T-Pull Door Closer Makes Opening & Closing Doors Easy For People With Disabilities — Assistive Technology Blog

T-Pull Door Closer Makes Opening & Closing Doors Easy For People With Disabilities For able bodied people, opening and closing a door is something that is never considered a chore. It’s easily done every time without putting much thought to it – grab the door knob/handle and push or pull it. Simple! However, for people…

via T-Pull Door Closer Makes Opening & Closing Doors Easy For People With Disabilities — Assistive Technology Blog

What a great and simple tool!

Thank you AT Blog for sharing!

Carol

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My Experience with AI-powered Digital Writing Assistants: An Illustrated Autoethnographic Study — Peace & Quiet

Grammarly

As an assistive technology practitioner, concerns regarding spelling and grammar are frequent. Of the many grammar editing services, Grammarly is typically recommended to clients for the extended editing tools offered. While MS Office’s spelling and grammar checkers have improved, they do not provide the indepth editing Grammarly Premium offers.

This repost of a teacher’s experience using Grammarly to edit student work was insightful. His post also supports what I have found when using Grammarly, offering additional assistance for my grammar errors when writing. With repetition, it also is teaching me a few grammar rules I should have learned many years ago!

Here is a first draft of my Research Proposal. I still need to develop the Literature Review. I look forward to your feedback. Thank you! Introduction: Although online grammar checkers have gained popularity in recent years, there has been limited research conducted on the impact of AI-powered assisted digital writers on students’ revising and editing […]

via My Experience with AI-powered Digital Writing Assistants: An Illustrated Autoethnographic Study — Peace & Quiet

H/T to Peace and Quiet for sharing their experience and insights regarding Grammarly.

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OrCam Read – A Handheld Scan and Read Device with Amazing Accuracy!

image of OrCam Read device

OrCam Read

Artificial intelligence is providing a whole new set of remarkable assistive technology tools. One new device is the OrCam Read device. With similar reading functions as the OrCam MyEye  glasses mounted scan and read device, the OrCam Read device is a small, discrete, handheld device that instantly reads scanned text with incredible accuracy.

OrCam Read device image

The OrCam Read device measures 5” in length by 1” height and ½” width, just the right size to hold in your hand, carry in a pocket or attach to a lanyard. Lightweight and easy to handle, control buttons are easy to access with point and shoot operation to scan  desired test.  The OrCam Read device uses a laser light beam to capture what text you are scanning. Two different red laser beams are used, one showing a frame capture and the second a laser pointer capture. The frame capture scans a whole page on text information, whereas the laser pointer option identifies reading from a specific point in the text.

OrCam laser capture

The point and shoot feature is easy to start, pause and stop with the button controls resulting in instant text to speech once print is captured. The + and – buttons allow the user to navigate within the text by moving up/down a line. Both navigation and point and shoot features are fast and immediately responsive without any lag experienced.

Testing the OrCam Read with several different hard print sources found the accuracy of the text read to be extremely high. Trialed with a magazine article, a business letter, textbook and post card print information resulted in OrCam Read text to speech accuracy on targeted text to be at 99%. An error when reading an abbreviation of APR, recognized as April was found when used with a business letter.  Using trials, the device accurately read text as small as 6-8 point to large titles and headings on hard copy print. The Orcam Read will tell you when the text is unable to be read, or in the case of word art graphics or handwriting, it does not process it.

Having trialled and texted many devices and apps with text to speech capabilities to support client needs, the OrCam Read device using standard typed text is the best I have experienced.  Its speed of processing was fast, accurate with a point and shoot type of control. Practice with the point and shoot was needed to understand the parameters of where and what it will read as would be expected.

Other features of the OrCam Read include Bluetooth capabilities to connect wireless speakers and headphones. A standard jack headphone jack is also available. Using Wi-Fi, updates can be downloaded to the device when available. The device menu is accessed by pressing the power and volume buttons simultaneously to control volume settings.  Menu and prompts for operation of the OrCam Read are provided by spoken voice to guide the user in its functions. The OrCam can operate for 4 continuous hours, however it has a suspended mode after a few minutes of non-use which will automatically power down after another short period.

Initial trials of the OrCam Read device found it easy to use, small, discrete and highly accurate in reading standard hard copy print through its scan and read processing.  For individuals with low vision and dyslexia, this device will provide an exceptional on demand tool to access print in work, education and community settings.

Here is an overview video of the OrCam Read device:

For more information, check out the information and tutorials on the OrCam Read website or contact Adaptive Technology Resources for trials, demonstrations or pricing in the Midwest.

More for your OT eTool kit.

Carol – OT’s with Apps and Technology

Posted in Accessibility, Activities of Daily Living, Adaptive Devices, Adults with LD, Artificial Intelligence, Assistive Technology, Dyslexia, Reading, Vocation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

More Talking Books, Please! — Low Vision Tech

Having difficulty getting electronic books due to the COVID Pandemic? 

The Low Vision Tech blogger shares instructions regarding downloading books using the BARD service. Check out the Low Vision Tech’s post to help you out.

“I’m out of books, what am I going to do now?” This was the short version of a call I received from a former client a couple weeks ago, when businesses and rehab agencies sent staff home to reduce public exposure to COVID-19. She’d heard a rumor that the Talking Books she looks forward to…

via More Talking Books, Please! — Low Vision Tech

H/T to Low Vision Tech for taking the time to share information on accessing Bard services.

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Assistive Reading and Writing Software – Free Licenses Offered Through the End of the School Year

Kurzweil 3000 image    Snap & Read image    ClaroRead Chrome extension image

As the mandatory shift to online instruction for all students occurs amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic, more vendors of assistive technology software have stepped up to support special needs students. The following developers of assistive technology software and apps for reading and writing are offering free licenses for special education staff and students upon request:

  • Don Johnston, Inc. is offering their assistive technology learning software for free for struggling readers and writers. The licenses are offered with a request from students special education staff. Licenses for Snap & Read, CoWriter, Wordbank are among the tools offered. The Don Johnston Learning Academy offers tutorials to learn how to use the software.

These tools will allow access to learning materials as schools close and students learn at home. What generous offerings from AT developers to support of students with special needs and families as they continue their  learning at home during the COVID Pandemic.

Thank you to the developers for their generous support!

Carol – OT’s with Apps and Technology.

Posted in Accessibility, Assistive Technology, Dysgraphia, Learning Disability, Reading, Scanning, Word Prediction, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

JAWS, ZoomText and Fusion Software – Free for Home Users (thru 6/30/2020)

zoomtext and Fusion software images

ZoomText and Fusion

The Coronavirus Pandemic has brought challenging situations and many vendors have stepped up and are generously providing free software to help people connect while working or staying safe at home. Freedom Scientific is one of those vendors offering free home licenses of  JAWS, ZoomText and Fusion for home use through June 30, 2020. Information and links to the free software licensing offers are available on the Freedom Scientific website ( https://www.freedomscientific.com/ ).

Free live webinars to assist with learning features and integration of the software to daily tasks are found online at Freedom Scientific:  https://www.freedomscientific.com/training/freewebinars/

On-demand video tutorial webinars are also available from Freedom Scientific: https://www.freedomscientific.com/training/freewebinars/

Thanks to the vendors providing support to individuals with low vision and blindness allowing them access to computer based communications, information and resources.

Carol, OT’s with Apps and Technology

Posted in Accessibility, Assistive Technology, Low Vision/ Blindness, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Disinfecting Your iOS Devices- Updated Apple Recommendations

how-to-clean-sanitize-iphone-without-damaging-it-screen-protector-wipes

 image from 9 to 5 Mac.com

With the concerns of the COVID-19 transmission,  Apple has released official instructions on disinfection your iOS devices. As describe below these instructions are a change from past recommendations:

How to clean your Apple products

Get recommendations and guidelines for cleaning your Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod, display, or peripheral device.

Apple products are made with a variety of materials, and each material might have specific cleaning requirements. To get started, here are some tips that apply to all products:

  • Use only a soft, lint-free cloth. Avoid abrasive cloths, towels, paper towels, or similar items.
  • Avoid excessive wiping, which might cause damage.
  • Unplug all external power sources, devices, and cables.
  • Keep liquids away from the product, unless otherwise noted for specific products.
  • Don’t get moisture into any openings.
  • Don’t use aerosol sprays, bleaches, or abrasives.
  • Don’t spray cleaners directly onto the item.

Is it OK to use a disinfectant on my Apple product?
Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces. Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents. Don’t use on fabric or leather surfaces.

If liquid makes its way inside your Apple product, get help from an Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple Retail Store as soon as possible. Liquid damage isn’t covered under the Apple product warranty or AppleCare Protection Plans, but you may have rights under consumer law. If you plan to visit an Apple Retail store, make a reservation at the Genius Bar (available only in some countries and regions).

Additional recommendations on sanitizing other Apple devices can be found on the Apple website.

Looking for other methods of sanitizing an iPhone? Visit 9 to 5 Mac.com for additional options.

Stay Safe!

Carol, from OT’s with Apps and Technology

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