2020 December Partner eNews

December 2020

Partner Webpage Updates

ABLE Tech’s mission is to provide statewide assistance to Oklahomans with disabilities to gain access to and acquisition of assistive technology (AT). ABLE Tech could not do this efficiently or effectively without collaboration with other like-minded organizations (like you!) who serve Oklahomans with disabilities. ABLE Tech partners provide collaborative efforts in demonstrations, short-term loans, financial loans, and reutilization activities, as well as trainings, public awareness, and information and assistance. Partners also provide a variety of services to Oklahomans with disabilities of all ages, all over the state. Learn more about all ABLE Tech partners on the newly revamped partner webpage!

Assistive Technology Devices 

Smart Home Tech Stocking Stuffer Ideas

When smart technology meets assistive technology (AT), it is frequently a game-changer leveling the playing field! 

There is so much technology on the market today, from devices providing hands-free, accessible entry into homes, smart plugs/appliances to medication assistance, sound notifications, visual alerts, and so much more. Researching what is available and knowing what best meets one’s needs can be quite overwhelming. When considering smart home technology for use as AT, it is important to 1) identify the needs and abilities of the individual, 2) identify the environment(s) the individual wishes to access, 3) identify the tasks they need to accomplish, and 4) narrow down the type(s) of AT that is available. Look to answer the following:

  • Individual –
    • Current abilities/unique needs
    • Expectations for him/herself
    • Future goals/interests
  • Environment(s) –
    • Is internet available? Does a hotspot need to be considered? Is a smart device (phone or tablet) needed to manage the technology? 
    • Is the home conducive for smart home technology regarding structure, layout, etc.? Does the size of the home make a difference?
    • Is the space functional? Where will it be installed?
  • Tasks or Activities – Consider specifically what tasks you want the smart home technology to do. Is it one task or several?
  • The technology itself, including:
    • Ease of use
    • Price
    • Installation requirements
    • High-tech can be good, but only if necessary.

Following these steps will help you narrow down exactly what is needed.

Below is a list of smart home AND AT solutions that would be great stocking stuffers. If you want to trial one of these devices from ABLE Tech’s inventory prior to purchasing, the device list is linked to the online short-term loan inventory. Trialing AT in the environment where it is to be used is a great way to validate if the piece of AT meets an individual’s needs.

Spotlight on Success: NewView 

NewView Oklahoma, which partners with ABLE Tech’s Device Demonstration and Short-Term Loan Program, has been working hard through COVID-19. When clients are unable to make it to NewView’s office, a large number are willing to do TeleHealth to keep their scheduled appointments. Many of the devices NewView demonstrates and loans to patients are very beneficial, giving individuals the opportunity to try out the assistive technology (AT) and see how well it helps clientele continue to stay safe and independent in their homes prior to acquiring the needed AT.

NewView Oklahoma is a non-profit organization that seeks to empower individuals with blindness and vision loss to achieve maximum potential through rehabilitation, employment, and community outreach.

NewView Oklahoma seeks to accomplish this mission through two comprehensive low vision centers, which provide one-of-a-kind vision rehabilitation services for individuals living with blindness and vision loss. The centers offer assessments and low vision solutions and AT to people with impaired vision when it cannot be corrected with glasses, surgery, or medication. 

The new location in Tulsa has provided more space to do in-office visits. The space includes a pediatric treatment room, two vision lanes, an Occupational Therapy/Orientation and Mobility (OT/OM) treatment area, an adaptive kitchen, and AT training area. Additionally, NewView has hired a full-time Low Vision Optometrist in Tulsa, who started 11/2/20.  This will allow NewView to treat more patients in Tulsa and surrounding areas.

NewView has also started a new program called MOVE.  This program allows individuals to come in and stay 60 days at a hotel (if further than 60 miles from their home) while receiving intensive low vision training in all areas including OT, OM, AT, Braille, Financial Training, IOS Training, and Soft Skill Training.  This program is designed to help these individuals dealing with some type of vision loss, to learn valuable skills, that will in return help them be more confident, safe, and independent in more areas of their lives. Clients can continue their training with WSB (World Services for the Blind) to acquire a certificate in several different areas.  This training can help these individuals be ready for the workplace and start a career path.

Thanks to NewView Oklahoma for being an ABLE Tech partner and being a leader in creative solutions to continue to provide vision services!

Holiday Closures

A friendly reminder as the holidays are approaching: ABLE Tech follows the Oklahoma State University (OSU) holiday schedule; therefore, ABLE Tech offices will be closed from December 24, 2020 through January 2, 2021. 

We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!