Safety for Youth and Adults with Disabilities

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Read how technology (simple and low) provides safety and improves the experience of individuals with disabilities.


  • Ability AnywareSummer 2015


    In This Issue:


    Technology (AT)


    *Avonte's Law:

    Tech & Safety for

    Children & Adults

    with Disabilities





    *Mission Possible:

    Disability Advocacy


    *Noteworthy Books

    & Performances

    June 27th is Helen Keller's Birthday.We dedicate this issue in her memory.

    "I love you." in American Sign Language (ASL)

  • 1ContentPage 1Cover Art

    From the Editor

    Ability Anyware Workshops

    Editors Pick of AT Apps

    AT World: Putting AT on the Map

    Technology for Safety

    Global Acccessiblity Awareness Day

    Mission Possible Campaign

    Noteworthy Books & Performances

    Voice Activated Apps

    Ability Anywares mission is to disseminate assistive technology (AT) news that facilitates the accessibility, inclusion, safety, employment, self-determination, recreation, creativity, and dignified recognition of persons with disabilities.

    Artists, submit your art to (jpeg or png file) for

    consideration to be featured in one of our publications!

    By Sharon, Deaf Artist

    Sharon is a Deaf artist. She paints in watercolor and oil, sketches in colored pencils and charcoal, and dabbles in

    electronic art.

    Cover Art


    October 17, 2015

    More Details on Page 5

    Alternative formats of this publication (audio, large prints, simple language) are available upon request.

    Please submit your request to

    Please participate in the Ability Anyware Assistive Technology (AT) Survey! You can complete it

    online today! See page 3 for more details. Please note that some of the bold textin articles contain website and email links.

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  • 2Car Dash

    Windows 8 phone app aids limited mobility in access to car features.

    Tobii EyeMobile Windows tablet provides hands-free tablet use through an eye tracking system.

    Learning Ally

    Android audio reading app assists dyslexia & visual impairment.

    Veggie Time!

    What parent wouldn't love this Windows 8 PC, phone, tablet app? Colorful images in matching game helps children with (or without) learning & speech disabilities identify different vegetables. Encourages them to eat their veggies!

    BARD (Braille & Audio Reading Download)

    National Library Reading Service app, available on iPhone & iPad, aids reading for visual & physical disabilities.

    Speech Recognition Windows 8 PC app for fine motor and/or visual disabilities. Speech types words on screen.

    At Ability Anyware, we work diligently to find and distribute assistive technology (AT) news. This includes technology and personal products, as well as disability-related services and training for persons with disabilities across gender, ethnicity, cultural background, and age. We consider disability diversity (hearing, visual, cognitive, ambulatory, self-care, independent living). Not all information shared by Ability Anyware reflects the opinion of individuals involved with or featured in our publication.

    Tanya Maxwell


    Ability Anywares Free Workshops:

    1. My Safety Matters: Technology for Safety

    2. Accessibility in Windows & Microsoft Office

    3. Accessibility in iOS (Mac) & Pages

    4. Accessibility in Adobe

    5. Accessibility on YouTube

    To register for workshops, contact us at

    Editors Pick: AT Apps

    More than 37 million individuals with disabilities

    are reported living in the U.S. (2012 estimate by

    We offer advertising opportunities for startups, nonprofit organizations, and exceptional individuals to be featured in our publication.

    For more information, contact us

    From the Editor

    Finger Speller Windows 8 PC & phone app tests mastery of Sign Language letters.

    Webtalk Android app assists website navigation by reading webpage content aloud.

  • 3AT World: Putting AT on the Map

    What is Assistive Technology (AT)?

    AT is any form of technology (high or low) that aids individuals with disabilities in mobility, daily tasks, personal care and safety, communication, job duties, medical treatment, exercise, recreational activities, and creative expression. With possibilities afforded via AT, developers continue to create apps and devices with the disability community in mind.

    Ever Wonder Who Invented Those Mini Ramps (Curb Cuts) in Our Sidewalks?

    This simple form of AT reduces the risk of injury or death that can occur from falling off a curb or being stalled at an intersection. AT (high or low) is pivotal in removing barriers that impede daily activities, independence, progress, and the overall quality of life for individuals with disabilities.

    Where Can I Access AT in My Community? If your access to AT, Internet, and/or computers is limited, most states have assistive technology centers which provide free use of AT equipment or devices.

    The Assistive Technology (AT) Act of 2004 established a total of 56 AT centers across the nation under the RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America) Catalyst Project. The centers, funded via a Rehabilitation Services Administration and U.S. Department of Education grant, provide employment services, such as job traning. To find out more about these centers, please visit RESNA Project website: http:www.resnaprojects. org/allcontacts/statewidecontacts.html

    Ability Anyware would like your input on which AT you use. We are also interested in stories about barriers encountered in your life (tasks, equipment, surroundings).

    Ability Anyware Assistive Technology Survey will gather important data like this to share with developers in updating, creating, and releasing AT.

    You can complete the survey here: Ability Anyware Assistive Technology SurveyIf you need assistance with completing the survey or require audio & alternative formats of the survey, please contact usat ability.anyware@

    Your Input = Output



    Millions of people have experienced the benefits of curb cuts at one point in their existence.We can thank Ed Roberts,Co-founder of the World Institute on DRAFT Disability (WID), for that! Whether moving in a wheel-chair, pushing a stroller, riding a bike or skateboard, or crossing an intersection with luggage, we all feel a sense of relief at the sight of a curb cut.

  • 4 AT for Personal Safety

    Personal safety is a concern for all of us. The heartbreaking case of Avonte Oquendo brought the need for improvements in safety technology for individuals with cognitive disabilities to our consciousness. Speech or verbal challenges hinder one's ability to communicate threats to personal safety and are compounded by visual, hearing, or mobility impairments.

    According to Avonte's Law, the Attorney General can allot grants to law enforcement agencies to "(1) reduce the risk of injury and death relating to the wandering characteristics of some individuals with autism and other disabilities, and (2) safeguard the well-being of individuals with disabilities during interactions with law enforcement."

    Apps or devices with GPS (Global Positioning System) help to give the location of a child or adult with a disability. It's useful for children without disabilities and senior citizens as well. My Buddy Tag has GPS and a panic button embedded in a bracelet. A person can press the panic button to alert family members and/or caregivers when they are lost or in danger. Ability Anyware encourages developers to continue creating affordable AT apps which accommodate and protect persons with disabilities.

    Mapping and monitoring a daily route to and from home for a child or adult. It aids in closer observation of loved ones' routes and records any deviations.

    Effective use of tracking devices, real-time camera surveillance, mHealth apps (health related software for mobile devices) and safety training, such as Project GET SAFE in hospitals, schools, day treament programs, and residential facilities help reduce safety risks and protect the vulnerable segment of our population. This includes individuals with disabilities, children, and seniors. Please visit Project GET SAFE Training & Resources Center for access to web-based safety lessons.

    Common shortage of manpower in hospitals, residential facilities, and day treatment programs can lead to insufficient monitoring during moments that are critical to personal safety. Furthermore, individuals with disabilities have challenges reporting abuse, neglect, or danger. Assisitive technology is a safeguard and can be ubiquitous when humans are not.

    Life Alert, introduced in 1987, is another form of AT for seniors and individuals with disabilities. It alerts emergency services and loved ones of a person who has been injured or is in danger. Life alert now has a a mobile app to enhance its life-saving service.

    GPS Tracker by FollowMee, available on Windows Phone, is another form of AT for personal safety. It converts phones and tablets into GPS and can track individuals with wandering tendencies.

  • For over 25 years, Infogrip has been the world leader in assistive technology, ergonomics and special education solutions. Our extensive experience andproduct knowledge enables us to matchyou with the best product that fits yourneeds. We know that every person with a disability requires something unique and that "one size" never fits "all" in our industry. That's why our customers receive the individual attention they need to find the product that is right for them. We truly believe there is a solution out there that can make using a computer possible for every person with any ability.


  • 6 Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)

    Ability Anyware Seeks Disability Advocacy Delegates

    for Virtual Conference

    What's your ability? Ability Anyware is seeking delegates with disabilities to participate in our Mission Possible Conference on October 17, 2015. The conference will be launched online to make it more accessible for individuals with physical disabilities. The last day to apply is August 30, 2015.

    Please contact to apply or get more information about this event. More details about the virtual conference will also be posted on our Twitter page @abilityanyware.

    Global Accesibility Awareness Day

    (GAAD) in May

    The virtual world poses barriers for persons with disabilities just as the physical world does. A strong indicator of this is observed in the profliferation of web-based services and apps. This exponential growth has implications for more accessible design in technology products. Global Accessbility Awareness Day (GAAD), celebrated on May 21, emphasizes and raises awareness about the concept of and realization of accessible technology

    GAAD co-founders, Joe Devon, a web developer, and Jennison Asuncion, a web accessbility specialist, conceptualized and promoted this day as an opportunity to share technology developments, training, and online forums for assistive technology. Mr. Asuncion provides insight on the"Art of Web Accessibility" in this interview transcript and online video. Closed Caption (CC) can be turned on for this YouTube video.

    Video game development also requires more focus on accessibility. #Accessibility Jam was a GAAD event with a blog that promotes and provides a portal for accessible games.






    OCTOBER 17, 2015


  • 7

  • OG Surf & Skate Supports Surfing Event for Children with Disabilities

    OG Surf & Skate epitomizes the concept of a disability friendly business! In spring of 2015, OG Surf & Skate donated gift bags to children with disabilities at an event sponsored by the Best Day Foundation. With great volunteers and assistive technology accommodations to surf boards, children with physical and cognitive disabilites were able to surf for the first time in their lives! Sports and physical activities are often limited for children with disabilities. Best Day Foundation banishes this limitation by making surfing accessible!

    OG Surf & Skate sells specially selected merchandise, suchas contemporary and comfortable surf and beach clothing, accessories, and sports gear for surfing and skating enthusiasts. Visit OG Surf & Skate online or in person by making a trip to the quaint, Victorian inspired beach town of Ocean Grove, New Jersey.




    Best Day Foundation is a volunteer organization that helps children with special needs build confidence and self-esteem through safe, fun, adventure activities like surfing, bodyboarding, kayaking, snow sports, and more. Please join us in creating special days for children with Autism, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, blindness, cancer, spinal cord injuries, and other physical and developmental challenges. Learn more about Best Day Foundation at

  • Nicole Piero, owner of Seamingly Perfect, is a young, creative entrepreneur that knits warm, comfortable, and colorful clothing and accessories for children of all abilities. Her creations include sweaters, soft shoes, hats, scarves, gloves, and blankets. Please check out her Etsy page for more details!


  • A special education teacher partnered with an experienced brewer to train and hire

    unemployed adults with developmental disabilities to

    brew beer.




  • Ability Anyware's List of Noteworthy,

    Disability Related Books & Performances

    Click on titles for descriptions from other sources & links to websites.


    1. The Miracle Worker by William Gibson

    2. Riding the Bus with with My Sister by Rachel Simon

    3. What Do I See When I Look at a Tree? by the Maxwell Sisters

    4. Pig Man by Paul Zindel

    All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

    The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer




    Music VideosChandelier by Sia featuring Kristen Wiig & Maddie Ziegler

    Hello by Lionel Richie

    American Sign Language ASL Dedication Song "Man In The Mirror" by DeafTuber

    1. See What I'm Saying by Thomas Kaufman

    2. Darius Goes West,Directed by Logan Smalley

    3. Waiting for Ronald, Directed by Ellen Gerstein

    4. A Room for Romeo Brass Directed by Shane Meadows *

    5. Dance Me to My Song,Directed by Rolf de Heer *

    6. Tru Confessions Directed by Paul Hoen

    Voice Activated Applications for Individuals

    Who Cannot Read or Use Touch Screen

    1. Window's Cortana

    2. "OK Google"

    3. Apple Siri

    For information on Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines,

    please go to:



    PlaysSpring Awakening on Broadway by Deaf West Theatre

    ( Most films listed are for general audience. Films with * require parental screening)

  • Thank you for reading Ability Anyware's Inaugural Issue!

    In Our Next Issue:

    *Digital Literacy

    *AT at the Special Olympics

    *Mission Possible Virtual Conf...


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