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Contributed by Cyrus Dylan with Caring 4 Our Kids

Caring 4 Our Kids is a blog run by parents who have kids with disabilities such as Autism, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia.  On the Caring 4 Our Kids blog, the parents share resources that have been helpful to them in order to help others in a similar situation.  The resources below, which have been shared by Cyrus Dylan with Caring 4 Our Kids, cover a variety of topics that are helpful to parents of children with disabilities.  Check them out!

Legal Resources for Special Needs
Keeping Disabled Persons Safe While Remodeling
Creating a Home Where Your Disabled Child Can Thrive
Teacher Resources for Special Needs
Disability and Credit Scores
Home Accommodations for Special Needs
Disability Resources from the Department of Labor
Tips for Disabled Persons to Declutter and Organize their Home
Financial Planning for Special Needs

 

Friendly Beds

Contributed by Joe Vosters and Sara Roehrig from Bill-Ray Home Mobility

Man pulling himself up in bed using the Friendly Bed device

Keeping people at home benefits everyone, and here is a new product to assist in that.  Friendly Beds focuses on improved safety (for person and caregiver), independence, mobility, self-esteem, strength conditioning, etc.  Getting in/out of bed (and repositioning in bed) can be difficult for people with many disabilities (especially Parkinsons) and presents a great risk of injury for both the person and caregiver – our product is often a perfect solution. In some cases, we are the main reason a person remains at home – in others we can be their ticket out of a nursing home.

 

Main Points for Friendly Beds –

  • Injury/fall prevention – heavy-duty components allow a person to help themselves, preventing injury to the person and caregiver.
  • Strength conditioning possibilities – exercise (in disguise) for overall health improvements.
  • Allows couples to remain sleeping together despite mobility issues – a choice they never had before. 
  • Independence/self-esteem improvements – ease in self-repositioning for comfort and reduced risk of bed sores.  
  • Helps keep people where they prefer to be at home. 
  • Cost is less than 2 weeks in a nursing home and far less than the cost of a serious injury to person or caregiver. 
  • The transfer bar option for people with little/no leg strength is unique and critical for some people to remain home at all. 

Photo of the Friendly Bed device consisting of bars surrounding a bed.

Friendly Beds is new, innovative, and unique – there is no other product with a three-foot-long trapeze, heavy-duty pivoting assist rails, attached balance pole, over-the-mattress nightstands, a transfer bar (for people with little/no leg strength), etc.  The product allows people to sleep in their normal wide bed (with space to roll over or sleep with a bed partner) despite the issues of age/disability – a choice that never existed before.

 

For more information please visit www.FriendlyBeds.com

 

 

Contributed by Christine Lynch of  KEH Communications

Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 Provides Blind and Low-Vision Students with More Independence during Science Labs

 

Independence Science integrates text-to-speech assistive technology with Vernier Software & Technology’s data-collection interface

 

LAFAYETTE, Ind., July 10, 2017 — Independence Science recently launched the Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 to help blind and low-vision students independently complete data-collection investigations during STEM labs. By integrating text-to-speech assistive technology with Vernier Software & Technology’s LabQuest 2 hardware device, the Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 speaks real-time data results to students.

 

“For blind and low-vision students, hearing something in a multi-module fashion enhances the learning process,” said Ron Supalo, chief operations officer of Independence Science. “The Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 is a valuable assistive technology that allows students to independently conduct their own science experiments and hear the results, eliminating the need for a sighted assistant.”

 

Students can use the Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 to collect data from more than 70 Vernier sensors. In addition to speaking the data-collection results, as well as displaying the results on the screen, the device can vocalize to students more than 20 characteristics of each element on the Periodic Table of Elements. The Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 additionally features faster computing, wireless data sharing, and five built-in sensors (GPS, 3-axis accelerometer, ambient temperature, light, and microphone) making it easy and intuitive for students to collect, analyze, and share data from experiments.

 

Each Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 is sold as a kit that includes a Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2, a USB keyboard, and three Vernier sensors (the Vernier Stainless Steel Temperature Probe, Differential Voltage Probe, and Current Probe).

 

To learn more about the Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2, visit http://independencescience.com/.

 

About Independence Science

Independence Science is an assistive technology company that specializes in providing tools to help students with disabilities have equal access and opportunities to perform independently in STEM fields without a sighted assistant. Consultants at Independence Science are making their expertise available to help school districts, colleges, universities, and state rehabilitation agencies across the country meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and help students in science programs. For more information, visit http://independencescience.com/.

 

Autism Therapies

If you want to learn about the variety of therapies available for people with Autism, the following website is a great resource to check out!

Highly Rated Autism Therapies

Each type of therapy is summarized with several links to additional resources.  The types of therapy described on the web page include the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), Biomedical Treatments, Music Therapy, Dolphin Assisted Therapy, and many others.  Check it out, and share with anyone who may be interested!

 

Contributed by the editorial team at mesothelioma.net

 

The Effects of Assistive Technologies on Cancer Rehab Patients

 

After a diagnosis of cancer, patients can feel overwhelmed. Often, the first order of business is to decide on a treatment plan to slow or stop the progression of the disease, or to alleviate pain. Not only can cancers (such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, leukemia and others) lead to debilitation, but sometimes the treatments do, as well.

 

That’s where assistive technologies come in. Such tech can range from fairly simple items like wheelchairs, walkers, or chair lifters to advanced computing aids like eye-trackers, software programs, and voice recognition devices.

 

Whether it’s a Braille text, a cochlear implant, or weighted eating utensils that help people with tremors to feed themselves, assistive technology devices all have one thing in common. They allow those who are undergoing treatment for cancer and other diseases to function as independently as possible.

 

The value of such independence, and of the ability to perform daily activities as “normally” as possible, can hardly be underestimated. Cancer patients who experience the deterioration of their physical abilities can feel hopeless and frustrated, which in turn may affect their desire to continue treatment.

 

In fact, studies show that people diagnosed with cancer experience more profound psychosocial distress than their caregivers may realize. Naturally, after their diagnosis, patients may experience anger, sadness, despair, and then hope as they begin to pursue treatment. In addition to these common emotions, however, they may be worried about becoming a burden to their families, about the embarrassment of losing their motor skills or control of their bodily functions, about the cost to their families of rehabilitation, and much more.

 

Maintaining independence in daily living is a vital factor when it comes to the psychological well-being of cancer patients, particularly for those afflicted with a rare and terminal cancer. Being able to feed oneself, take care of personal hygiene with minimal help, get dressed, and sleep comfortably are abilities that healthy individuals often take for granted. During treatment for or rehabilitation from cancer, these tasks can become increasingly difficult.

 

While canes, walkers, and wheelchairs have been around for centuries — evidence of the first wheelchair dates all the way back to the 5th Century BC — exciting new advances in super high-tech assistive devices like exoskeletons promise more mobility for paraplegics and others who have lost their ability to walk than ever before.

 

Perhaps even more important than mobility and personal care, however, is the ability to communicate effectively with friends and loved ones. In recent decades, technological advances have made communication easier for everyone, but benefit cancer patients and others with disabilities in particular.

 

Communication devices like the Boogie Board, which is a digital slate that can be used over and over again, or a robotic table that allows bedridden patients to stay connected with the wider world through the internet, can be literal lifesavers for those who cannot speak due to diseases like throat cancer or mesothelioma.

 

There’s no denying that living with advanced cancers is a challenge, but thanks to the software, robotics, and engineering industries that develop assistive devices, patients are able to maintain their freedom and independence longer and more effectively.

 

Contributed by Eric Van Buskirk, Publisher at DOPA

I Write, Therefore I Am: Assistive Technology Bridges The Handwriting Gap

As technology advances, there is help available for those suffering from impairments related to writing. Dyslexia, for example, creates problems for young people learning to write. When others can’t understand what they express with pencil and paper, their broader educational interests may be stifled.  In the context of social communication, writing is even more important than it was 20 years ago. We communicate by text messaging, social media, and email.  Spoken and in person communication is far less common than it was just twenty years ago. New communication driven by keyboards can be more practical for the person with handwriting problems, but keyboards are not the answer for everyone challenged by handwriting.

Click here to read the rest of this blog post to discover 9 AT Tools for People with Dysgraphia.

 

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