ShoutBox | Switch Access for Video Gaming
Shout box for switch access


The Shout Box pictured above was a tie up between OneSwitch and the very talented Jason Hotchkiss of 1D Pong fame. It allows a person to make any sound (down to a gentle puff of breath) to act as switch input. This can be converted to latched, pulsed or momentary (held until released) output at the flick of a switch.
Shout Box with Microphone

ShoutBox with Microphone

The dial lets you adjust the sensitivity from the lightest breath to a shout (hence the name). It's pretty brilliant in use, running off 3x AA batteries, and a very easy way to give someone an extra input to control a switch adapted gadget or game.OneSwitch is undergoing a make-over right now in the back-ground, but expect to see the ShoutBox and more appear a little later this year when the site is rolling again.
Source: blog
Posted in Recreation and Leisure | Tagged | Leave a comment blog: iOS 10: Hold at Point (aka Momentary) switch mode

Great news for switch users with Apple's iOS10 yearly big operating system update comes in the form of the new "Hold at Point" mode. This enables switch users to (finally) press a switch for different lengths of time quickly at a fixed point. The video above from the ACE Centre explains more along with this iOS10 guide from AbleNet.This makes a lot of previously unplayable "tap to play" games playable. These include Uppercup Football, Fotonica, Badland (as in the video), Ski Safari: Adventure Time, Alto's Adventure (try Zen mode), 100 Balls type games and so on. It also opens up some fantastic cause and effect and creative apps such as Beamz and Garage Band. Thank you Apple. And where are you Google?
Source: blog: iOS 10: Hold at Point (aka Momentary) switch mode
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Blindfold Racer Championships | Sept 30 to Oct 16
blindfold racer championshipsBlindfold Racer Championship for the Blind/Visually Impaired : Countdown begins Sept 30 to Oct 16: We launched the worlds first gaming championship for the Blind/ Visually impaired. Over 10,000 people have played the game in the past. ( which is the reason you are being sent an email, cause you are one of them ). We wanted everyone to have access to a seamless gaming experience , whether sighted or visually impaired. So why not a gaming championship just for fun? with prizes of course! If you are not aware about the procedure to register, please go through the email in detail and register immediately. We will talk about the Prizes in a moment. REGISTRATION PROCESS FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP Please go through the following in detail. Do not skip any steps below. Registration is mandatory. Ensure you browse the entire document first before registration or downloading the game. Registration and Practice Time: September 1 to September 29, 2016 Championship Starts : September 30 to October 16, 2016 STEP 1. Register here: STEP 2. a. Join our Facebook Group ( ): Or b. Follow us on Twitter ( @BlindfoldRacer ) WHAT HAPPENS NEXT ? Post registration, you’ll receive an email with game download instructions, username and detailed contest rules. Do not delete that email. You will need it all the time. Earning free game credits : When you join our Facebook Group or follow us on Twitter, post registration, you’ll earn $1 in credit towards the purchase of other Blindfold Games. Ensure to post/tweet “Just Joined #BRC16,” when you join the Facebook group or follow @BlindfoldRacer. Earn more game credits: For each friend you invite to the Championship, both you and your friend earn another $1 credit of Blindfold Games credit. You will need the persons username to do so, and you can earn up to $25. So, ensure you ask registered users of their Username. PRIZES : Details to come via a separate email, but here is the high level. The Champion of course wins a grand $500 cash and equal amount of gaming credit, but this is not about the champion only. This is about fun and everyone. It is totally inclusive. There will be ten's of thousands of prizes from sponsoring, tweeting, promoting, playing the game, going beyond certain scores, international and national, different groups, you name it! Stay tuned. So if you haven't registered, do so. You are assured to earn double the game credits for your $1 invested. Source: Blindfoldracer  
Posted in Blindness, Recreation and Leisure, Visual Impairment | Tagged | Leave a comment

This tremor tracking wearable lets Parkinson’s and ET patients take charge
tremor tracking watchPakistan doesn't have much of a hardware and healthcare tech scene, nevermind VC firms or angel investors. So says Fawad Bhatti, the fresh faced founder of Trequant who graduated from the country's National University of Sciences and Technology in Islamabad last year. The engineering student turned CEO has just launched Trequant, his tremor tracking wearable aimed at Parkinson's and Essential Tremor (ET) patients, on Kickstarter and, even though he's speaking to us from Islamabad where he's overseeing his technical team, he sticks to Silicon Valley timezones. That's where part of his team are based and where his startup got its big break thanks to Google for Entrepreneurs and the Blackbox accelerator. It's available on Kickstarter as either a $99 Watch or a $79 Band but the features remain the same. Trequant's algorithms take readings from the wearable's accelerometer and gyroscope - a "snap" - to determine how the hand moves. It then connects to your smartphone or laptop via Bluetooth Low Energy where the wearer is presented with a score on a scale from 0 -10, one of two scales depending on the disorder.
Source: This tremor tracking wearable lets Parkinson's and ET patients take charge
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Samsung’s Blind Cap vibrates when Paralympic swimmers need to flip
Swimmers cap for the blind

Blind Cap

When a blind Paralympic swimmer reaches the end of the pool in a competition, they get tapped on the back or head by a steward/coach so they know when to flip to turn and complete another length. Samsung's new Blind Cap, developed with the Spanish Paralympic Committee and Cheil Spain, replaces the tapping poles with a gentle vibration at each end of the pool.Read this: This tremor tracking wearable lets patients take chargeThe alerts are controlled, of course, via the Blind Cap app running on a Gear S2 smartwatch worn by a coach (or indeed an S7 or any Android phone) and connected to the Blind Cap using Bluetooth. The coach simply has to tap once on the smartwatch or phone to alert the swimmer.
Source: Samsung's Blind Cap vibrates when Paralympic swimmers need to flip
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SkyAngel911 Alert System
SkyAngel911 pendant


Carry 911 with you wherever you go. You are not alone. You can now have the same safety, comfort and convenience of calling 911 from your home outside of your home … with the SkyAngel911™ alert system. Now you can take your protection anywhere you go – take it to your job, have in your car, on vacation, at the mall, in the parking lot, at school, on a long walk, while you are working alone – anywhere you may be alone and need protection! This is the great advantage of the SkyAngel911™ alert system.


SkyAngel911™ has no monthly service fees of any kind. Once you buy the device you will never pay to use it. SkyAngel911™ is similar to an “OnStar" for Emergency Situations. This premier alert system provides freedom with security. With the touch of a button, you can talk with 911, anytime, from virtually anywhere. Other products like a traditional Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) only allow you to call for help within 150 to 600 feet away of a base station. Unlike a PERS, SkyAngel911™ works both indoors and outdoors to ensure anyone has peace of mind knowing that help is always available. In addition, the SkyAngel911™ has GPS enabling the 911 call center to locate you, even if you’re lost or can’t describe your location. SkyAngel911™ will use any available cell tower so you don't have to worry about coverage.
Source: SkyAngel911
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Legally Blind Photographer Bruce Hall
Bruce Hall, Photographer

Bruce Hall, Photographer

My name is Bruce Hall and I am a photographer and disability advocate. I was born legally blind with about 5% normal eyesight and severe nystagmus – rapid uncontrolled eye movement, as well as severe myopia and a a few other conditions. So, how does my eyesight affect my day to day life. I do not drive a car…legally. I can’t read street signs unless they are very large, and I’m next to a sign. I won’t know the color of your eyes unless I’m about 3” from your face. And the nystagmus, rapid eye movement, makes focusing a real challenge. Reading even large text is very difficult so I occasionally use a screen reader on my desktop computer. I use VO (voice over, the IOS screen reader) on my iPhone and iPad most of the time. The good news, for me, is that I can see detail at about 3’ from my face. This allows me to study photographs, and look at what I’ve taken or made. I have used photography to see for over 50 years.
Source: Legally Blind Photographer Bruce Hall Explains Equipment And Technique He Uses To Take Photos
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Santa’s Little Hackers Event Registration

Text to Speech

Santa's Little Hackers Event Registration

During our seasonal event, we adapt toys to be used by people of limited physical abilities. These toys allow them to play, interact, find joy and learn. We take battery powered toys and interrupt the circuit by introducing a 3.5mm jack or a small microcontroller to allow new methods for interacting with the toys.    To Register Go to:   What to expect at the Toy Workshoppe? On Saturday, October 22, we will start our Third Annual Santa's Little Hackers Toy Workshoppe, holding our first event outside of Colorado at North Carolina State University. This is an event for us to come together and adapt toys for the kids and adults who will be receiving a switch adapted toy at Christmas. We will need a group with a variety of abilities to work together to make a very challenging task happen. We need to make 350 switch adapted toys in one day. This will require a very organized and disciplined automation line to complete the task. Think "toy factory line" Upon arrival, participants will be assigned a team to participate with. Your team will have specific tasks that must be completed for the toy making workshoppe to be successful. If any teams do not complete their tasks, the remaining teams will be delayed in their completion. What types of tasks will we be doing? 
  • Soldering/Adapting - For the technically inclined. Your soldering iron will love all the action.
  • Disassembly/AssemblyDetail oriented, you're the one called upon to put together the toys for Christmas morning
  • Sewing - You were top of the class in home-ec.
  • Packaging - You're a tape gun whiz.
  • Quality Control/Toy Tester - You cross all your t's and dot all your i's. You won't let a toy pass by you without your final approval it works perfectly.
  • Use me anywhere - You are here for the fun, and to do something for the greater good.

Saturday, October 22, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (EDT) |  McKimmon Center - 1101 Gorman Street, Raleigh, NC 27606

Posted in DIY, Fabrication, Learning, Cognition, and Developmental | Tagged | Leave a comment

The ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter
ALS Association of NY LogoThere is a segment of the ALS population that can speak but can not use their hands and need access to a computer.  Most communication software for computers consist of basically an on-screen keyboard (the keyboard is visually displayed on the screen thereby bypassing the traditional keyboard) that enables a disabled user to have full control of their computer even if they do not have use of their hands.  The on-screen keyboard will be present anywhere in a Windows environment and this is what enables users to send e mails, web surf, etc. The software also has an on-screen mouse that functions exactly like a hand held one.  This is critical if you want to use Windows.   As you know, if you can’t use a mouse, Windows is useless.  The on-screen mouse enables the user to emulate a hand-held mouse.  Most computers now come equipped with on-screen keyboards (they in the accessories menu).  If not, there are free on-screen keyboards available on the internet at PALS can download free text to speech software that will enable any Windows (or some Macs) to speak whatever it typed into the computer.  This would enable the Netbook to be used as a communication device.  This list was compiled by Antoinette Verdone at the ALS Assoc of NY
Source: The ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter
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Ghostreader text to speech software for mac


GhostReader is an easy to use, fully customizable Text to Speech app that allows you to listen to written text on your Mac. Read selected texts from any other application, import texts in several formats and listen to them on the go. GhostReader’s intuitive design and extensive range of features help you to effortlessly save time, improve your work or enhance your learning experience.

GhostReader Plus

GhostReader Plus offers you the same extensive range of features as GhostReader with the added benefit of tags. Tags give you ultimate creative freedom to use multiple voices, languages and other speech modifiers. Use GhostReader Plus to create beautiful audiobooks, lively podcasts or proof-read your screenplay with all characters having their own voice. With automatic language detection you can effortlessly listen to multilingual texts and documents.
Source: GhostReader
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