AT Discovery Webpages Updated
AT Discovery is getting a refresh on the ABLE Tech website! The staff has been updating the content on each of the AT Category pages, adding new case studies, device recommendations, and links to updated resources.
Check out AT Discovery for Hearing AT!
ABLE Tech Device Loan Program Reopens with New Application Procedures
ABLE Tech will be re-opening the short-term loan program on July 7. If you have been waiting to submit a loan request due to the COVID-19 closure, submit now and fulfillment will begin July 7.
Changes to ABLE Tech’s AT inventory system will make accessing the Device Loan Program and Device Reutilization Program more user-friendly.
This new AT inventory process allows Oklahomans to register, log in, and submit requests to borrow devices. The addition of multiple functionality features now allows users to narrow the search for AT to borrow.
Check out the Device Loan Program and get your request in, so you can be first on the list! Need help determining what to borrow? ABLE Tech staff are available for virtual demonstrations and can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 800-257-1705.
Hearing AT for Remote Meetings/Distance Learning
ABLE Tech has a variety of hearing AT/tools to make remote meetings and distance learning more accessible for individuals with hearing loss. Need hearing AT solutions for distance learning, working, or social isolation? Are you or your student struggling with hearing in virtual meetings? Try some of these tips with hearing AT.
Consider amplifying computer sound by using a personal amplification system. It is easy to connect the microphone or transmitter to the computer audio output source to amplify the computer or remote meeting sound output.
The Pocketalker is a personal sound amplifier that helps individuals hear important sounds and voices. It amplifies while reducing distracting background noise. This slim, ergonomically designed amplifier is easy to use. Simply plug in the headphone or earphone, position the microphone near the preferred sound, adjust the volume to the individual’s comfort level – and start listening. To use it with a computer or other electronic audio source, use an audio cord to connect the Pocketalker to the computer sound output jack. *When borrowing a device for this purpose, it is important to indicate that an audio output cord is needed.
The Comfort Contego is a wireless, digital, secure FM sound communication system for people with mild to severe hearing loss. It is a two-piece unit – containing a separate transmitter and receiver to obtain quality, amplified sound. It is often used in the work or school environment but also is beneficial for a social and family gathering, and in the car. To use with the computer or TV audio: connect the transmitter unit directly into the computer audio output and use the receiver to obtain the amplified audio output. *When borrowing a device for this purpose, it is important to indicate that an audio output cord is needed.
AVA is a speech-to-text generating application that helps improve communications with individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. It is available in app-based or web-based platforms. AVA provides smart live captioning for any situation, including virtual or in-person meetings, educational settings, worship service, healthcare, and much more. AVA is rapidly broadening its functionality to include artificial intelligence as well as the ability to request live captioning if needed.
Interact - Streamer™ AS is a computer-generated text-to-speech streamer that can provide real-time captioning and/or language translations. It can be used in-person or in virtual rooms. It is easy to access by logging into the virtual website room and is compatible with almost any classroom microphone system, or any other high-quality microphone. The software analyzes the sounds of speech within the context of what was said and displays the text in less than 2 seconds. The software even learns your speech patterns for better recognition and greater accessibility for the students.
Additional Resources for Free Access to Online Captioning
(These are direct links to the provider websites.)
Caption what is being said over computer audio in real-time using PowerPoint in Microsoft 365 or as a computer captioning product in an independent web browser. Create a more inclusive classroom for both students and parents with live captioning and cross-language understanding.
Provide captioning in an independent web browser for conversations being said over the computer audio.
Tech Thursday: Hearing Archived Webinar
Looking for ideas for serving individuals who have hearing loss? Check out the Tech Thursday webinar focusing on Hearing AT during remote meetings/distance learning. This is one of several archived Tech Thursday events you can find on the ABLE Tech YouTube channel.
Mark your calendar to join the upcoming July 16 Tech Thursday focusing on Simple AT Solutions for Play.
Ramps Available: Apply Now
ABLE Tech is taking applications from clients wishing to receive a ramp/threshold/pathway through grant funding from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. ABLE Tech received $75,000 for the #oklahoma4ramps grant proposal allowing the Device Reutilization Program to purchase 35 portable/temporary ramps, 12 threshold ramps, and 12 accessible pathways to temporarily provide to Oklahomans living with paralysis across the state.
Note: The definition of paralysis is “difficulty and/or inability to use arms and/or legs due to neurological conditions including (but not limited to) spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, ALS, post-polio syndrome, MD, MS, etc.”
Spotlight on Success
Justin is a 30-year-old young man with a vision impairment raising his 9-year-old son as a single parent. He is receiving services from ABLE Tech’s Device Demonstration and Short-Term Loan Program partner, NewView Oklahoma. Justin’s primary goals are to cook meals and to stay as independent as possible in caring for his son and completing his daily living activities. During NewView’s visits, Justin was educated on various types of AT and then was able to demonstrate safe use of kitchen equipment, including liquid level indicators, palm peelers, oven-gloves, and cut-resistant gloves, provided through the ABLE Tech’s Device Demonstration and Short-Term Loan Program.
Justin borrowed and utilized many of these adaptive pieces of equipment and low vision techniques, presented to him in his Occupational Therapy (OT) sessions, to cook a full breakfast including hash browns, scrambled eggs, and bacon (He baked in the oven). Justin also found successful outcomes using the Be My Eyes application on his smartphone. Utilizing the app, a volunteer was able to describe to Justin that his bacon was the way he liked it and that the hash browns were cooked.
Tactile markings were introduced for independent control of appliances. They were placed on the oven to allow Justin to turn on, set the temperature, and use the oven independently and safely. The tactile marks were also used on his microwave to allow Justin to heat water for his tea and make popcorn for him and his son not only independently, but quicker and more efficiently. Justin is extremely knowledgeable about his iPhone and other technology. His plan is to return to college for counseling/psychology in the Fall of 2020. A bonus: Justin was also provided information for the “Computers for the Blind” program with the support of low vision programming provided on those computers, so Justin can start using the programs getting ready for his classes.
Would you like to learn how to take full advantage of ABLE Tech programs and services?
Check out the ABLE Tech Program Videos playlist on YouTube to see short videos. On the list are Device Demonstration and Device Loan Program; Financial Loan Program Overview; ABLE Tech Reutilization Program Overview; and SoonerStart Collaboration. More videos will be added in the coming months.