Assitive Tech and Personal Accounts

Disability in america
This module offers a wealth of information, particularly around advancements in assistive technology and personal accounts of living with a disability. After viewing some of the videos on these topics, which one stands out to you as most interesting and why? How does the advancement or account relate to other course material or disc

some resources:

Jay Tisbert, left, works with tutor Nate Sands in a computer lab at Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center, Vt., Friday, April 28, 2006. Suffering a brain injury when he was 16, the 24-year-old, confined to a wheelchair, will graduate from college in May. Tisbert had the assistance of his mother, Anne, who has spent the last two years living at the college with him. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
We read about many techniques and devices meant to assist individuals with disabilities perform activities of daily living in Scherer’s Living in the State of Stuck text. These devices range from rather simple (grab bars and communication boards) to advanced (text to speech and voice recognition programs). Advances in technology have led to the development of several devices and, in particular, software programs that increase access for individuals with disabilities. Some of these areas include:
Advances in Assistive Devices:
From communication devices to power wheelchairs, technology has made interacting with society a little less challenging for individuals with disabilities. The videos below offer some excellent examples. Please view at least two videos in preparation for the Module V discussion.
New Bionics – watch the video called New Bionics That Let us Run, Climb and Walk,19 minutes with subtitles, TedTalks, 2014
Advances in Prosthetics – watch the video called the Prosthetic Arm that Feels, 18 minutes with subtitles, TedTalks, 2011
Robotics – Meet the Robots for Humanity, 10 minutes with subtitles, TedTalks, 2013
Driving – Making a Car for Blind Drivers, 9 minutes with subtitles, TedTalks, 2011
Wheel Chairs – Frank Mobility Systems
Power Wheel Chairs – Jazzy Power Chairs
Assistive Technology for Learning
Text to speech software:
These software programs work by reading out loud the text that can be found on the desktops and within computer applications. These programs include screen readers that read all text to users, typically those who are visually impaired. Also included within this category are those software applications that will read the text of an electronic file out loud to individuals. These programs are particularly useful to students with print disabilities because they can use alternatively formatted textbooks to create their own audio books.
Kurzweil 3000
Wynn Wizard
Text Help
For those of you who use Windows 2000 or XP, there is a built in screen reader called Microsoft Navigator. Try it out!
Speech to text software: With more and more individuals experience repetitive stress injuries from keyboarding, there has been quite a market for dictation software. This technology has been greatly improving and developing over the past several years to increase reliability and accuracy of the transcription. These programs work by the user speaking into a microphone attached to the computer and the computer transcribes the speech into text. The user often has to spend some time with the program prior to using it to train the program to his or her voice.
Dragon Naturally Speaking
LD Online’s multimedia page has a short video of Dr. Christopher Lee, Director of the Alternative Media Access Center, using some of the assistive technology discussed above. Dr. Lee also discusses his own experiences as an individual with a learning disability.

Personal Accounts (discussion prep)
As you have experienced from your reading of Voices from the Edge, the personal accounts of living with disability are interesting, moving, and compelling. Here is a short list of some personal and inspiring accounts. Please view at least two in preparation for the Module 5 Discussion.
Sue Austin: Deep Sea Diving, in a Wheel Chair, 9 minutes, TEDxWomen video with subtitles, 2012.
Eleanor Longden, Research Psychologist, The Voices in my Head. 14 minute video with subtitles, 2013. Eleanor Longden reframes what we know about Schizophrenia, Eleanor Longden overcame her diagnosis of schizophrenia to earn a master?s in psychology and demonstrate that the voices in her head were ?a sane reaction to insane circumstances.
Keith Nolan: Deaf in the Military, makes a case for increasing the role of citizens with disabilities in the military, 18 minutes, Tedtalks video with subtitles.
Phil Hansen: Embrace the Shake, 10 minute video, Tedtalks video with subtitles, 2013. In art school, Phil Hansen developed an unruly tremor in his hand that kept him from creating the pointillist drawings he loved. Hansen was devastated, floating without a sense of purpose. Until a neurologist made a simple suggestion: embrace this limitation … and transcend it.
Stella Young: I’m Not your Inspiration, Thank you Very Much, 9 minutes, Tedtalks video with subtitles, 2014. Stella Young is a comedian and journalist who happens to go about her day in a wheelchair ? a fact that doesn?t, she?d like to make clear, automatically turn her into a noble inspiration to all humanity.
Last modified: Thursday, July 17, 2014, 3:59 PM

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