SafeTracks GPS – Personal GPS Tracking Devices — The Assistive Technology Daily

 

TRiLOC GPS Monitoring Safetracks offers a reliable GPS Personal Monitoring Device which is ideal for communicating and locating those with living with Alzheimer’s/Dementia, Autism, those suffering from PTSD, Lone Workers and other high-risk applications. Key Features: SOS button Fall detection Up to 1-minute location updates PING for updated location 2G/3G/4G connection variable reporting…

via SafeTracks GPS – Personal GPS Tracking Devices — The Assistive Technology Daily

H/T to The Assistive Technology Daily (what an awesome AT resource!!)

Carol

Posted in Assistive Technology, Cognitive Impairment, Intellectual Disability, Special Needs, Wayfinding/GPS monitoring, Wearable technology | Leave a comment

CDC Milestone Tracker App and Developmental Milestone Resources for Parents

Milestone Tracker App

Milestone Tracker App

The Center for Disease Control collects and provides statistic on many health and medical conditions. Over the past year or more, professional information I have read consistently cited an increase in the incidence of developmental disabilities. In a recent CDC data brief dated November 2017 ,  statistics again reflect an increase in the incidence of developmental delay from 5.76 to 6.99 percent in children ages 3 to 17 years of age. While I find this alarming, our expanding (exploding!) caseload of students qualifying for OT school based services seem to reflect this increase.

Positive steps taken by the CDC involve providing information on developmental milestones to parents of young children, ages 0-5 years. Their campaign, called Learn the Signs. Act Early. provides information on developmental milestones for 0-5 year olds included an app, Milestone Tracker app, and numerous other resources to help parents identify developmental milestones and what to do if concerns arise.

The CDC Milestone Tracker app , available for iOS and Android devices for free provides milestone checklists, ability to track multiple users/children, photos and videos on development, tips and activities related to milestones and ability to track appointments and schedules for children. The CDC also provides a wide range of other free developmental resources for parents, including developmental charts, videos, activity suggestions and other tools to support educating parents on childhood developments.

While you may have your own OT resources for parents, the Milestone Tracker app and other CDC developmental resources may be supplemental information for parents of your 0-5 year old clients. I encourage you to check out and pass on these resources in an effort to intervene in the growing incidence of developmental delay.

Are you familiar or trial the app? What has been your experience with the app?

More for your OT mTool Kit!

Carol from OT’s with Apps

References:

Zablotsky B, Black LI, Blumberg SJ. Estimated prevalence of children with diagnosed developmental disabilities in the United States, 2014–2016. NCHS Data Brief, no 291. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2017

 

Posted in Android, Apps for OT's, Apps for PT's, Developmental Delay, Early Childhood, Education, iOS, Pediatrics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

OrCam My Reader and My Eyes for Text, Facial and Product Recognition

orcam-1_1

OrCam My Eyes

 

Advances in optical character recognition (OCR),  object recognition, artificial intelligence and computer vision has resulted in remarkable, new products to aid individuals with visual impairments. One such new device, the OrCam, provides a variety of features allowing OCR and recognition of print and environmental text, product recognition, money recognition as well as facial recognition. Once recognition is completed, the processor speaks the information aloud using its small speaker located in the device which attaches to the temple of a glasses frame. It’s ease of use, fast processing and accuracy makes this device a functional, electronic scanning/recognition device for many tasks and environments.

The OrCam is a small camera that mounts to the frame of glasses. Hardwired connection to a handheld processor, the camera is able to read text at a distance or close using gestures or with operation of a few buttons on the handheld processor.

OrCam camera and processor

OrCam My Eyes functions, as described on OrCam’s website include:

Orcam product features

The OrCam comes in two versions, a basic OrCam My Reader that performs OCR and OrCam My Eyes offering OCR with other recognition capabilities (money, products, time, facial recognition).

Trial using the OrCam found good accuracy with reading textbook information, reading environmental print in signs and posters good (with exception of some word art) with good ability to recognize products. As indicated in its features, it requires connection to the small handheld processor but no Internet connection, allowing its use virtually anywhere. The battery is stated to last a day and offers a sleep mode when not in use to conserve battery level. Voice quality is also good, with clear speech and easy to access volume control. Discussion with an OrCam certified trainer indicated that it also works well with clients who have hearing aids.

Here is a YouTube video from the Blind Life with an overview of the OrCam device with MyEyes:

Reviews and trial using the OrCam finds it is a remarkable device offering recognition of text, products, faces and environmental text. It continues to be updated for additional features and improvements with its operation. Trial found it fast, accurate and easy to use following training and application of gestures and understanding the features available. Although created for individuals with vision loss, this might also be a solution for some individuals with dyslexia or other significant reading challenges but good motor and problem solving abilities.

Where can you get the OrCam or a demo? In the Midwest, contact Adaptive Technology Resources , Grafton, WI (ATR; ph.: 800-770-8474), a supplier of the device with certified OrCam trainers. You can also respond or contact me through this blog for more information on the OrCam.

More for your OT or AT eTool Kit!

Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, ATP, CATIS
OT’s with Apps and Technology

Posted in Accessibility, Assistive Technology, Learning Disability, Life Skills, Low Vision/ Blindness, Occupational Therapy, Reading, Text to Speech, Visual Impairment, Wearable technology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Top 75 Occupational Therapy Blogs and Websites on the Planet

occupational_therapy_1000px

Top 75 OT Blogs and Website Award!

 

Looking for the best OT blogs and resources on the web or planet?

Feedspot.com’s recent polling of the Top 75 Occupational Therapy Blogs and Websites , as of November 19, 2017 shares the best blog and website resources occupational therapists! As the primary blogger of OT’s with Apps and Technology I am honored to be one of the top 20 OT blogs listed in Feedspot’s November 19, 2017 post!

For more OT resources on different disabilities, work settings and other OT related resources check out Feedspot.com’s Top 75 OT Blogs and Websites for more resources that can support your OT practice.

A big thank you to Feedspot.com for recognizing OT’s with Apps and Technology in their  Top 75 Blogs Award and sharing out the other great current OT resources!

More for your OT eTool Kit!

Carol Leynse Harpold, OTR/L, ATP, CATIS

Posted in Assistive Technology, Occupational Therapy, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Object Recognition Apps – What Apps Might Work for Individuals with Learning or Intellectual Disabilities?

Object recognition pic

Object Recognition Process Image

 

The science of object recognition  continues to evolve combining the science of artificial intelligence, computer vision and cloud based networks providing  greater recognition accuracy of objects and entities. Application of this science to apps have also become increasingly available on mobile devices for consumers with some targeted to specific needs and individuals with disabilities.  The OT’s with Apps post entitled “Object Recognition App Feature Match” presents a variety of such object recognition apps identified for individuals with learning or intellectual disabilities. While there are numerous object recognition apps currently available,  identifying the best app for AT clients serviced has been a need to determine potential application for individuals evaluated for their AT needs. Specifically, identifying potential apps for individuals with learning or intellectual disability was important as possible AT solutions. Recognition apps for individuals with visual impairment have been available for several years and have been a population offering recognition apps specific to their needs however may have features not considered optimal for individuals with learning or intellectual challenges. Available recognition apps as “Be My Eyes app”, “Braigo app”, “Be Spectacular app” or Aipoly app target specific users and innately present features that are barriers to others (i.e. require typing user names, password, require registration,  email accounts or subscription based services for operation).

While the Object Recognition App Feature Match document targets potential apps, trial of the apps appeared to be the best method to begin to determine functional application of these apps. Employing basic object recognition trial appeared to be the first step to identification of potential apps for individuals with learning or intellectual disability. Although just a start, application to clients needs would require further evaluation of their specific skills, specific task, environment and tools using evaluation frameworks as SETT or HAAT framework.  Understanding the tools and tasks as simply trialed with the object recognition apps and basic objects or products begins to provide information on which apps might be most accurate, have easy operation and product information helpful for individuals with intellectual or learning challenges.

Object recognition apps chosen to be used for this informal trial were identified with the following features:

  • Ease of use
  • Seeking high accuracy (however understanding that 100% accuracy may not be attainable. When risks of safety are involved, use of a recognition app is not recommended such as for medication, medical recommendations, etc.)
  • No login required
  • Speaks recognition information without turning on text to speech or screen reading options as VO (for sighted individuals)
  • Information spoken is easily understood
  • Presentation of features of the app are intuitive and can be easily memorized or used for operational and functional competency of use
  • App has been undated recently, supporting current iOS systems to ensure operation
  • No subscription fees are required for operation of the app.
  • Apps with only bar code scanning were not selected or trialed due to their limited application

Object recognition apps that fit the majority of the above features were employed. Informal trials of the apps were performed using an iPad Mini 4 in a consistent location and time. Lighting remained consistent during all trials. The objects were singly presented for recognition for best object recognition with 1-2 trials allowed as needed for recognition. Implementing recognition required positioning the object or bar code in the camera field of the mobile device and pressing the camera button with Wi-Fi services available.

Results of object recognition accuracy with the following items is as follows:

Object recognized
App used
Jolly Good Popcorn
(bag)
Campbell
Tomato Soup
(can)
Nature Valley
(pack-aged
Bar)
Pepsi
Soda (can)
No-Ad Sun Block
(bottle)
Skippy Peanut Butter
(jar)
Band Aid™
(box)
Object Accuracy
Comments
Third Eye app
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
7/7
(100%)
Seeing AI app
+
+
+
+
+
+
6/7
(86%)
Bar code used for identification; offers additional info with other menus
Eye Spy app
+
+
+
+
3/7
(43%)
Generated generic info
CamFind app
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
7/7
(100%)
IDentifi app
+
+
+
+
+
+
6/7
(86%)
TapTap See app
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
7/7
(100%)
Requires VO to use; Same data base as CamFind (CloudSight API)

Results of the informal trial showed the following apps for the objects trialed to be most accurate (100% of 7 items trialed):

Apps with good accuracy (86%) included:

Comments: The objects chosen for trial were randomly chosen and trial completed within a home where some lighting and object manipulation (positioning) is capable. Objects used did not represent a cross section of goods or items individuals might need to recognize. Apps providing object recognition rather than bar code scanning were chosen in attempts at gaining information on labels from images only. Apps found most accurate included the Third Eye, CamFind and TapTap See app. Note that TapTap See and CamFind apps have the same developers, thus assuming they both use the same data base for recognition. Although TapTap See states they require VO to be turned on, the app did recognize and speak aloud object information without turning VO on.

While Seeing AI app resulted in slightly reduced recognition accuracy, it provides the most recognition options (short text, product, scene, documents, people, images) within the app. The multiple options in Seeing AI may be great for some individuals with basic reading skills and problem-solving skills, however they may present barriers to some individuals with intellectual challenges. The CamFind app, a recognition app not targeted specifically for individuals with disabilities, appeared to be a great app with universal design features. Created by CamFind (using CloudSight API), the developer also of TapTap See app, this app might be the easiest to apply given their long standing dedicated work with image recognition.

Conclusion: As for apps recommended for object recommendations, of course it depends. If seeking an app for an individual with a learning or intellectual disability who is able to problem solve and has some reading skill, I would consider Seeing AI app due to the multiple features it offers for object and text recognition. For individuals with intellectual disability, I would explore application of Third Eye app and CamFind or TapTap See app as long a Voice Over options do not cause a barrier. For individuals who are working just with products with bar codes and has functional competencies of application apps, I might suggest using Digit Eyes app (iOS, 9.99), which just identifies products with bar codes. As always choice of app or tools is dependent on information using evaluation information as gathered using a SETT, HAAT or other individual, skill, task, tool, environment evaluation method. Identifying safety issues with use of the recognition apps for individual with intellectual disabilities would also need to be an important consideration with the application.

As for devices, I would recommend a current iOS device offering fast processing, current iOS with best camera (highest MP offered) to support best picture quality.

Have you used object recognition apps with any of your clients? What has been your experience?

Carol, OT’s with Apps and Technology

References:

Leynse Harpold, Carol. “Object Recognition App Feature Match.”, 2017. Source: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-_ajvAXsmYg4bHcYn0vphPvoFnxAuGsO/view?usp=sharing

Rouse, Margaret. “What Is Object Recognition? – Definition from WhatIs.com.” WhatIs.com, Feb. 2015, whatis.techtarget.com/definition/object-recognition.

Zabala, Joy. “SETT Documents.” Joyzabala, http://www.joyzabala.com/Documents.html.

Posted in Accessibility, Android, Apps for Special Needs, Assistive Technology, Intellectual Disability, iOS, Learning Disability, Uncategorized, Vocation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Hot Virtual Keyboard – Virtual On-Screen Keyboard for Windows-Based Devices — The Assistive Technology Daily

Virtual on-screen keyboard for any taste Replace Windows On-Screen Keyboard with Hot Virtual Keyboard and start typing like a pro in just minutes! Hot Virtual Keyboard packs a number of advanced features to make on-screen typing faster, easier and more accurate. Make full use of your touch-screen PC (Tablet PC, UMPC, Panel PC, Car PC, Touchmonitor, Kiosk) or type…

via Hot Virtual Keyboard – Virtual On-Screen Keyboard for Windows-Based Devices — The Assistive Technology Daily

H/T a always to The Assistive Technology Daily for their AT curation!

Carol

Posted in Accessibility, Apps for Special Needs, Assistive Technology, Keyboard, Typing, Windows | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Live Caption — The Assistive Technology Daily

Live Caption Live Caption Using voice recognition software, you can connect with the world again. Stay in the conversation with Live Caption. Need help understanding the waiter at your favorite restaurant? When you download this app, they can speak directly into your phone and Live Caption transcribes in real time. To begin captioning, simply press the…

via Live Caption — The Assistive Technology Daily

H/T to The Assistive Technology Daily for curating everything AT!

Carol

Posted in Accessibility, Apps for Special Needs, Communicaton, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Hearing Loss, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment