Posts Tagged Assistive Technology

[REHABDATA] 20 apps for student success – National Rehabilitation Information Center

NARIC Accession Number: O21594.  What’s this? Download article in Full Text .
Author(s): O’Sullivan, Paige.
Project Number: 90RT5021 (formerly H133B130014).
Publication Year: 2017.
Number of Pages: 5.
Abstract: This list identifies software applications (apps) that may be helpful in key areas in which students with and without mental health conditions may need additional support. Some of these apps are only for use on desktops, while most are available on iPhones or Android products.
Descriptor Terms: ACCOMMODATION, ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY, COMPUTER APPLICATIONS, COMPUTER-ASSISTED INSTRUCTION, HEALTH PROMOTION, MENTAL HEALTH, PSYCHIATRIC DISABILITIES, STUDENTS, TELECOMMUNICATIONS.

Can this document be ordered through NARIC’s document delivery service*?: Y.
Get this Document: http://tucollaborative.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/20-Apps-for-Student-Success.pdf.

Citation: O’Sullivan, Paige. (2017). 20 apps for student success. Retrieved 4/19/2019, from REHABDATA database.via Articles, Books, Reports, & Multimedia: Search REHABDATA | National Rehabilitation Information Center

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[Assistive technology] Top 10 apps for disabled people

Top 10 apps for disabled people

Top 10 apps for disabled people

We all like to live as independently as possible, and for disabled people, technology and apps are an invaluable aid to achieving this. It seems that everyone nowadays owns a smartphone and tablet, and with that comes a seemingly unlimited world of apps to choose from. But which should you consider and how could they enhance your life? 

Here, our writers Carrie Aimes and Emma Purcell round up the top 10 apps for disabled people and why you should try them out, all updated for 2018.

TripTripHurray app

TripTripHurray accessible travel app

If you live with any form of disability, you will appreciate how challenging it can be to plan an accessible yet enjoyable holiday, or even just a day out. But help is at hand. The TripTripHurray app is a travel platform for people with specific needs that lets you quickly and easily search for accommodation, public transport, places of interest, shops, restaurants and services. It’s effectively a personalised trip adviser.

You can get the TripTripHurray app for free on Google Play for Android users or iTunes for those with an iPhone. It displays relevant options both locally and worldwide.

It’s Accessible

It's Accessible app for disabled peopleIf you have mobility issues, It’s Accessible can help you find and share accessible hot spots, including bars, restaurants, hotels and car parks. It currently has more than 12,000 across the world rated in the app. It is community dependent, so the more people that use it, the more information there will be available.

It’s free to use and compatible with all Android and Apple devices. I urge you to check this one out as not only will it help you get out and about, it will enable you to help others too!

Find out more about the app on the It’s Accessible app website.

Dragon Anywhere app

Dragon Anywhere dictation app

 

This dictation app enables you to create and edit documents of any length on your phone, tablet or laptop, all using your voice. By simply speaking into the device you can create text messages, compose emails and edit long documents, and then sync them with your Dropbox or cloud so they can be accessed on your computer.

The Dragon Anywhere app is aimed at busy professionals needing to work while commuting. But it has obvious benefits for disabled people too. Apple iPhone and Andriod users can download it for free, but after a trial, you’ll have to pay (£9.99 a month and £99.99 a year).

Our tech writer Tom Housden has tried out this app, along with some of Dragon’s other dictation apps. See his article on dictation apps for a full breakdown of how it works and what else is on offer.

Changing Places Toilet Finder app

Changing Places Toilet Finder app

No matter what your disability, being able to reach an accessible public toilet in good time is a daily challenge. The free Changing Places Toilet Finder app, from the RADAR Key company, lists thousands of accessible toilets across the UK.

It is a comprehensive guide of more than 1,000 Changing Places toilets, which are extra large toilets with changing facilities. The app shows you how far you are from one of the toilets, how to get there, its opening hours, how to open the door, whether it is normally locked and information regarding hoists and slings.

The app is free and available on iTunes for iPhone users and Google Play for Android users. You can also visit the Changing Places website to learn more about Changing Places toilets.

Disabled Motoring app

Disabled Motoring UK app

Disabled Motoring UK is a campaigning charity and magazine that aims to make life easier for disabled drivers, passengers and Blue Badge holders. Its app allows you to find accredited disabled parking, get help refuelling your vehicle and browse information on Blue Badges, as well as the latest news from the charity.

The app is free to download on iOS and Android devices but, for a fee, there are additional benefits you can sign up for. Becoming an online member will give you access to the members’ area on its website, as well as a monthly newsletter.

Alternatively, you can become a full/associate member and receive the monthly magazine and discounts on everyday goods, from groceries to holidays. It’ll also enable you to get help with motoring-related problems, such as parking tickets and local authority issues. The full/associate membership will cost £24 a year.

To find out more about Disabled Mobility UK, visit its website, and download the app on iTunes or Google Play.

Physiotherapy Exercises

Physiotherapy Exercises app for disabled people

The Physiotherapy Exercises app contains more than 1,000 images illustrating 600 exercises suitable for those with spinal cord injury and neurological conditions. Search, select and save exercises for future reference and even suggest others if you wish.

Developed by physiotherapists, this is an invaluable source that does not require an internet connection once downloaded. Get the Physiotherapy Exercises app for free on iTunes.

Red Panic button app

Red Panic Button app

To be able to immediately and urgently notify a number of contacts of your whereabouts can be hugely beneficial if you’re disabled. If you’re older, have learning disabilities, or live on your own but rely on others, you might want to consider the Red Panic Button.

One tap of the red button sends alerts to your contacts via text, email, Facebook and Twitter. All you need to do is enter the details of those you wish to alert ahead of using the app, and they will receive a Google Maps link with your location.

Many features are free to both Android and iOS users, though there is the option to upgrade at a fee, which means you can even send a photo attachment and record a 10-second voice message with your alert. Gain more independence and security with this handy and easy to use Red Panic Button app by visiting iTunes or Google Play.

Guide Dots app

Guide Dots navigation app

Guide Dots is a free Android app for people who are visually impaired. By combining Google maps, Facebook and powerful crowdsourcing technology, Guide Dots creates a broader and richer sense of the world around you.

You can experience an audio journey of your surroundings by easily instructing the app to give you building and route information through voice commands. It’ll also give you alerts when friends are nearby.

This is another community-driven app, so as more people use it, more information and detail will be available. Get involved by visiting the Guide Dots website.

If you’re visually impaired, check out our article on the top apps and gadgets for people with sight loss.

Have You Heard

Have You Heard voice amplification app

Designed for people with hearing impairments, this app will amplify voices around you so that you can better understand conversations with people in busy and loud places, such as with a friend in a restaurant or a colleague in a meeting.

You can focus on conversations either close by or further away by using the ‘focus near/far’ feature, and adjust the volume to suit you. If you still haven’t quite heard something, you can replay the last 20 seconds of a conversation at the press of a button.

To use it, you’ll need to connect a headphone to your phone. It’s free and only available on iTunes for iPhone users.

Uber taxis app

Uber app for disabled people

Having a disability means that public transport often isn’t an option, leaving you to rely on taxis. To stop you getting stranded, you can download the Uber app, allowing you to request a taxi ride from where you are using your phone.

To do so, simply create an account with your card or PayPal – no cash required – and select a vehicle to suit your needs. If you do want to plan ahead, the Scheduled Rides feature allows you to book a vehicle up to 30 days in advance.

Uber has two services aimed at helping disabled passengers get around. Its uberACCESS taxis are equipped with a rear-entry ramp and four-point restraints, enabling wheelchair users to ride safely and comfortably with one additional passenger. Its other accessible service, uberASSIST, is designed for those who don’t need a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, but require additional assistance on their journey.

All uberACCESS and uberASSIST partners have received Disability Equality Training from Transport for All and Inclusion London, and both cost the same as using uberX, one of Uber’s lowest-cost services.

UberACCESS (previously called uberWAV) is available in London, Manchester and Birmingham, and uberASSIST is available in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, and Sheffield. There are plans to roll out both into other areas soon.

Uber is free to download to Android and iOS phones, from Google Play or iTunes.

By Carrie Aimes and Emma Purcell

 

via Assistive technology: top 10 apps for disabled people

, , , ,

Leave a comment

[WEB SITE] Constant Therapy: A Mobile Solution for Brain Rehabilitation

The Constant Therapy app is a virtual clinic, leading users through a digital door toward more than 100,000 speech, language and cognitive exercises.

Created by the Learning Corp and built by an expert team of neuroscientists and clinicians at Boston University, this award-winning app was developed with the goal of helping people with learning disabilities or those recovering from traumatic brain injury, stroke or aphasia.

Screen of constant therapy app

Constant Therapy includes 50 categories of tasks with varying degrees of difficulty. It automatically assigns tasks to users based on their initial evaluation and performance history. Exercises range from spelling, rhyming and sentence completion to picture matching, map reading, multiplication and much more. The app’s library of therapy resources is continually updated and constantly growing.

Not only does this app enable users to engage in therapy from the comfort of their home, but it also allows clinicians to track their progress and pinpoint areas in need of improvement. Through advanced analytics, they can see exactly where their patients are on the road to recovery. This data also encourages users by clearly showing them the positive leaps they are taking.

Constant therapy app screen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out a few of the several rave reviews for this app:

“My 75-year-old husband had a stroke last year. He had never used a computer before the stroke but finds it easy to use the Constant Therapy app on the iPad. He was an avid crossword puzzle fan so this is a nice challenge for him. He is eager to use the app daily because he’s rewarded with new material as he masters what he’s working on. The tasks in the app are very applicable and practical in everyday life, and the immediate feedback is excellent. I have witnessed my husband getting so much better from using this app. I have spent hours looking for other brain and speech therapy apps, and nothing compares to Constant Therapy.”  ~ Terri 

Constant therapy app screen

“I cannot recommend the Constant Therapy app enough. For the past six months, my son has used the app about three times a week. The app is like a virtual therapist, it’s very easy to use and it gives him immediate feedback. He now understands things faster, can make decisions with less hesitation, has improved recognition of words and his confidence is higher. I also find it easy to get in touch with customer service; they pleasantly help out. The whole experience has been great.” ~ Miriam

 “Thank you for this product. The Constant Therapy app has given me back some of my dignity. It allows me to get up in the morning knowing I can accomplish something and feel good.” ~ Sheree

If you or a loved one could benefit from the Constant Therapy app, visit https://www.constanttherapy.com for more information.

Check out this video!

 

via Constant Therapy: A Mobile Solution for Brain Rehabilitation – Assistive Technology at Easter Seals Crossroads

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[Abstract] Towards an Immersive Virtual Reality Game for Smarter Post-Stroke Rehabilitation

Abstract:

Traditional forms of physical therapy and rehabilitation are often based on therapist observation and judgment, coincidentally this process oftentimes can be inaccurate, expensive, and non-timely. Modern immersive Virtual Reality systems provide a unique opportunity to make the therapy process smarter. In this paper, we present an immersive virtual reality stroke rehabilitation game based on a widely accepted therapy method, Constraint-Induced Therapy, that was evaluated by nine post-stroke participants. We implement our game as a dynamically adapting system that can account for the user’s motor abilities while recording real-time motion capture and behavioral data. The game also can be used for tele-rehabilitation, effectively allowing therapists to connect with the participant remotely while also having access to +90Hz real-time biofeedback data. Our quantitative and qualitative results suggest that our system is useful in increasing affordability, accuracy, and accessibility of post-stroke motor treatment.

via Towards an Immersive Virtual Reality Game for Smarter Post-Stroke Rehabilitation – IEEE Conference Publication

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[ARTICLE] Kinect-based individualized upper extremity rehabilitation is effective and feasible for individuals with stroke using a transition from clinic to home protocol – Full Text PDF

Purpose: To investigate the effectiveness and feasibility of Kinect-based upper
extremity rehabilitation on functional performance in chronic stroke survivors.
Methods: This was a single cohort pre-post test study. Participants (N=10; mean age =
62.5 ± 9.06) engaged in Kinect-based training three times a week for four to five weeks
in a university laboratory. To simulate a clinic to home transfer condition,
individualized guidance was given to participants at the initial three sessions followed
by independent usage. Outcomes included Fugl-Meyer assessment of upper extremity,
Wolf Motor Function Test, Stroke Impact Scale, Confidence of Arm and Hand
Movement and Active Range of Motion. Participant experience was assessed using a
structured questionnaire and a semi-structured interview.
Results. Improvement was found in Fugl-Meyer assessment scores (p=0.001), Wolf
Motor Function Test, (p=0.008), Active Range of Motion (p<0.05) and Stroke Impact
Scale-Hand function (p=0.016). Clinically important differences were found in FuglMeyer
assessment scores (Δ= 5.70 ± 3.47) and Wolf Motor Function Test (Δ Time= –
4.45 ± 6.02; ∆ Functional Ability Scores= 0.29 ± 0.31). All participants could use the
system independently and recognized the importance of exercise individualization by
the therapist.
Conclusions. The Kinect-based UE rehabilitation provided clinically important
functional improvements to our study participants.

Introduction

Stroke is the leading cause of long-term adult disability in the United States [1].
More than a half of survivors continue suffering from upper-limb hemiparesis poststroke with only 5% of people recovering their full arm function [2]. The persistent
upper-limb dysfunction significantly impairs motor performance, and results in a
serious decline in functional ability as well as quality of life [3]. Intensive and repeated
practice with the paretic arm appears necessary to enhance arm recovery and facilitate
neural reorganization [4-7]. Nevertheless, the healthcare system provides limited
amounts and duration of therapy, making it difficult for stroke survivors to achieve
maximal arm recovery before discharge from outpatient rehabilitation or home care
[8,9]. Therefore, identifying novel modalities that are accessible and affordable to the
general public while allowing continued practice of the arm is imperative for improving
long-term upper-limb outcomes after stroke.
One potential approach is the use of low-cost virtual reality (VR)-based systems,
for example, the Microsoft Kinect system. The Kinect is a vision-based motion
capturing system that can detect gesture and movements of the body through its RGA
camera and depth sensors. It allows users to interact with the VR-based system without
holding or wearing specialized equipment or markers for tracking. Users can play
games or practice exercises using natural movements while observing the performance of their virtual avatars shown in real-time on the computer screen. Through this interactive observation and feedback, stroke survivors can correct their movements towards more normal patterns. Furthermore, the Kinect is small and portable, thus enabling stroke survivors to practice exercises in a familiar and private environment. […]

Full Text PDF

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[Abstract] Evaluation of a self-administered transcutaneous electrical stimulation concept for the treatment of spasticity: a randomised placebo-controlled trial

Download Full Text PDF  

BACKGROUND: Spasticity is a common consequence of injury to the central nervous system negatively affecting patient’s everyday activities. Treatment mainly consists of training and different drugs, often with side effects. There is a need for treatment options that can be performed by the patient in their home environment.

AIM: The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of an assistive technology (AT), Mollii®, a garment with integrated electrodes for multifocal transcutaneous electrical stimulation intended for self-treatment of spasticity, in study participants with spasticity due to stroke or CP.

DESIGN: The study was a randomised, controlled, double-blind study with a cross-over design.

SETTING: Participants were recruited from two rehabilitation clinics. Treatments were performed in participants’ homes and all follow-ups were performed in the two rehabilitation clinics.

POPULATION: Thirty-one participants were included in the study and 27 completed the study. Four participants discontinued the study. Two declined participation before baseline and two withdrew due to problems handling the garment.

METHODS: Participants used the AT with and without electrical stimulation (active/non-active period) for six weeks each, followed by six weeks without treatment. Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS), change in mobility, arm-hand ability, spasticity and pain were measured at baseline and after six, 12 and 18 weeks.

RESULTS: Fifteen of the 27 participants fulfilled the treatment protocol in terms of recommended use. Deviations were frequent. No statistically significant differences in outcome were found between the active and the non-active treatment periods. During the active period, an improvement was seen in the 10-metre comfortable gait test, time and steps. An improvement was seen in both the active and non-active periods for the GAS.

CONCLUSIONS: Compliance was low, partly due to deviations related to the garment, complicating the interpretation of the results. Further research should focus on identifying the target population and concomitant rehabilitation strategies.

CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: The evaluated concept of multifocal transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TES) represents an interesting addition to the existing repertoire of treatments to alleviate muscle spasticity. The evaluated concept allows TES to be self-administered by the patient in the home environment. A more elaborate design of training activities directly related to patient´s own rehabilitation goals is recommended and may increase the value of the evaluated concept.

Download Full Text PDF  

via Evaluation of a self-administered transcutaneous electrical stimulation concept for the treatment of spasticity: a randomised placebo-controlled trial – European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2017 Oct 25 – Minerva Medica – Journals

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

[CORDIS] Repairing the brain.

Contributed by: youris.com EEIG

 

European scientists are studying a new generation of neuro-prostheses. The target patients are people with motor disabilities due to brain injuries, such as stroke
Repairing the brain

© EFFECT Project

Researchers from the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa (which has developed the renowned humanoid sense-equipped robot iCub) are studying tools capable of repairing brain areas damaged by a traumatic injury or a stroke. The scientists, working under the European FET (Future and Emerging Technologies) project Brain Bow, are preparing a new generation of neuro-prostheses, which are devices capable of restoring communication in neuronal circuits, replacing the portion of the brain where the damage is located. Currently, all rehabilitation practices and techniques work only on the limbs via the peripheral nervous system.

Watch the video here: http://www.fetfx.eu/story/repairing-the-brain/

By Rebecca Parsons

via European Commission : CORDIS : News and Events : Repairing the brain

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

[BLOG POST] Eye Tracking In Windows 10 Is Available Now As Beta Function

Just last week, Microsoft announced that it will have in-built support for compatible eye tracking devices in Windows 10. What that means is that Windows 10 users will not need any special software or interface to use eye tracking devices – they will be able use an on screen keyboard, mouse and text to speech experience to access areas of the Windows operating system, and perform tasks typically accomplished with a physical keyboard and mouse.

The new eye tracking feature is called Eye Control, and will be introduced in a future update. However, it is available as a beta function for now, and you can do the following to enable it, test it out and see its functionality.

  1. Have a compatible eye tracking device like Tobii Eye Tracker 4C. (Other eye tracking devices will be made compatible in the future)
  2. Download and update Tobii’s eye tracking hot fix release (2.10.11.6458) and run calibration with your own profile.
  3. Update your Windows through Windows Update. The latest update will download and install the Tobii Eye Tracker HIDClass Driver automatically.
  4. Enable Eye Control by Going to Settings->Ease of Access->Other Options->Eye control.

Screenshot of the "Other Options" screen. The "eye control (beta) option is set to "On".

Eye Control Launchpad

Once Eye Control is enabled, the launchpad appears on the screen, and gives access to on screen mouse, keyboard, text to speech, and ability to reposition the UI to opposite side of screen.

Launchpad has four options - 1) reposition the UI, 2) on screen keyboard, 3) text to speech, 4) on screen mouse.

Eye Control Mouse

To use and control the mouse, select the mouse control from the launchpad, and gaze at an object you want to interact with, and select an option that appears in the affordance (visual cue). You can double left click, left click, right click, and cancel with the eye control mouse. In the image below, a user is using the eye control mouse to open Microsoft Outlook.

Eye Control Keyboard

To use the eye control keyboard, select the keyboard from the launchpad, and gaze at the characters that need to be typed. Currently, the EN-US keyboard is supported.

The on screen keyboard also allows “shape writing” for faster typing. All the user has to do is gaze at the first and last letter of a word, and glance at the letters in the middle. The keyboard also shows word predictions when the last letter of a word is typed.

Eye Control Text To Speech

To interact with a family member, a user can launch text to speech from the launchpad, start typing in sentences, and have it spoken out loud.

Eye Control Settings

Settings for Eye Control can be modified by pressing the Fn key (bottom right of keyboard). This is where a user can change dwell times, turn on or off  shape writing and gaze cursor.

There are some known issues for now, which are listed in the source link.

So, there it is! The in built eye control (in beta) for Windows. Give it a spin, and let us know how it goes!

Source: Windows

Additional Reading: Eye Control Is Coming To Windows 10

Source: Eye Tracking In Windows 10 Is Available Now As Beta Function – Assistive Technology Blog

, ,

Leave a comment

[ARTICLE] Textile-Based Assistive Wearables – Full Text

Abstract
Advances in computing technology such as conductive textiles and shrinking chip sizes offer new possibilities for assistive technology (AT). Wearable computing platforms provide many advantages (e.g., reachability, continuous support, communication) that may be especially useful for AT. We provide a snapshot of wearable assistive computing literature spanning the past 20 years in an effort to better understand the trends, usage patterns in this space. We focus especially on the emerging capabilities of textile-based wearable computing platforms. Additionally, we reflect on the trajectory of
these technologies and suggest potential directions for the development of computer-based wearable assistive technologies.

Introduction
Approximately 19% of the US population lives with a disability (Brault 4). Assistive technology (AT) can help overcome many challenges imposed by an inaccessible environment, such as through the use of sensory substitution (e.g., converting visual information into sound), alternative computer input and output (e.g., eye tracking), and communication support (e.g., text to speech).

AT presents both benefits and drawbacks, with an average of 1/3 of all AT devices abandoned often due to functional and social-cultural reasons (Kintsch and DePaula 2). Some of these problems may be addressed by creating AT that is less heavy, bulky, and obtrusive.

In this paper, we explore the benefits of textile-based wearable computing AT, as these devices may potentially provide support without drawing too much attention. The rise of mobile computing platforms and microelectromechanical systems have solved several power, weight,
size, and bandwidth constraints which previously hampered wearable computing development.

Similarly, advances in e-textiles (e.g., conductive fabrics) enable worn computers that are lighter, smaller, and more flexible, enabling them to be worn comfortably throughout the day or to be designed to look like “normal” attire, avoiding the unwanted attention that some AT produces.

This paper presents an overview of textile-based wearable assistive technology developed over the past 20 years. We specifically focus on how these wearable technologies (wearables) can improve usability, comfort, and social acceptability for people with disabilities (PwD), and identify general trends, opportunities, and challenges for developing new wearable AT. […]

Full Text PDF
 

 

, , ,

Leave a comment

[BLOG POST] Mayo Clinic Study Helps Paralyzed Man Move Legs Again – Assistive Technology Blog

After a snowmobile accident four years ago, Jered Chinnock was left paralyzed from his torso down, unable to walk. He was prepared to be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life but a new study between Mayo Clinic and UCLA is helping him get back to his feet again.

After intense physical therapy, and a surgery last year, doctors implanted an electrode near his spinal cord. This electrode receives electronic stimulation, which converts his thoughts of moving his legs into actual movement. Currently, although he can move his legs, he cannot feel his legs moving.  The team working with Jered is excited though. They noticed dramatic change in Jered’s leg movement within two weeks, and think that this technology can be used with other parts of the body too.

The team is expected to work with Jered for the next eight months to help him progress even more.

VIDEO

http://interactive.tegna-media.com/video/embed/embed.html?id=2559274&type=video&title=Paralyzed%20man%20moving%20his%20legs%20after%20surgery&site=89&playerid=6918249996581&dfpid=32805352&dfpposition=Video_prestream_external%C2%A7ion=home

Source: Mayo Clinic Study Helps Paralyzed Man Move Legs Again – Assistive Technology Blog

, , ,

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: