Top 5 Posts of 2015

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Happy New Year Everybody!

Did you know that we publish a new blog post about assistive technology (AT) devices and services each and every week -usually on Tuesdays- and that you can sign up with your email address to get it delivered directly to your inbox?  Enter your email today so that you don’t miss a single post!

In case you missed some this year, we have put together our “Top 5 of 2015” for your reading pleasure.  Enjoy!

Sometimes A Mother Knows Best – Communication Devices Available From Ability Tools,  written by Erin Lauridsen, AT Educator at ILRCSF

Picture of a little boy sitting at a desk using a communicaiton tabletParents of children with disabilities know that part of parenting is navigating complex systems and resources.

Jasmin is just such a navigator for her 5 year-old son, Jordan.

Jordan has low muscle tone, a mild hearing loss, and developmental delays. Jordan cannot speak, but understands spoken language. Jasmin knew he needed a way to communicate, and set out to make that happen….read entire post by clicking here


#NotALuxury Medicare Issue Alert.

graphic that says prosthetics are #not a luxery sign the petition to rescind the medicare proposal restricting access to prosthetic careThe Amputee Coalition, along with many others in the prosthetic limb communities, are asking for help in raising awareness of a recent Medicare policy proposal released on July 16 that has the potential to drastically change prosthetic care for individuals with amputations. Keep in mind that even if you’re not currently a Medicare patient, private insurers often follow Medicare guidelines, so this issue could still impact you… read entire post by clicking here



Stickshifts and Safety Belts – By Aimee Sterk, LMSW, MATP Staff, from Michigan Assistive Technology Program

close up of the handy bar that shows where it latches in on the door frame for leverageMy relationship with my husband had it roots in cars. Stickshifts and Safetybelts was our dating theme song. We spent a lot of time in our cars–he lived 45 minutes away–and we liked to go on drives together. We very much appreciated his bench-seated (though also stick-shifted) Ford Ranger.

Then, in the last two weeks, we’ve both decided to buy new vehicles. With almost a half a million combined miles, our cars were ready for retirement.

As I sat through the not-always-enjoyable process of negotiating a price on the vehicle I want (and finally at a dealer I liked), I thought about assistive technology (AT) I use in my car and other AT devices for cars… read entire post by clicking here


Where is the AT for Individuals Without Limbs? by Kim Lathrop, Administrative Staff at CFILC

Hi!  My name is Kim.
Kim stting at her desk with the mouth grabber on a stand to her sides. She is wearing her headset
I am a 29 year old single woman and I live with my two Shih Tzus in my own apartment.

Now, all of that may not seem too out of the ordinary, but I did leave out one detail…. I was born without any legs or arms.

Before I go any further, I want to say that yes, I have personal care attendants. They do assist me with major tasks that go along in my day-to-day life and in my home. With that being said however, half of the time I am home by myself. During those times, it is important that my apartment is set up and that I have what I need to function. For example, I have different lengths of mouth sticks that I use for flipping light switches on and off, for bringing items that are out of reach closer to me, and to operate the t.v., phones, etc.

My mouth sticks help me out tremendously, but there are many other things I could do on my own if I just had the right equipment… read entire post by clicking here

Amazon Echo: A Solution Looking for a Problem, written by Chi Hung Luke Hsieh, Assistive Technology Advocate at Community Access Center in Riverside, CA

picture of a wooden table with headphones and an amazon speaker - the echo sitting on itAmazon announced its latest big idea last month:  The Amazon Echo.  The Echo is essentially a hands-free, voice activated Bluetooth speaker connected with wifi and to the cloud with a processing chip and 7 microphones.  For more detailed information, visit the official site by clicking here.

Now, there are is lot to be said about this new little toy, and, as somebody working in the field of assistive technology (AT) for five years, I see a lot of promise for Amazon Echo as an AT device for people that are blind or have low vision. The technology, however, looks awfully familiar though…read entire post by clicking here

Do you have an AT product or service that you want to write about?  Contact us at Ability Tools and you could be a featured guest blogger in 2016!

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