Jan 29th, 2015 by MDTAP Blog
FEMA Text Message Program
Contributed by Provi Sharpe, Director of Emergency Management and Reuse Projects
It is vital to stay informed during an emergency – whether that emergency is bad or severe weather or some other sort of disaster, you can get the information you need to help you be prepared and stay safe with text message alerts available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) via their Text Message Program.
The FEMA Text Message Program can be used in two ways: to receive regular safety tips for specific disaster types, or to search for open shelters and open disaster recovery centers.
All FEMA text messages are sent from their dedicated number, which is 43362 (4FEMA). This text message program is not a substitute for 9-1-1. During an emergency, call your local fire/EMS/police or 9-1-1 for assistance. For a list of all the disaster specific keywords you can sign up to receive bi-monthly safety tips for, follow this link.
You can also use the FEMA text message program to receive a link for the FEMA smartphone app for your specific mobile device. FEMA will reply with a link back to your phone’s specific app store. For Apple devices: text APPLE to 43362 (4FEMA); for Android devices: text ANDROID to 43362 (4FEMA); for Blackberry devices: text BLACKBERRY to 43362 (4FEMA)
Jan 28th, 2015 by MDTAP Blog
Avoid Form Auto-focusing
Jan 27th, 2015 by MDTAP Blog
Sighted Assistance From BeMyEyes
Contributed by Joel Zimba, Special Projects Coordinator
I just used BeMyEyes for the first time. It is a straight forward utility app which connects a sighted volunteer with a blind user. Through use of the back camera of an iPhone and the microphone, the sighted volunteer can give spoken guidance in solving a given task.
From initial startup, I was talking to someone in under 4 minutes. Simply select whether you want to be a sighted assistant or a blind user and then sign up for the service and you are off and running. Once you click the button to speak with the next person in the queue, the clock is ticking. After about two minutes I had someone on the line who helped me calibrate my touch screen thermostat.
The hardest part about using BeMyEyes app is aiming the camera with one hand while manipulating objects with the other. With practice, I’m sure work-arounds can be found. Of course, getting everything in focus and the lighting just right can also be tricky. There was a bit of initial fumbling, but eventually, we were in business.
BeMyEyes already has around ten thousand volunteers and the number is growing. This means the wait time will stay low and no single volunteer will be bombarded with requests. Best of all, BeMyEyes is free, and we hope it stays that way.
The simplicity of this tool is made possible through the over-abundance of processing power available in mobile devices. Tossing around 2-way audio and a video feed would have been difficult just a couple of years ago.
It’s worth noting that I conducted my experiments using WIFI, and this could quickly devour your data plan, so be mindful of how you choose to connect when using this app.
Jan 26th, 2015 by MDTAP Blog
“Loosely Speaking: An Anthology of Life with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome,” (EDS) is a collection of art, poetry, prose, and other such works, by people with EDS and their caregivers. The goal is to share realistic, authentic experiences, to understand the hobble through life, and to give hope. The idea is to bring the humanity into the medical lives of those with EDS.
Volume 2 of Loosely Speaking is now accepting submissions of writing, art, photography, or any other medium can be pressed into a book!
Examples of submissions for Volume 2:
-Your experience as a patient/provider/caregiver/friend/etc.
-Successes after confusing battles
-Times to let go and cope
-Frustrations with health care systems and successful workarounds
-How it feels to watch someone you care about going through life with EDS
-How it feels to be able to help (or not)
-Self-care as a provider/caregiver
-What EDS has helped you learn about your own life
-Something beautiful or bittersweet that has come of your experience with EDS
Submission Guidelines can be found here: https://sites.google.com/site/looselywriting/
Volume 1: http://blur.by/15kkhqq
Jan 23rd, 2015 by MDTAP Blog
Jan 22nd, 2015 by MDTAP Blog
The Equipment Link website got a new lift! It’s now easier than ever to search and post equipment. And just in case you’d like us to do the work for you, here’s a short list of some of the newest AT listed –
Mobility, Seating, Positioning:
- Geri Chair – Priced at $250
- Hoyer Lift – Available for Donation
If you have questions about any of the items listed, or would like more information on how to acquire an item that’s on the site, contact us at 1-800-832-4827 or email@example.com.