What is EASTIN?
EASTIN is a European network that offers information on assistive technology to all citizens. It is the most comprehensive web-service in Europe on assistive technology, due to the joint effort of the partners in the EASTIN project and to the European Commission which initially financed part of the work.
The core of the network is the EASTIN website. This website provides, in all official languages of the European Union, and in a user-friendly and accessible manner, a complete set of information and guidance tools concerning assistive technology.
Continue Reading Looking for information on assistive technology? Try EASTIN first
Cerebral palsy is a neurological condition that some children are born with due to brain malformation or damage. It is not progressive or curable, and the symptoms and severity vary from one child to the next. The condition largely affects movement and muscles, but can have wide-ranging complications from hearing loss to intellectual disability. Because there is no cure, many children with cerebral palsy can benefit from assistive technology, such as mobility aids.
The Limits of Treatment
There are many treatment options for cerebral palsy, and they vary depending on what a child’s symptoms or complications are. But there is no cure for the condition, so treatments are necessarily limited. For instance, surgery can be used to restore some mobility to a child with painful and stiff muscle tone, but she may still not be able to walk easily.
Continue Reading Assistive Technology for Children with Cerebral Palsy
Eagerly awaiting the coming release of Apple’s iOS9 for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, I have done a bit of research about its accessibility features. The following article provides a very good overview and highlights a number of features which will make it easier for students and employees with motor difficulties to operate the touch screen.
Here is a link to some external iPhone keyboards that some people might find useful…
Hi all, I am the founder of avail (assisted visuals achieving independent living), a system that allows facilitators/parents to create step-by-step multimedia supports on a smart device, view learning and send reminders to the learner. The system works from an app and a web portal, which syncs and stores data. We aim to make technology accessible to individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities, promoting independence and lifelong learning. We would love to link in with as many of you as possible, as we will be continuously developing the solution to meet the needs of our learners, we would appreciate all feedback, advice and support. We hope to launch this September. Thanks, Lisa Marie firstname.lastname@example.org www.availsupport.ie
I was recently made aware of an application for iOS Devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) called SimpleMic.
This app is optimised to work with the iOS screen reader VoiceOver, but it also functions when the said screen reader is not in use.
SimpleMic enables you to quickly and efficiently record notes, lectures, meetings and/or other sounds on your device.
I think this app would be great for those who are involved in a situation where it is necessary to retain information which is presented in an audio form, e.g. lecture, interview, etc.
Continue Reading Recording Audio Using SimpleMic for iOS
I discovered a gadget that could be considered Assistive Technology (AT) earlier today, and I think it could be of immense benefit to educators of low vision and/or visually impaired students. The afore mentioned AT is called the Equil SmartMarker, and it is essentially a digital whiteboard marker which displays what it has written to an iPad, iPhone and/or other device. The blog post I read concerning this AT gives a very good description of how the Equil SmartMarker can be used in a classroom setting.
Continue Reading Assistive Technology for Educators of Low Vision and/or Visually Impaired Students
The Assistireland database of assistive technologies has been around for a long time. I thought it was dead but it seems to be very much alive. It’s an online resource of information on assistive technology that includes a directory of products available from Irish suppliers. Also provides good information on AT for independent living. Together with EASTIN the European website of information and guidance on assistive technology, this should tell you a lot of what you need to know, about traditional non-mainstream AT devices anyway. Would be great if there was a similar resource dealing with assistive functions of mainstream devices like phones, tablets, laptops, etc.
In an earlier post I introduced BlindSquare GPS, an iOS application which makes it possible for visually impaired individuals to have their iPhone or iPad speak information about streets and points of interest around them. Thus it is possible for us to find places, discover a particular area and plan a route in advance without sighted assistance.
Naturally, an app which uses GPS cannot work indoors. However, the tense of this sentence can now be changed to “could not”, because BlindSquare 3.0 makes use of Beacons and thus makes it possible for us to navigate indoors. See this video on BlindSquare in real-life indoor use.
A piece of freeware (free software) that students can use to assist reading, includes; text to speech, dictionary support, font changes and magnification, reduce or elimination of adverts and web page distractions, spell checking, word prediction, coloured overlays and text & colour changes.
Check it out at https://www.atbar.org/.
Here at the Dyslexia Association of Ireland, a crucial part of what we do is providing advice and information on technology options available to make the lives of dyslexic people easier in education, employment and daily life. Up until recently, the only options available were expensive software packages that cost upwards of €300. Nowadays, there are a very wide range of options including free software and plugins, apps and in-built features on computers and tablets. For example, did you know that there is a free plugin for Microsoft Word called WordTalk, which allows you to have a word document read out loud and also has a talking spellchecker? Or that there is an iPad app called Notability that allows you to record a lecture and link the audio recording with your typed notes?