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If you stick to our Twitter feed, it’ll pretty much seem like all the news is good news. But, just in case you missed a few tweets, here are 5 awesome articles highlighting AT this week, 11/28 thru 12/2.

A Robotic Glove for the Disabled

Deaf YouTubers lead movement to put an end to crappy video captions

Meet the Man Who Invented an App that Helps Cure Blindness in Africa: ‘The Whole World Came Into Focus’

Digital voice recorders help visually impaired seniors live independently

5 cool technologies that are helping people with disabilities

Are Your Online Documents Accessible to Persons with Disabilities?

Electronic documents are a vital part of modern business. Are yours accessible to your clients and employees with disabilities?

Join SSB Bart Group for a free webinar on Wednesday, December 7th presented by SSB BART Group CEO Tim Springer and OpenText Vice President Steve Jones:

Don’t Forget the Docs! Trends in Digital Accessibility & Electronic Documents 

Tim and Steve will review the big picture trends in today’s market you need to know about, identify which laws and regulations apply and the changes that are coming soon, and share strategies for ensuring that your digital content is compliant and accessible to your clients and employees with disabilities.

Read More Details and Register Here


Thursday, December 8, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.

As Chromebooks spread through educational institutions and individual households, they bring with them an entirely new operating system and approach to screen readers. If you want to learn more about how it works and how it differs from business as usual, this boutique will get you started.

If you are interested in attending this boutique, please RSVP to cvangerven@nfb.org. Space is limited. The boutiques will be held at the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, 200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.

Eye Gaze Technology

Guest post contributed by Erin Swann, AT Specialist, MDTAP

Eye gaze technology allows a user to access a device (communication device, computer, or tablet) using eye movement. For example, instead of using a mouse, keyboard, or touch screen, the user could use eye movement to move a cursor, to perform mouse clicks, and to type using an onscreen keyboard.  As a result, someone with difficulty using a standard mouse or keyboard may benefit from using eye gaze technology to access a device.

For the best results, the eye gaze system should be positioned about two feet away from the user’s eyes. Also, eye gaze users can perform a calibration of the software to increase the accuracy.  During calibration, cameras facing the eyes take measurements that allow the software to predict where the user is looking on the screen.  Proper positioning and calibration is necessary to make sure the system selects the target on the screen that the user is actually looking at.

Once the software has been calibrated, the user can move the cursor to the desired location through eye movement.   For example, looking at the Start Menu button will move the cursor over the Start Menu button.  Users can click on targets by blinking (a longer than normal blink) or by dwell clicking.  Dwell clicking is achieved by staring at one location for a specified amount of time.  One second is a good time limit for dwell clicking for new users, and the dwell time can be shortened as the user gets more comfortable and familiar with the system.

To receive an eye gaze communication device through insurance, a face to face doctor visit resulting in a prescription for a communication device and an evaluation by a speech language pathologist is required. The speech language pathologist will go over all communication device options to determine if an eye gaze device is the best fit.  The cost of an eye gaze communication device is around $15,000.  A stand-alone eye gaze bar that can be plugged into a computer costs much less at around $2,000.  However, insurance will not cover the cost of a stand-alone eye gaze bar. 

If funding is needed, the Maryland Technology Assistance Program allows people with disabilities to apply for a low interest loan to cover the cost of assistive technology (http://mdod.maryland.gov/mdtap/Pages/AT-Financial-Loan-Program.aspx).

If you would like to see a demonstration of eye gaze technology, you can arrange a visit to the Maryland Technology Assistance Program’s Assistive Technology Library by calling 1-800-832-4827 or emailing mdtap@mdtap.org

Guest post contributed by http://www.homecareplus.ie/

Assistive Technology for the Elderly

As people reach their elder years, it is increasingly likely that they will be more susceptible to memory loss, injury and difficulty in communicating. Thankfully, there are many assistive technological devices which can allow elderly people to live more independently.


Memory Aids

TabSafe Medication Manager

  • TabSafe is a medication management system which dispenses medication based on an automated schedule and is kept stocked by pharmacists.
  • It can be expanded to units of 4 to cater for different individual needs, with a single unit of 4 being able to dispense up to 13 medications.
  • Medication is inserted into a cartridge in the device by pharmacists or caregivers and it can be configured to release a single or multiple cartridges at a time.
  • A memory chip is connected to each cartridge so that pharmacists can keep the device stocked if and when a fresh supply of medication is needed.

Price: $10) a month


Click ‘n’ Dig Object Locator

  • The product comes with 6 receivers that can be affixed to important objects such as keys, plus a transmitter which is used to help locate the items if an elderly person cannot remember where they left them.
  • By pressing the corresponding button on the transmitter (all buttons are clearly color-coded), it emits a radio signal which beeps loudly when it reaches the lost item or items.
  • The radio signal is incredibly strong, penetrating walls, furniture, doors, etc.

Price: $89.50


Telecare Aids

Task Fall Detector

  • The device, which can be worn on your wrist like a watch, comes with a help call button in addition to an automatic fall detector which triggers the impact of a fall.
  • The fall detector will diagnose a fall and, before an alert is transmitted, a vibration pre-alarm will kick in. This can be cancelled by the person wearing the device waving his/her arm, so that a false alarm isn’t sent.
  • If the person falls and he or she is unable to press the button on the detector, an alarm is sent so that a caregiver is alerted and can act accordingly.

Price: Obtain a quote from the manufacturer


Hypothermia Bracelet

  • If the bracelet detects hypothermia in an older person for 5 minutes, it will sound a 60-second alarm every 5-15 minutes and an orange light will blink every 5 seconds so that the caregiver is alerted and can respond.
  • Once the person has been sufficiently warmed, the bracelet will emit a blue blinking light every 30 seconds.
  • If the elderly person is not wearing the bracelet, a white light will blink every 30 seconds and no alarm sound will be heard.

Price: $28-$35


GPS Tracking Systems


  • A ‘safe zone’, namely an area that is trusted enough for an elderly person to travel within comfortably, can be established so that if the person travels outside this zone, caregivers are alerted.
  • The user can also call for assistance if he or she gets into any difficulty, whether inside or outside the safe zone.
  • Not only is the caregiver alerted of such situations, but the tracker is able to locate the user so that they can be found easily and quickly.

Price: $388 at time of purchase, plus $8-$16 service plan payable monthly



  • This monitoring system enables caregivers to keep an eye on elderly people who are living elsewhere.
  • It uses sensors on doors and walls to collect details about activity such as how often the elderly person goes to the bathroom or gets up at night.
  • If any potential problems are detected, e.g. the person hasn’t moved for a long time in the morning, caregivers are alerted by an email or text message.
  • It is ideal for use with elderly people who suffer from dementia or who are frail and have difficulty communicating how they are feeling.

Price: $350 at time of purchase plus $19.50 monitoring fee payable monthly. Alternatively, it costs $46.75 a month to rent.


Assistive Phones

Picture Press Home Phone

  • The phone allows the caller to dial 4 numbers on speed dial, using photos of the speed dial recipients for callers to easily dial the person they intend to call.
  • It comes with large, high contrast buttons which are very easy to read, and it remembers the last number called for quick and easy redial.
  • It has a loud receiver volume and ringer for the hard of hearing, but not so loud that it would damage the user’s hearing.

Price: $90


MP334i Man Down Cell Phone

  • This phone provides a potential lifeline for elderly people with health issues such as epilepsy, diabetes and heart problems.
  • It has 1-touch dial buttons and can store up to 5 contact numbers for instant dialing in case of emergency.
  • The ‘man down’ alarm comes with 5 settings (horizontal, vertical, motionless, horizontal & motionless, vertical & motionless) which will alert the caregiver if an emergency is detected.
  • Its in-built sensory intelligence means that emergency dialing can be cancelled if the alarm is activated but no emergency is detected, while its quick keypad locking prevents unintended dialing.

Price: $240


Assistive Devices for Home Security

Brinno PHV MAC Front Door Camera

  • This motion-activated camera is fixed to the location of the peephole on your front door and callers to your door are photographed with the date & time following detection by motion sensors.
  • You can review the images on a 3-inch screen immediately if you’re at home or upon your return home if you’re out, and these images can be downloaded to a computer for easier viewing.
  • As it’s a 1-way system, callers won’t know they’re being monitored, so the house occupant can comfortably refuse to answer the door if he or she does not trust the person outside.

Price: $162


Truecall Secure Phone System

  • The phone system can block unwanted callers while granting connection to trusted callers such as family or caregivers.
  • Callers who haven’t been approved will hear a personalized message directing them to a member of the elderly person’s family, who can then verify whether or not the call is genuine.
  • Call logs with trusted and blocked numbers can be managed through the telephone handset or remotely via the Internet, so it is quick and easy to keep both lists updated.

Price: $155


This content was created by www.homecareplus.ie.


Customized Employment Job Development Training

A Three-Day Learning Experience of Best Practices

Wednesday- Friday December 14th, 15th, 16th, 2016

8:30am – 4:30pm

$150.00 Registration Fee Includes:

Breakfast and Lunch for 3 days, the Training Manual with Forms, Samples, and Support Materials, along with Archived Webinars

Registration and payment (credit card only) at www.seeconline.org

New Life Church

9690 Shephard’s Creek Place, 

La Plata, MD 20646


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MDTAP | 2301 Argonne Drive, Room T17 Baltimore, Maryland 21218| Voice: 410-554-9230 Toll Free ⁄ Voice 1-800-832-4827|Email: mdtap@mdtap.org