Mounting Systems for Electronic Devices
Mounting systems are often needed to hold specialized or mainstream devices to wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, or stationary objects such as desks, counters, beds, and walls. They provide a way to accommodate the user's ability to reach or operate the device, or a cognitive disability. They work well in public settings and institutions, where the device must be easy to find and use, but protected against theft. Mounting systems have evolved to handle many devices and environments. This article provides an overview of available mounting systems, including what to consider when selecting a system.
When considering mounting systems, keep the following in mind:
- Adjustability. Will the system allow the device to be positioned so that the user can reach all relevant parts of the device (e.g., not only the touch screen on an iPad, but also the on and off buttons) effectively and comfortably? Can the location and angle be adjusted if need be, but resist accidental changes and "sagging"?
- Safety. Does the mounting system pose a risk to the user by its location, hard surfaces, sharp edges, etc.? For wheelchairs, walkers, etc., does the system protrude so that it or the device might hit a wall, door frame, or desk surface?
- Storage. When the individual isn't using the device, can the system be stowed easily to reduce the chance of damage or injury to the user? Can this be done independently, without moving it accidentally?
- Strength and security. Will the system hold the device securely, even in motion? (Some systems have interchangeable grips to hold different sized devices.) At the other end, will the system attach securely to the wheelchair, desk, etc.?
- Cords. Can the system also hold any cords from the device out of the way so they don't get pulled loose or get in the user's way?
- Accessories. If the device is accessed through a specialized switch, will the mounting system hold the switch as well?
Mainstream devices such as mobile phones and tablets offer a wide variety of custom mounting accessories, such as those used to hold phones in cars. These may work right out of the box, or may need to be paired with clamps or vises available at hardware, auto supply, and home improvement stores.
Assistive Technology Solutions
Current providers of mounting systems include the following:
- RJ Cooper: Magic Arm (switches, keyboards, cameras), Tablet Mounts (Auggie communication device, iPad)
- Daedalus Technologies, Inc.: DAESSY Mounting System (communication devices, laptops)
- Broadened Horizons: 3rd Hand (small devices)
- CJT Mounting (various systems)
- Ablenet (various systems)