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Check out some of the newest equipment on Equipment Link!

Hoveround – $2,200 or Best Offer, Baltimore, MD

Working Hospital Bed – Best Offer, Baltimore, MD

Hybrid Wheelchair – Best Offer, Silver Spring, MD

Wheelchair – $125 or Best Offer, Gwynn Oak, MD

Electric Scooter – Best Offer, Silver Spring, MD

Hospital Bed – Free, Owings Mills, MD

Hospital Bed – Free, Silver Spring, MD

Stair Lift – $1,800, Germantown, MD

Stair Lift – $1,100, Ellicott City, MD


Image Maps

Image maps allow an image to have defined clickable areas or ‘hotspots’. These hotspots are defined in the <area> element using coordinates for geometric shapes. The hotspots are navigated by keyboard users in the order in which they are defined in the source code. The order should be logical – usually either left-to-right, top-to-bottom or alphabetically. Because these hot spots provide functionality, every <area> element must have a descriptive alt attribute. The main image may require alternative text if it conveys content that is not conveyed through the individual <area> elements. For example, a map of the state of Utah with hotspots for each county would likely be given alt=”Map of counties in Utah”.

Year End App-Up

Contributed by Joel Zimba, Special Projects Coordinator, MDTAP

The elves who keep the blog up and running have a certain well-known prior engagement in the not too distant future.  Before the year grinds to a close though, I thought it would be a great time to review some of the most useful accessible apps from 2014.

We showed you a quick demonstration of it a few weeks back, but at the top of the list is the KNFB Mobile app.  Yep, it can scan pages of text, but it also works wonders on attached PDF documents which might not be otherwise accessible.  This feature wasn’t quite working upon initial release, so it was a very pleasing surprise upgrade.  At only $99 it’s a great deal.

A somewhat older app has also gotten some 2014 love.  The LookTel Money Reader has been updated to work with the new iPhone hardware and has also had a few currency additions.  I use this little guy daily.

Finally, I have to mention two highly-accessible mainstream apps. Transportation is one of the top issues for many people with disabilities.  Whether it’s getting to and from work, or just the requirements of daily life:  you know, like Christmas shopping, or going to the store for eggnog ingredients, getting enough fire wood for your long winter’s nap, or an evening at the shiny new casino. It’s all about transportation.  This year was the year of the on-demand ride service.  Both Uber and Lyft have revolutionized personal transportation.  Both are driven by apps which are highly accessible, and both companies have made a commitment to maintaining that accessibility. Better, faster and cheaper than cabs—it’s hard to find a downside. Your first ride with either service is free, so give it a try.

On a daily basis, these are the accessible apps I used most. When the elves return from their *cough* extended Nordic ski trip, we’ll bring you more exciting Tech Tip Tuesdays.

The Center on Effective Rehabilitation Technology service delivery (CERT) conducted a baseline survey of Statewide AT Act Programs in 2010, to assess and establish the state-of-practice in RT/AT service delivery, with responses from almost 70% of programs.  Data from the survey was used to establish a baseline of practice throughout the country, assist with identifying benchmarks to evaluate the programs CERT selects for in-depth study, and pinpoint areas for exploration through case studies.

The key findings from the first survey were:

  • Consumers Served: Persons with multiple disabilities (89%) and sensory impairments (68%) received the highest proportion of RT/AT services.  People with TBI, cognitive disabilities, and psychosocial disabilities remain least served in terms of RT/AT services.
  • Consumer Involvement: 90% of responding programs stated that clients are involved in making decisions about the type of RT/AT provided.  However, 76% stated that client knowledge of RT/AT limits their involvement with procurement of devices.
  • Perceived gaps in service delivery: Top perceived gaps in providing RT/AT services included (i) understanding user perspectives on attitudes about, and comfort with, RT/AT (ii) assessing fit between RT/AT and the environment of use, and (iii) availability for supports, assistance, accommodations and maintenance for successful use.
  • Matching Person and Technology: The following requirements of RT/AT solutions are matched with consumer resources: Most often (> 50%): Physical, sensory, and cognitive demands for selected RT/AT; Less often (20-50%): Expense, support services and maintenance, training, and environments; Least often (< 20%): Method of service delivery.

More survey findings can be accessed at: http://bbi.syr.edu/_assets/docs/projects/cert/cert_prelim_finding_baseline.pdf

The big news this week was really big news. Really. Big. Read all about tax-free disability savings accounts that were approved by the U.S House of Representatives. And then check out a great video segment on toy shopping for kids with special needs. And also some other cool stuff. AT in the news for the week of 12/8 thru 12/12

Rewiring senses: Technologies enable humans to hear colour, smell time

Assistive technology

Holiday toy guide: 3 tips for shopping for kids with special needs (Video)

House Approves Tax-Free Disability Savings Accounts

Researchers Identify Autism ‘Thought-Marker

Accessibility & Inclusion – The Future Is In Our Hands

Maryland Learning Links has recently launched its Assistive and Universal Technology Blog. Focusing on assistive and universal technology, it covers topics that include getting started with AT, parent involvement and much more. Enjoy!

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