olli bus self drives through a campus with people sitting inside

Meet Olli! A self driving bus that speaks sign language & provides other accommodations

A new self driving bus, named Olli, is in the works that does a lot more than taking people places. An accessible version of the bus, called “Accessible Olli” will be using IBM’s artificial intelligence powered Watson technology to communicate with passengers since there will be no driver or staff on it. For example, when…

A pair of hands are shown reading a book in Braille

World Braille Day

Written By: Tatum Tricarico, Point Loma Nazarene University Student & Author Two hundred years ago, someone decided that what the world had to offer him and his disability wasn’t enough. So after putting in a lot of work, Louis Braille changed the world for all blind people. That is why today, and each year on…

White background with blacjk letters that read 'new tech new year". colorful gears border the writing

New Year, New Tech

AT Advocates are community based information and referral specialists who can assist consumers with a variety of assistive technology issues. They work at Independent Living Centers in California.  Ability Tools wouldn’t be the program it is without these advocates and all their hard work. With the New Year approaching we asked our advocates to tell…

These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Things

Written by: Megan Cowdell, Program Coordinator, CFILC   Here at Ability Tools and our parent organization, The California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC), we have used and worked with our fair share of assistive technology. In this second annual blog you will find testimonials from some of our staff on their favorite AT devices this…

Women standing on the beach while wearing dark sunglasses

Dreaming and Seeing in Color

Written by: Madeline Cowdell, News Producer ​“Red brick is actually red!” I exclaimed, when I walked out of a San Francisco Bay Area optometrist’s office, while trying on a pair of Enchroma sunglasses.  That day was the first time I saw many colors and shades I had never seen before.  To me, red brick was…

Women in wheelchair with firefly attached to the front zooming past a store front

Buzzing Around Town

Written by: Christina Mills, Deputy Director, California Foundation of Independent Living Centers The chances that most manual wheelchair users will eventually graduate to a power wheelchair are high. As much as I’d like to believe that my body, and specifically my shoulders, should work like they have forever (in a seated position, moving back and…