Esther Klang’s Story – Empowerment through assistive technology innovation

About Esther

Thank you for inviting me to share my story; I am truly honored to be here. My name is Esther Klang, and I’m a 29-year-old woman who has been a quadriplegic, who has had a tracheostomy,  and has been using a ventilator at night when I am sleeping for the past 18 years due to a brain stem tumor removal surgery in 2006 at the age of 10. 

I also have shallow breathing and vocal cord paralysis, which makes it hard for me to speak and communicate orally. My rehabilitation took place when I was young, naive, and had limited knowledge of technology and no knowledge of assistive technology. It was the early internet days, the pre-smartphone era, and the built-in accessibility features like voice control, switch access, and gestures didn’t exist or were not as robust as they are now.

Esther Klang sitting on her sofa

Image: Esther Klang

Until 2016, I had used my phone and laptop with just two fingers on my left hand. Still, it was a constant struggle using only two fingers of one hand and only being able to reach the left side of the keyboard, my palm unintentionally touching the screen and many other challenges.

In June 2016, it became increasingly difficult for me to use my phone and laptop with my left hand, and I just couldn’t do it anymore. My family and I were under the impression that the only way to use a phone and laptop was with our hands, so I was forced to watch TV shows all day, 24/7, for an entire year to keep myself busy.

Innovations in Assistive Technology

Discovering Sesame Enable – webcam-based head-tracking software

Esther Klang in her wheelchair with assistive technology devices

Image: Esther in her wheelchair with assistive technology

In May 2017, I discovered Sesame Enable. This Israeli company made a webcam-based head-tracking software that allows people like me who can’t use their hands or voices to control their phones, tablets, and computers with their head movements.

Sesame Enable has saved me from severe depression and deep despair; I honestly don’t know how much longer I would’ve been able to go on if not for Sesame Enable. I still use it practically every moment of every day and would be lost without it. I credit all my achievements and accomplishments to Sesame Enable and its founder, Oded Ben Dov, who made such an innovative, life-saving piece of software that keeps it operating and free.

Mouthpad – tongue operated trackpad

Let’s move on and see what other exciting piece of assistive technology I’ve recently discovered and want to share with you.

I read about Augmental, a San Francisco-based start-up and an MIT Media Lab spin-off co-founded by Tomas Vega and Corten Singer and a team of other great people that were producing the Mouthpad.

Self portrait of Esther Klang taken using Sesame Enable assistive technology

Image: Photo of Esther taken with Sesame Enable

Mouthpad is a smart inter-oral interface customisable to each user’s mouth. It is essentially a tongue operated trackpad that allows users with limited hand movement to control their phones, tablets, and computers with just slight head movements. It sounded very cool, so I contacted Augmental to inquire more about the Mouthpad; how it works, when I could try it, and if I could join their early access program. Really the program was for people with Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI), but after some begging, cajoling, and arm twisting, I persuaded them to let me join their early access programs.

I got my impression done on December 8, 2023, and got my own Mouthpad on January 21, 2023. This retainer-like tongue-based Bluetooth interface allows me to control my phone and laptop with my tongue and, hopefully, soon other devices like wheelchairs, exoskeletons, wearables, and more with slight tongue movements. The Mouthpad is a revolutionary technology that will change my life and the lives of many people with disabilities. Most notably, for people who can’t use their phones, tablets, and computers with their hands.

Augmental’s Mouthpad has changed my life. For the first time in my life, I was able to take pictures and videos independently because I was not relying on the device’s camera to be able to operate it.

The Mouthpad is still in beta, and I am very proud to be a part of Augmental’s early access program; I can’t wait to see what other exciting things the Mouthpad will be able to do! 

Esther Klang wearing a Wandercraft exoskeleton

Image: Esther wearing a Wandercraft exoskeleton

Walking with Wandercraft Video

In this video Esther is doing a rehabilitation session wearing a Wandercraft Atalante X exoskeleton that enables adults with functional impairments or cognition challenges to stand up and walk hands-free.

Walking with Wandercraft

Follow Esther on her journey walking with Wandercraft’s Atalante X exoskelton.

To view more videos of Esther’s journey visit:

Guest Blog Author: This guest blog was written for CENMAC by Esther Klang CPACC, Accessbility Tester, Product Tester, Disability Advocate. Esther can be contacted via email:

All images and photos and videos are courtesy of Esther Klang and we are grateful to her for sharing her story of courage and determination.