Here’s the event organiser explaining Hank’s situation:
Hank damaged his spinal cord between the 4th and 5th cervical vertebrae making him a “C4-5 quad”. “From the shoulders down” means the nervous system below that point on his spine isn’t connected. He thankfully has some control of his arms, but no feeling or control in his hands, making it impossible to type. Thus the need for a hands-free system.
I think as much as we try to advance technologically, we shouldn’t marry ourselves to the old ways of doing things. Thinking outside the box, like what Swype does, is just as important because sometimes it can really change the game. Congrats Hank. [YouTube via Android Central]