Google Glass 2.0 Is a Startling Second Act | WIRED — The Assistive Technology Daily

Yes, that’s Google Glass on her frames. But she’s not using it to check her Facebook, dictate messages, or capture a no-hands video while riding a roller coaster. Erickson is a 30-year-old factory worker in rural Jackson, Minnesota. For her, Glass is not a hip way to hang apps in front of her eyeballs, but…

via Google Glass 2.0 Is a Startling Second Act | WIRED — The Assistive Technology Daily

H/T to The Assistive Technology Daily, for curating all things AT!

Carol

Posted in Accessibility, Assistive Technology, Vision, Vocation | Leave a comment

ZooMe Power Travel Scooter

 

ZooMe Auto Flex scooter pic2

ZooMe Auto Folding Scooter

When evaluating vocational rehab clients, all flavors of disability and workplace barriers can present themselves. Clients with MS or Guillian Barre can present  fine motor, visual or mobility challenges in their vocational tasks, requiring solutions to maintain their employment. Frequently, distance mobility challenges are present due to sensory,  motor impairment or fatigue. As an OT, the functional mobility challenges can be identified, however, referral  for  PT evaluation is typical to determine their mobility needs and identify solutions.

 

As an OT and ATP Professional working with vocational rehabilitation clients, making recommendations of tools that will support their employment goals is required. Familiarity with AT and adaptive equipment is needed, however seating and mobility remain a specialized area of AT. As aforementioned, referral to a specialist for determination and typically funding is necessary. General information about options is helpful as fatigue with distance ambulation can be a barrier. Students, instructors or employees presented with walking distances and conserving energy is important in their occupation.

A new category of power mobility devices appear to be emerging with folding travel scooters among them. ZooMe Auto Flex Folding Travel Scooter is one such power scooter weighing  55 pounds and offering an airline compatible battery. with a weight limit of 300#. This light weight scooter reportedly auto folds/unfolds in 15 seconds. It has anti-tip wheels, an auto folding seat with padded seat and adjustable armrests and fold down back. The ZooMe Auto Flex is one of the ZooMe folding travel scooter line that debuted in 2016.

ZooMe Auto Flex travel scooter pic1

It was exciting to see this new line of scooters available as an option for clients. For more information on this scooter check out Drive Medical  for their line of travel scooters.

Are your clients using these travel scooters? What kind of experiences have your clients had with these mobility devices?

More for your OT Tool Kit.

Carol

Posted in Accessibility, Mobility Impairment, Occupational Therapy, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ELI Envision A Low Vision Identification System for ADL’s or Work Place Tasks!

ELI Envision app pic

Identifying personal or work related materials can be a challenge for individual with low vision. I recently stumbled upon ELI Envision labeling system, an iOS and Android app using low cost special programmable labels with a mobile device that can be customized to provide self recorded audio information to identify objects. Created by innovator, Ron Klein, ELI Envision was specifically for individuals with low vision, it does have many more applications and is similar to QR  codes, but with specialized programming capabilities. Here is the scoop on the ELI Envision app,  special labels and how it works:

The ELI app for iOS and Android is free. Specialized programmable labels are required to record information to aid identification. Here is more information about how it works:

ELI envision pic1

The special labels are small and available in packs of 100 for $20.00 USD and can be re-programmed or re-recorded.

ELI envision pic2

Can this be done with QR codes, well yes with a bit more work involved in my experience ( computer work to create these codes with audio and print them out). There are other systems that have some similarities, but not quite as easy and reprogrammable. . This is a pretty fast method using a mobile device and I am assuming a Wi-Fi connection.

This customizable label system could be great for self care labeling at home and could also have application to some labeling needs in a work situation. Modification of the labels on more durable label systems with use of a handheld mobile device could offer information for work related tasks, objects or materials. What an awesome option for labeling!

For more information check out the ELI Envision website.

Have you used these labels and the ELI Envision apps? How might you use them to support your clients occupation?

More for your OT eTool Kit!

Carol

 

 

Posted in Accessibility, Activities of Daily Living, Android, Apps for OT's, Assistive Technology, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Low Vision/ Blindness, Mobile Device Use, Organization, Vision, Vocation | Leave a comment

Compact Keyboards for One Handed Typing

Half qwerty keyboard

A variety of keyboard options are available for one handed typists. Likewise,  there are a number of different philosophies about methods of input, whether to use a standard QWERTY,  alternative or specialty keyboard method . Some of the options of alternative or specialty, one handed keyboards include but are not limited to:

How do you chose the method of input or keyboard for one handed typing? Lily Walters, in my opinion, has a great website offering information and her philosophy about one handed typing methods and considerations. She presents 5 areas to consider when selecting a one handed keyboarding method¹:

  1. Ease of use
  2. Speed of learning
  3. Speed of typing after instruction and practice
  4. Usability at school/home/employment
  5. Will the user use the system in 5 years?

Of the 5 areas Lily Walters rates them by importance to be considered¹:

  1. Will the user use the system in 5 years, will the device be available on the market in 5 years?
  2. Usability at school/home/work – will the user be using a dedicated computer in the environments computer access is required? Will it be compatible with the operating system available?
  3. Speed of typing following instruction and practice – what rate can be accomplished with the method or keyboard chosen?
  4. Ease of use – not only input but will a keyboard need to be carried or available in all environments?
  5. Speed of learning – does the user have existing skill in use of a keyboarding method that can be enhanced with a keyboard or practice? What time and effort is the user willing to commit to learn a new method or device?

Her philosophy suggests there are typically three different choices of keyboards available for one handed typists which should considered with the 5 questions in mind:

  1. Standard QWERTY keyboard
  2. Dvorak keyboard
  3. Specialty one handed keyboard (Maltron, Half Qwerty, BAT, etc. )

Certainly there are special situations for each one handed user and the choice of method should be up to the user which input method or keyboard is selected. According to Lily Walters, use of a standard QWERTY keyboard with retraining using a one handed method is the most universal method of one handed typing allowing users access to any computer with QWERTY keyboard. I have to agree with her philosophy generally and find most clients when presented with the options choose a one handed method of typing using a QWERTY keyboard. Perhaps the fact that most of the clients I work with looking for solutions for one handed methods of keyboarding are 18 years or older and typically have experience with the QWERTY keyboard and prefer to use their familiarity of prior keyboarding skills and they transition to a one handed method. Along with determining their method of input also includes providing them with one handed keyboarding instruction and trialing QWERTY keyboard options that are available.

Using a QWERTY keyboard, what features might be considered in QWERTY keyboards?

  1. Use of a standard 101 key QWERTY keyboard typically found on most desk top or laptop computers.
  2. Use of a Half QWERTY keyboard such as the Matias keyboard using a mirrored method of typing with one hand. This keyboard can be used as a standard QWERTY keyboard or in a Half QWERTY mode.
  3. Use of a compact QWERTY keyboard, especially for individuals with smaller hands (children and females). Consider the hand span of the typists, can their thumb to pinkie finger span from shift “a” key to backspace? If not consider a compact , or mini keyboard, for learning or individual use. Trial is recommended as the feel and reach of each keyboard is different.

The following compact keyboards are recommended from experience with many one handed clients:

  • Logitech K380 Keyboard – This PC/Mac/iOS/Android wireless keyboard is about 10 1/2″ in width, smaller than a standard without the number pad, allowing an easer reach from “a” to backspace key with use. Working with many individuals with one handed typing, when learning to type reaching across to correct errors initially on a standard keyboard interferes with maintaining a new home row position. A smaller keyboard aids maintaining position.
  • Logitech K400r Keyboard – This PC/Mac/iOS/Android wireless keyboard is similar to the above K380 keyboard, but has a touch pad mouse to the right side. Good for the right one handed typist, but not convenient for a left one handed typist. Reach from “a” to backspace key is about 8.25″, reduced from 9″ on a standard 101 QWERTY keyboard.
  • Adesso Mini USB Keyboard – A PC wired keyboard, this keyboard has been around for a long time and continues to be a frequent choice for many one handed typists. With an embedded numeric keypad, this compact keyboard has a reach of 8.5″ from “a” to backspace key.

If learning one handed typing on a 9.7″ tablet as an Android or iPad with a keyboard, the above Logitech keyboards can be used, or tablet cases with keyboard provide a compact keyboard. Realize that some function keys are in different locations pending iOS/Android or PC systems.

My favorite wrist rest for compact keyboards is the Glorious Gaming TenKeyLess wrist rest, a firm, compact rest that fits nicely with the 10 1/2″ keyboards. This wrist rest comes in different widths and lengths pending the type of keyboard and support surface needed.

What One Handed Keyboarding Programs are available?

The following are a few of the one handed keyboarding programs available providing structured lessons:

Lily Walters One Hand Typing –  $49.  for CD.

Lily Walters One Hand Typing Manual – $29.

Five Fingered Typist – $85. CD and manual

Typing Training.com- One handed typing-First month free, $9.00/month. Custom Solutions website.

Doorway Online – Single Handed Typing – free online one handed typing tutorial.

In the past Five Fingered Typist was the typical one handed typing program recommendation. With free one handed typing options as Doorway Online, my recommendations now include Doorway Online lessons.

What do you recommend for one handed clients for instruction and input methods?

References:

¹Walters, Lily. “How To Type With One Hand on a Normal Keyboard.” BEST How To Type With One Hand – About One Hand Typing, Keyboarding and Keyboards. About One Hand Typing, n.d. Web. 01 July 2017.                          

More for your OT eTool Kit!

Carol

 

 

 

 

Posted in Assistive Technology, Keyboard, Keyboarding, Typing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Voice Dream Reader App on Sale

Voice Dream reader icon 12-2014

Through July 4th, Voice Dream Reader app for iOS ( 6.99) and Android (4.99) is 50% off. This is a great value for this multi-function app that reads aloud documents, articles and web sites and supports a wide variety of formats. Download books from Bookshare.org, Gutenberg, Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive and more!

Check out more details on Voice Dream Reader app on the Voice Dream website:

If you are in the market for an app with text to speech that manages textbooks, articles and other resources, I highly recommend Voice Dream Reader!

More for your OT or AT eTool Kit!

Carol

Posted in Adults with LD, Android, Apps for OT's, Apps for Special Needs, Assistive Technology, Dyslexia, iPad, iPhone, Learning Disability, Reading, Text to Speech, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Liftware Level, a Motorized Spoon

Reblogged from The Assistive Technology Daily

Liftware Level spoon pic

Liftware Level

 

Liftware Level By now, you must have seen or heard about this new steady spoon/ utensil that lets people with hand tremors eat without spilling and dropping their food. Liftware Level, a new motorized spoon, is designed for people who have limited hand and arm mobility because of Cerebral Palsy, Huntington’s Disease, spinal cord injuries,…

Liftware Level: A Utensil For for People With Motion-Related Disorders – Assistive Technology Blog — The Assistive Technology Daily

H/T to The Assistive Technology Daily for keeping us abreast of new assistive tech!

Carol

Posted in Accessibility, Activities of Daily Living, Rehabilitation, Self Care, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Owlet Smart Sock 2

The Assistive Technology Daily shares the Owlet Smart Sock 2, offering monitoring of vital signs for young children. Read on for more information about the new Owlet Smart Sock 2 features.

The Smart Sock 2 enhances everything that our 100,000 parents loved about our original Smart Sock. It uses proven technology (pulse oximetry) to track your infant’s heart rate and oxygen levels from the comfort of your home. The Smart Sock 2 has a range up to 100 ft and a new fabric sock design to…

via Owlet Smart Sock 2 | What is the Owlet Smart Sock 2? — The Assistive Technology Daily

H/T to Assistive Technology Daily for sharing their finds on AT innovations!

Carol

Posted in Apps for OT's, Apps for PT's, Assistive Technology, Medical, Occupational Therapy, Pediatrics, Wearable technology | Tagged , | Leave a comment