Google Glass – Can it Change the Lives of People with Disabilities?

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At the September Ability Tools Southern Regional Meeting, held at the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, my colleagues and I got the chance to learn more about Google Glass and what this new technology could potentionall mean for people with disabilities.

We also even got a chance to actually try out Google Glass ourselves too!

pictures of Ability Tools Members trying out Google GlassIt was an amazing meeting filled with great presenters on a variety of topics, and we got a chance to meet many different people working in the disability and education fields.  In addition to learning more about Rancho Los Amigos and their AT Services for people with disabilities, we also got to hear a presentation from Diana Ugalde, a local graphic designer, called Breaking the Cube.  Breaking the Cube is about Diana’s life, living with a disability, using an AAC to communicate, and the ways that she can “break out of the cube” that she feels society tries to isolate her in.  She is a wonderful speaker and I would highly recommend her presentation for everyone and anyone.

Here is a snippet of Breaking the Cube:


Also, here is Diana’s website:

We also had a chance to tour a model home built and designed for people with different disabilities at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center.  It includes lots of newer technologies people might not be aware of but also many low-tech “simpler” solutions for people with disabilities to adapt their home to to meet their functional needs.  For instance – to pull a standard refrigerator door open takes strength and dexterity, but if you simply tie a thicker elastic rope to the door and make a large loop with it – it becomes very easy to loop into one’s arm and open it that way, using less grip strength.

Another one of our wonderful presenters from Rancho Los Amigos was Andy Lin.  He talked to us about the possibilities Google Glass opens up for people with disabilities.  He also showed us Google cardboard – a new device for smartphones that offers a virtual reality experience for users.

Here is a great video about Andy’s work with Google Glass and its accessibility features:


We hope you can join Ability Tools for our next quarterly regional meeting!  Check here for upcoming trainings and webinars!

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