Monday, December 31, 2012

Jim West passed away this afternoon at Rose Medical Center in Denver.

Dear friends,

It is with great sadness that I share the following news with you on behalf of the West family. After battling ALS for more than six years, Jim West passed away this afternoon at Rose Medical Center in Denver. 743-original

Even amidst our great sorrow, we praise God that for Believers death is never the end.  Thankfully, Jim is now celebrating unconstrained in the presence of Jesus.
We will honor Jim’s life with a Visitation and Memorial Service -- both taking place at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church (8545 East Dry Creek Rd., Centennial, CO 80112). 

The Visitation will be Thursday, Jan. 3, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Please visit with the family over coffee and refreshments, and/or pay your respects to Jim's memory in the church chapel. (Please note: It was Jim's request to be cremated. His remains will be in the chapel.)

The Memorial Service will be Friday, Jan. 4, at 11 a.m. A lunch reception will follow, and everyone is welcome.

In lieu of flowers or a gift, Jim requested that you please donate in his memory to the ALS Therapy Development Institute. You can mail a donation or donate online:

300 Technology Square, Suite 400 Cambridge, MA, 02139

Every dollar you donate to the ALS Therapy Development Institute advances their ability to develop cutting edge therapies to halt ALS. As we mourn the loss of a beloved friend, brother, son, father and husband, let us also remember his bravery and dedication to finding a cure for ALS.  All who knew Jim are blessed by witnessing his courage and strength.

Lecia and her family appreciate everyone’s prayers and support through this entire journey. If you have questions, please contact me at or by calling 303-667-8831. May God hold each of you in the palm of His ever-loving hand.

In His peace,
Elizabeth Billups

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Typing, Communications and Text to Speech Systems Run-Down: An ALS Perspective

A follow-up to my Post; Foot switches, Track balls and bears, oh my!

Time For me to start looking for alternative methods of communicating. I’m comparing systems like Dynavox, TypeRight (, prediction typers like Windows OSK, SoftType 4.1 and KeyStrokes for Mac. Tracking devices like Head Mouse Extreme by Origin Instruments and free tools like

Many more products & reviews will be added so be sure to subscribe and check back soon. At my current 6-10 w.p.m., this may take a lot of time and research. My goal is 30-35 w.p.m. I was 55-60 by hand and could achieve roughly 80-100 with Dragon Naturally Speaking voice software.

win7 Text Right screenshots

stay tuned…………………..