New Accent 1000 Speech Generating Device 


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Accent® 1000 is a dedicated speech generating device. With its portability and bright 10.1" display, Accent 1000 is easy to access and provides an extensive vocabulary. The Accent 1000 offers a choice of vocabulary options featuring the Unity® family with LAMP/Words for Life™, CoreScanner™, and WordCore. Other available vocabulary options include Essence® for literate adults, the UNIDAD® language system for Spanish/English bilingual use, and WordPower™. The Accent 1000 is powered by PRC’s NuVoice® software and offers built in support resources for clinicians and clients. The Accent 1000 is configured as a dedicated device to meet the functional specifications of the Medicare/Medicaid funding requirements. The Accent 1000 is locked from computer access and all other non-communication functions. Learn more about dedicated/integrated devices. An optional Integrated Feature Pack (IFP) is available for customers who choose to upgrade the device to its full capability. Learn more about dedicated/integrated devices
Source: Store - AAC & Speech Devices from PRC
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Use Echo speakers to send announcements around your home


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Amazon Digital Assistants in three size

Amazon Digital Assistants

Amazon keeps building out its Alexa ecosystem by adding more featuresand integrating products. But the platform has more potential than just allowing, say, your Fire tablets in on the voice control fun. But now Alexa has a new ability, Announcements, that lets customers speak into one Echo device and have the message barked out of all the other ones in a network. Basically, it gives your Alexa-connected house a one-way intercom feature.
Users simply say "Alexa, announce ____" and everything after that keyword will be audibly broadcast from every other linked Echo device. Sure, Google updated its Home devices with very similar functionality since November, but there are likely far more of Amazon's voice-controlled speakers in the wild. It's unclear if the feature will spread to other Alexa-compatible devices, but it's rolling out to customers in US and Canada today.
Source: Use Echo speakers to send announcements around your home
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Curriculum Pathways: Writing Navigator


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Writing Navigator goes beyond surfacing details: this is right; that is wrong.  It prompts students to make creative decisions, to discover what they want to say, to reach for the best words in the best order.

Writing Navigator App on a variety of tablets.

Writing Navigator

These tools offer instructional features that help you

Source: Writing Navigator
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Angelman Study Shows Children Use Broad Set of Tools to Communicate


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book with title non-verbal communication

AAC and Angelman Syndrome

Children and young adults with Angelman syndrome rely on a broad set of tools for communication, including speech, facial expressions, gestures, and symbols, a study suggests. The findings support the notion that teaching can help them improve what scientists call expressive communication skills, which go far beyond speech. The study, “Exploring Expressive Communication Skills in a Cross-Sectional Sample of Children and Young Adults With Angelman Syndrome,” appeared in the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Expressive communication in Angelman syndrome covers speech and a category called  augmentative and alternative communication, or AAC. “AAC modes are classified as unaided or aided,” the researchers wrote. They include facial expressions, gestures, physical manipulation, manual signing (unaided mode) or using photographs, picture symbols, or written words (aided mode). Researchers investigated which patterns of communication children and young adults with Angelman syndrome use the most.
Source: Angelman Study Shows Children Use Broad Set of Tools to Communicate
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Road Maps | Accessibility Guidelines


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Google Map

Maps - Accessibility Guidelines

Road maps can present accessibility challenges. In the best practices below, we are addressing ways to improve the accessibility of road maps. Floor plans present a different set of challenges, and can best be handled by in-person assistance, or perhaps a 3D model.

Best Practices

  • Text-based directions: If the map is used to provide directions to a location, make sure to also provide text-based directions, or a link to text-based directions adjacent to the map.
  • Alt attributes: If you are using a static image for the map, make sure to include a descriptive alt tag. Embedded maps, such as Google Maps, should include a title attribute. (See below for an example).
  • Multiple locations: If you are using a map to display multiple locations, provide a text list of locations.
  • Color and contrast: If a map includes color coded regions, make sure that there is sufficient contrast between the text and the background, and that color coding is accessible for users with color-deficient vision. A good test is to see if the map is still usable in black and white.
  • Consistency and simplicity: Keep maps consistent and simple in their styling.
  • 3D or tactile version: You may want to have a tactile map available for non-sighted users.
Source: Maps | Accessibility Guidelines Continue reading
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Team at Riddle Center Builds Wheelchairs, Other Equipment to Help Residents | NC Department of Health and Human Services


Speech Synthesis
   Adaptive Water Skiing Equipment 

Adaptive Water Skiing Equipment

When Barry Kerley and his team in the Adaptive Engineering Technology Department at the J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center in Morganton get a request for equipment, they don’t just order it. They start from scratch to meet residents’ needs. The Adaptive Engineering Technology team at the Riddle Center designs, modifies and repairs specialty wheelchairs — most of which are very complex in function — and makes or modifies items such as helmets, splints and beds to assist residents with activities of daily living. The team also supports the recreational needs and activities of residents and has built a fleet of water skiing equipment and other adaptive recreational equipment.
Source: Team at Riddle Center Builds Wheelchairs, Other Equipment to Help Residents | NC Department of Health and Human Services
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For Blind Gamers, Equal Access to Racing Video Games | The Fu Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Science – Columbia University


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Blindfold user playing racing game

User Test

For Blind Gamers, Equal Access to Racing Video Games The RAD, an audio-based interface that can easily be integrated into existing video games, enables people who are visually impaired to play video games with the same speed and control as sighted players, with full 3D graphics and complex, challenging race tracks.   New York, NY—March 6, 2018—Brian A. Smith, a PhD candidate in Computer Science at Columbia Engineering, has developed the RAD—a racing auditory display—to enable gamers who are visually impaired to play the same types of racing games that sighted players can play with the same speed, control, and excitement that sighted players experience. The audio-based interface, which a player can listen to using a standard pair of headphones, can be integrated by developers into almost any racing video game, making a popular genre of games equally accessible to people who are blind.
Source: For Blind Gamers, Equal Access to Racing Video Games | The Fu Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Science - Columbia University
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Windows 10 Accessibility: What to expect in the year ahead – Windows Experience BlogWindows Experience Blog


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New Ease of Access Settings As we have been improving and adding accessibility features to Windows, we recognized the opportunity to make our Ease of Access Settings easier to discover, learn and use. Easier to Discover: We brought a lot of accessibility settings across Windows directly into Ease of Access, grouping features by ability (vision, hearing and interaction) and listing the most frequently used first. Customers can easily find the settings they care about, especially because anyone can now ask Cortana to find a setting and activate it. Some of the new settings to Ease of Access Settings include the following: The ability to “make everything bigger” or “make everything brighter” on a new Display page in the Vision group An audio page in the Hearing group Speech and eye control page in the Interaction group
Ease of Access Center Window

Ease of Access Center Window

Source: Windows 10 Accessibility: What to expect in the year ahead - Windows Experience BlogWindows Experience Blog
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MaxiAids | Beeping Easter Egg


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Beeping Easter Egg for the Blind and Visually Impaired Make Easter Egg Hunts accessible to more kids Each egg uses commonly found 2 N long lasting batteries (included) Price is for one egg; discounts available for 12 or more What better way for children to celebrate Easter than with an Easter Egg Hunt? These specially designed Beeping Easter Eggs help Blind and Visually Impaired kids join in on the fun Instead of going by visual cues, kids can locate these eggs by following the loud, clear beep they emit. Beeping Easter Eggs can also be used on Easter morning to provide an audible alert as kids with low vision experience the excitement of locating their Easter baskets. In addition, they're great for use at disability awareness functions as well as senior homes and assisted living facilities to bring the joy of Easter to all ages. To use, just place an egg around the area of the hunt and flip the ON/OFF slide switch to turn on the beeper. The beeper assembly and batteries are housed in the bottom half of each egg, leaving the top half hollow. Note: Holes in the eggs to allow the beep sound to be heard more clearly, so be careful not to submerge them in water to avoid damaging the beeper. Eggs measure 3 Long x 2-1/4 Diameter. Assorted colors: Blue, Orange, Yellow, Pink, Green, Purple - we'll choose for you. Each egg uses easy to find- 2 Size N long lasting batteries, (included.) Price is for individual eggs. Additional discount available for orders of 12 eggs or more. These eggs are made to be enjoyed for years of fun family tradition.
Audible Easter Egg

Audible Easter Egg

Source: MaxiAids | Beeping Easter Egg
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Comcast Promotes Paralympic Sponsorship, Assistive Technologies 03/12/2018


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Danelle Umstead, Alpine Skier, Team USA, Person with a Visual Impairment

Danelle Umstead, Alpine Skier, Team USA
Comcast created a video showcasing one of the Paralympic athletes that the telecom company is sponsoring. The video, just under two minutes, features the inspiring story of U.S. Paralympic Alpine Ski Team medalist Danelle Umstead. The visually impaired athlete narrates the video and details her story, conveying what it’s like to ski down the slopes with a visual disability and rely on sound to compete. She gives viewers a glimpse of how skiing looks to her and how it has opened up a door to freedom. Published Friday, the video has already been viewed more than 269,000 times. Comcast is featuring the video on social media and its website, where it focuses on accessibility. Comcast, an official partner of the USOC, has partnerships with 13 Team USA athletes including Umstead, who won bronze in both the 2010 and 2014 Paralympic Games.
Source: Comcast Promotes Paralympic Sponsorship, Assistive Technologies 03/12/2018
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