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Assistive Technology Blog

Jul
01 2015

Visionary AT

By Jean Des Roches, AT Program Director


Visionary AT

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” Helen Keller. I wonder what Helen Keller might have thought about the myriad of AT available today to assist with blindness or other vision issues? As a visionary herself, I’d like to think that she could have easily imagined an entire industry devoted to the issues she knew only too well. There are lots of categories (as usual!) in the world of AT regarding vision aides. From OCR, (optical character recognition) to magnifiers to audio described DVD’s, there is a lot to review. Let’s see if I can break it down to some general areas to think about in terms of AT.

Jun
29 2015

Approach, Enter, Operate, Participate!

By Jean Des Roches, AT Program Director


Approach, Enter, Operate, Participate!

“My disability exists not because I use a wheelchair, but because the broader environment isn't accessible.”- Stella Young. If you have made your way to this blog, chances are you have heard the word ‘accessibility’ many times. But what does that really mean and how does that manifest itself in the world of AT? Anything that is accessible is attainable or obtainable. Essentially, an accessibility feature or item allows you access to something. When talking about Assistive Technology this means lots of different things!

Jun
29 2015

“Technology is just a tool.” – Bill Gates

By Jean Des Roches, AT Program Director


“Technology is just a tool.” – Bill Gates

I couldn’t think of a catchy way to convey that AT (Assistive Technology) is now, was in the beginning and always shall be about the person using the technology! So I turned to one of our technology gurus, Mr. Gates. A simple yet very true statement. I don’t need to tell you that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of new apps, devices and software coming out every month meant to address the needs of many differently-abled individuals. And this is great news! However, it didn’t take me long to decide that rather than choosing one of these many new devices or apps, or even choosing to write about some of the general categories of AT such as ATC (AT for Cognition) or AT for Activities of Daily Living/Electronic Aids for Daily Living or even the latest gadgets for a “smart home”, I would be doing everyone a disservice if I did not start at the beginning: the people using the technology!

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