Tecla | Access technology hands-free — The Assistive Technology Daily

Reblogged from The Assistive Technology Daily, TECLA- E provides access to tablets, smartphones and smart home automation systems. Read on for more information about what TECLA can do…

WHO IS TECLA FOR? Tecla is for anyone who can’t easily use a smartphone, tablet or computer. This includes those with limited upper-body mobility resulting from spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, ALS, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, brain injuries, or stroke. HOW DOES TECLA WORK? Tecla allows an individual to interact with their iOS and Android […]

via http://attraining.org/atdaily/2017/05/04/tecla-access-technology-hands-free/

Reblogged from The Assistive Technology Daily

Posted in Accessibility, Activities of Daily Living, Assistive Technology, Environmental Control, Mobile Device Use, Mobility Impairment, Physical Disability Tool, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Typing on the iPad Pro 12.9 with SuperKeys App – Access for Individuals with Mobility Impairment 

The iPad Pro’s large 12.9″ now provides additional accessibility for individuals with motor and visual impairments previously a struggle for those who may have difficulty with multiple finger touch or using assistive touch features. A recent client, presenting speech, motor and visual impairment, was interested in communicating with family and friends using email and Facebook. With strong reading and writing skills, the need to view print and access keys of a computer or mobile device was the challenge.  Voice recognitiion was not found to be an option. Already familiar with the iPad for games, a larger, 12.9″ iPad appeared to be the best choice as a device with a small footprint, available apps for social communication and accessibility features. Available in 32 GB, 128 and 256 GB RAM, the iPad Pro 12.9″ 32 GB sells for approximately $685.00 (USD) at Amazon for the 32 GB Wi-Fi model. If you are looking for a bargain, refurbished iPad Pro 12.9″ 32 GB are available for approximately $599.00 (USD) again at Amazon. 

Functionally the client was able to use his left pointer finger with deliberate movement but required a large target and controls to his left side. Screen contents required enlargement on a slant surface for his visual needs. Although he was deliberate in the use of his left hand/finger, speed and coordination was reduced. The client had a lap tray for his wheelchair but which offers limited space. The 12.9″ iPad Pro in a Targus Versavu case providing a easeled or slant surface with the Home button positioned to his left preferred hand for ease of operation.  

Trial of the use of different input methods found SuperKeys keyboard app (iOS; 14.99) provided direct access to support his motor and visual needs. SuperKeys app, a third party keyboard developed by Crick, is an iOS QWERTY keyboard with 5 main cluster key areas. Once tapped a cluster key area is tapped it provides enlarged keys of the cluster (see below images). This provides a larger key allowing easy access for individuals with motor control challenges. Applying this iOS third party keyboard and turning off repeat rate provided the client the ability to access the tablets keyboard and type. SuperKeys keyboard app provides the following features:

 Word prediction is also provided within SuperKeys app to reduce keystrokes. Another rate enhancement feature of SuperKeys app allows phrases to be added as shortcuts. Phrases as “how are you doing?”, “hope to hear from you soon”, “see you soon” was added as quick social messages that could be added with just a few keystrokes. 

Although typing was slow, it was possible for the client to create messages and view contents of the iPad, social media (Facebook) and email menus, text, app icons and tools with Zoom set to the highest setting possible on the iPad 12.9″. Using the iPad Pro 12.9″ , the adaptive keyboard app SuperKeys and accessibility options allowed the client the ability to communicate with family and friends. 

My recent purchase of an iPad Pro 12.9″ (refurbished) for under $600.00 has been positive, exploring how it can help individuals with mobility and vision impairment. As for this particular client, the iPad Pro 12.9″ provided a great solution as a written communication tool. And of course there is a new iPad Pro 12.9 that has a faster processor, better camera and all the new features of OS 11. For now I will be happy with my refurbished iPad Pro 12.9″ and explore its use with other clients serviced. 

What has been your experience with the iPad Pro 12.9″ or with adaptive keyboards?

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Posted in Accessories, Apps for Special Needs, Assistive Technology, iOS, iPad, Keyboard, Mobility Impairment, Occupational Therapy, Third Party Keyboards, Uncategorized, Visual Impairment | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

iPad Pro 1 & 2 Cases for 12.9″

While the newest iPad Pro 2 has just become available on the market this June (2017), only recent experience with the 12.9″ tablet has required searching for accessories and application of its features for individuals with a multiple disabilities. The 12.9″ tablet offers improved access for individuals with motor as well as visual impairments. 

A search for available cases (without a keyboard) for the iPad Pro 12.9″ tablet found some of the same favorite cases available. For one client however, availability of a stand with orientation of the home button to his left preferred (one handed) hand was necessary. My search for iPad Pro 12.9″ cases found these among my favorite picks:

Otterbox Defender Case for 12.9″: This case has been an old favorite offering durability and a cover with a stand. With the cover offering a stand, this case can be oriented vertical or horizontal with the home button positioned to the right or the left side. Otterbox provides a year warranty and has been around a long time with good reviews and ratings. Cost on Amazon.com approximately $78.00 (USD).

Griffin Survivor Case for iPad Pro 12.9″: The Griffin Survivor case has been another heavy duty, favorite tablet case. With a durable case and stand, this case is completely enclosed to protect from dirt, sand and rain. Cost on Amazon.com approximately $67.00 (USD).

Cooper Dynamo Case for iPad Pro 12.9″: This is a familiar, heavy duty case featuring a protective screen and case with a handle that serves as a stand for slant positioning. Cost on Amazon.com approximately $27.00 (USD).

Gumdrop Case for iPad Pro 12.9″: Another familiar durable heavy duty case with protective screen. The Gumdrop Case offers a stand with Home Button access to one side only. A good option if access to Home Button is not a concern. Cost on Amazon.com approximately $ 60.00 (USD).

Targus Classic Versavu 360 Rotating Case for iPad Pro 12.9: Not a heavy duty case, the Versavu case however has been a long time favorite offering a low profile with a protective back and Smart Cover to place the device in sleep mode when closed. The back cover provides 360 rotation allowing the device positioning in vertical and horizontal views with positioning of the Home Button to the left or right side for individuals needing access to either side. The cover also serves as a stand offering slant positioning. Cost on Amazon.com approximately $ 33.00 (USD).

Although any of the above cases would be a choice depending client needs, the Targus Classic Versavu 360 case was my pick for my recent client needing a stand and offering the Home Button to is left side for ease of access given his left preferred hand. The stand provided good visual access when combined with specific accessibility options applied. 

What has been your experience with the iPad 12.9″ ? Do you have any favorite cases for the iPad Pro 12.9?

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Posted in Accessibility, Accessories, Assistive Technology, iPad, iPod/iPad Accessory, Mobile Device Use, Mobility Impairment, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

SayIt! App


 SayIt App!                                              

Looking for a quick text based AAC app that can speak out loud? SayIt! is a free iOS app (free version allows 40 characters; Unlimited version 10.99) providing basic typing, word prediction and text to speech. As a text based AAC app, it does have customizable settings for:

  • Word prediction
  • Rate is speech
  • Voice choices
  • Speak words or sentences
  • Appearance setting high contrast options
  • Text size
  • Switch access

Here are the majority of setting options:

Here is what it looks like with text increased, high contrast setting customized.

Although a free app, 40 characters maximum allowed in the free version, limits you to the quantity of text seen above. Great for short messages with a few words. Unlimited text will cost you 10.99.

As an assistive app, the SayIt! switch access options appear quite robust as seen below:

Experience with this app and switch use has not yet been trialed, however appears to require multiple switches to each perform a functions.

SayIt! App provides a straight forward method of producing text with text to speech and word prediction options. It does not allow integration of third party keyboards such as Keeble or SuperKeys for additional word prediction or keyboard input options. That being said, use of iOS accessibility options are always available to customize dwell, repeat rate as well as text enlargement among others for access to the iPad.

SayIt! App, is a quick AAC tool with a keyboard, text to speech and word prediction capabilities. It can be a tool for clients who have communication challenges who are able to spell or type. This app might also be considered by clinicians working in acute care or rehab settings to augment communication. Purchase of the Unlimited version would appear to needed however at a cost of 10.99. Other apps are available as a simple AAC tool, such as Speak It Text to Speech!! or AAC Text to Speech (free).

What have you used?

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Posted in App Reviews, Apps for OT's, Assistive Technology, Augmentative Communication, Customizable app, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Physical Disability Tool, Rehabilitation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Visual Tracking / Motor Coordination Apps for Adults

Visual tracking apps pic

Visual Tracking & Motor Control /Reaction Time Apps


A recent email from Kate A. requested suggested app for visual motor reaction time for home programming after use of Dynavision in the clinic. Although, I am not a user of the Dynavision, and using a mobile device, a much smaller size requiring less tracking and reach, is significantly different, there are a few apps that might be considered. The link below provides a listing of visual tracking / motor coordination apps for adults with timed response options monitoring (in many) that provide activities and tracking of speed and coordination for the user:

Visual Tracking / Motor Coordination Apps

Do you use apps for improving eye hand coordination and reaction time with your clients? If so, what apps would you recommend?

A recent research article ” The use of the iPad for post stroke hand rehabilitation: A pilot study” can be found in full at Research Gate. The article describes apps used for the post stroke hand rehabilitation research for training and outcome measurements. Although the research was performed with a limited sample, participants reported positive responses to use of a mobile device (iPad) and potential as a home programming tool.

More for your OT eTool Kit.


Posted in Adults, Android, Apps for OT's, Fine Motor Development, Home Programming, iPad, Occupational Therapy, Physical Disability Tool, Rehabilitation, Research, Visual Motor | Leave a comment

Word Bank for Google Chrome

Word Bank logo

Word BankDon Johnston just announced another new product, Word Bank for Google Chrome. A similar support to Co:Writer but without the prediction features, Word Bank easily creates a word cloud or word list on a topic from an electronic document or web information. Word Bank provides a floating tool with options to customize the word list supporting use of vocabulary when writing.

How does it work? Here are some screenshots of Word Bank:

Word Bank 1

Word Bank is an extension added to your Chrome Browser. When activated, the above dialog box is available with a search tool bar allowing choices of gathering  general topic words or from a specific web page. The process is easy and the word banks can be saved for later use.

Words in the word bank are spoken aloud when selected and can be easily inserted into your document when clicked to reduce spelling and copying errors.

Options available within the settings of the Word Bank tool allows you to rename a Word Bank saved, delete it, download a word bank, print, choose a layout (alphabetical or circular- which is like a word cloud with frequency of words displayed), and provides a slider for the number of words desired.

Word Bank 2

The options of layout and number of words can help with differentiating the list from complex to simple pending the student skill level.  Although I have not trialed this with students, it appears to be another great writing support for struggling writers.

More information and a video about Word Bank can be found at Word Bank Demo Video, and Word Bank overview page.

Have you tried Word Bank? Share out what your experience!

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Posted in Assistive Technology, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Google Chrome, Google Docs, Text to Speech, Traumatic Brain Injury, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Gazespeaker AAC Software

Reposted from The Assistive Technology Daily.

Gazespeaker AAC “Gazespeaker is a free software designed to help people with disabilities to communicate and interact with their environment and the web uniquely with their eyes.”This is a fantastic free suite for eye gaze which is developing at pace. AAC options include symbol grids (using ARASAAC) and keyboard entry – predictive text and numerous…

via Download Gazespeaker ⋆ Free Software Downloads — The Assistive Technology Daily

Another H/T to The Assistive Technology Daily for their infinite resources of everything AT!


Posted in Augmentative Communication, Uncategorized | Leave a comment