@disabilitynetwork.net.