Abilities Expo 2014

Come see us at the Abilities Expo in Houston, TX

Looking for a chance to see and to touch assistive technology in person? Well the Abilities Expo is the place to be.

The event takes place Friday July 25 through Sunday July 27th. Click the picture above for more details.

I will be at booth 328 with Blue Sky Designs booth promoting their Mount’N Mover – please come by and say hi!

The abilities expo is a great event with many for-profit and non-profit entities showing their wares and educating the public on their services. There is also a full list of workshops and other exhibitions that take place over the weekend.

So here is your opportunity to see assistive techology in action, oh and the best thing is that it is FREE!!! Click here to register and skip the line!

I would also like to let you know about another upcoming event.
The ALS Clinic Conference
This event will take place in Phoenix, AZ. I will be presenting two workshops, one on Home Modifications that do not require a Contractor and another workshop on home automation via mobile devices. The program is geared towards healthcare professionals that work with people with ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease), but any interested party is welcome to attend. CEUs are available for this event. The program will be announced soon, so stay tuned.

I will do another post on any new/cool items I see at the Abilities Expo – stay tuned!

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What did you say? Voice Recogntion Software – Common Pitfals and Misconceptions

Picture of a person holding their hand up to their ear.

I have a lot of clients that have difficulty with writing.  The causes for these difficulties are widely varied, but one potential solution is voice recognition software.

Picture of a dictionary
First of all lets get some definitions clear.  Often when a client has difficulty writing, I will get a request for voice recognition software.  Voice recognition software attempts to translate spoken language and convert that into typed text or computer commands.  This is speech to text.  Another type of assistive technology is text to speech.  Text to speech converts electronic text into spoken language.  There are a number of software programs that do text to speech, and most have additional features that help with language disabilities as well.  Stay tuned for a future newsletter on options for text to speech.

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iOS Devices as Assistive Technology – an Introduction

iOSTitleThe world of Assistive Technology is changing so fast, it is often hard to keep up!  Even for someone like me who is constantly trying to stay ahead of the curve of what is available in the world of technology for people with disabilities, I find myself discovering new solutions every day!

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Grab Bars

I often get questions regarding grab bars.  I would like to take this opportunity to discuss some details about grab bars, how they should be installed, and some alternatives that you may not be aware of.

I am often asked where grab bars should be installed.  There are guidelines in the American’s with Disabilities Act, but when it comes to grab bars in your home, the best place to install them is where you need them.  There is no formula for where a grab bar should be installed.  My suggestion is to go to the area where the grab bar is needed and see where you naturally reach for something to grab onto.

Picture of hand gripping grab bar installed into the wall

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Onscreen Keyboard – A New Way to Type

Onscreen Keyboard

If using a standard computer keyboard is difficult for you, but you can use a mouse, trackball, or other pointing device, an onscreen keyboard can allow you to regain access to the keyboard.

An onscreen keyboard is just that – a picture of a keyboard on your monitor, and by clicking on the picture of the key you want to type, the letter is selected.

Picture of a Screen Shot showing Windows built in Onscreen Keyboard

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Power Wheelchair Care

Tips for Power Wheelchair Users

Picture of Power Wheelchair

Power wheelchairs are complicated devices.  Using a power wheelchair can be overwhelming at first.  Here are some tips to keep your chair in good condition and working for you!

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Toilet Access Basics

Toilet Access Basics

I visit people with disabilities every week, and whether I am there to look at their home for accessibility, or some high tech need, we inevitably end up talking about using the toilet. I thought I would take this opportunity to discuss some basic toilet assess issues and solutions.

Getting on/off the Toilet
For many people, getting on/off the toilet is difficult.  Sometimes the issue is the height of the seat.  To address this issue there are a number of solutions that could be helpful.

I see a lot of people choose a toilet seat extender with arms built in, like this:
Picture of toilet seat extender with arms buit in with large red X over the picture
Toilet Seat Extender with Arms Built In

I strongly discourage this option because it can be a safety hazard.  The only point that the seat is secured to the toilet is the clip at the front.  If a user does not put even pressure on the handles, it can cause a fall.

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