Contributed By Gabriela Torres, Special Projects Worker
New technologies are constantly on the rise. Not only do they change the way we interact with the world, but help us carry out our day-to-day activities. A great example of this is the vast landscape of assistive technology equipment, systems and applications ranging from hearing aids to speaking aids and much more!
Assistive technologies help individuals across the globe whether at work, at home, or on the go. We’ve seen its positive impacts first hand, and because of this have decided to feature a list of the top five gadgets, gizmos and apps we think will take over the world in 2018. A few short snippets about some of the organizations that develop these technologies and fantastic educational programs are also included below! So feast your eyes and sink your teeth into what we think are this year’s coolest gadgets and greatest organizations.
1. About My Day
CanAssist Can Assist YOU! This organization began at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. It is dedicated to help improve the lives of individuals by promoting inclusion and independence. It works to develop a wide range of assistive technologies for individuals of all ages. The developments are innovative, practical and are designed to make life easier for those facing physical and cognitive challenges.
CanAssist developed a software application called About My Day. This allows caregivers, family, and health-care professionals to make and take notes about daily happenings, experiences and moments of importance while caring for an individual. Designed to replace pen and paper, the notes taken using About My Day are quick, easy and efficient. They allow for the rapid sharing of information on a fun new platform. You can download the app here.
2. Choices 2Go
Choices2Go is also an app developed by CanAssist! This application is free of cost for the iPad. It provides visual, real-time choice making assistance for people who are not always understood easily. The app uses choice boards with images from a caregiver’s library or camera roll. The individual under care can then tap on their preferred option in order to communicate without stress.
It is a great visual and interactive platform for both caregivers and persons-served. It is also easy to navigate, resulting in a confusion-free decision making experience! Choices2Go’s features include a built in “yes-no” board, custom images from one’s camera roll and the ability to scramble image order by shaking the iPad. Download here!
Photo: (labeled for reuse)
You better watch out because the Dot Watch is making waves! This device is changing the world of assistive technology. Created for those who are visually impaired, the Dot Watch helps individuals tell time and receive notifications all while connected to their smartphone.
The Dot Watch can display four braille characters at a time for a user’s convenience and has multiple smart features in braille and tactile modes. These features include Bluetooth connection, access to 100 notification messages, auto scrolling and stopwatch and timer functions. All features assist in carrying out and planning day to day activities. The watch and its cool features are contained in a fashionable design made of light weight aluminum for comfort and maximum wearability.
Sengistix develops monitoring technologies with 24/7 monitoring for individuals, their families and caregivers including support in various areas such as installation and training. The wide range of products and services offered are customized to each individual’s needs and goals. The unique sets of equipment recommended by Sengistix are professionally installed with notifications and alerts identified by the monitored individual and Sengistix team.
With custom monitoring that uses remote technologies such as visual assistance, cooking safety and medication administration software, Sengistix delivers affordable care made accessible to all in need of support! This allows for the ultimate experience of freedom, safety and more importantly, an independent lifestyle.
5. Assistive Express
Express yourself while using Assistive Express. Designed for smartphones, this is a text-based communication app that allows users to express each and every one of their fabulous thoughts. It uses text-to-speech technology to translate text into automated spoken word.
The application also uses functions such as word prediction in order to speed up any messages conveyed by an individual. It is quick and easy to use because it saves time by memorizing commonly used phrases and words for accessibility and efficiency of speech! The app is available in multiple languages including English, German, Italian and Spanish. To download click here.
Organizations and Resources That Will Rock Your World!
Assistive technology has positively changed the lives of many. For this reason, it’s important to recognize the great organizations that develop them and work with individuals, eager to learn more, to provide training programs.
The Neil Square Society: Has empowered Canadians through the use of computer-based assistive technologies for over thirty years! It has helped to remove barriers, allowing people to live independently while actively engaging in society. Neil Square offers free computer training, one on one tech tutoring and accessible online learning services across Canada. Click here to learn more about their programs.
We hope our list of the top 5 assistive technologies, gadgets and apps was interesting to you. It’s always great to see how new technology benefits people operating within and outside of our organization.
In the future, we hope to continue growing as rapidly and as effectively as many of these technologies have and are super excited to continue our research into the world of assistive tech. Make sure to keep your eyes sharp and on the prowl for more exciting tech posts in the future!
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