Microsoft’s Emma Watch is a game-changer for people with Parkinson’s
Patient wearing the emma watch and writing

Emma Watch

Smartwatches may not be as hot as they used to be, but that doesn't mean wrist-worn wearables are dead altogether.Far from it, actually. Take the Emma Watch, a wrist wearable created by Microsoft Research Innovation Director Haiyan Zhang that's designed to help reduce the hand tremors people diagnosed with Parkinson's disease live with.With the Emma Watch, Zhang was able to help graphic designer Emma Lawton, who has Parkinson's, write and sketch again.
Source: Microsoft's Emma Watch is a game-changer for people with Parkinson's Continue reading
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Two Apps: Take a Picture. Set a reminder.
These two apps for Android and iPhone allow to you use images for setting reminders.
iPhone app with pictures and reminder window


A simple way to use your pictures as reminders. Take a photo of an important task. Set a reminder time, and you're done! With PhotoMind, reminders are a snap! Additional Features: - Reminder notes. - Recurring reminders. - Clutter-free camera-roll. - Today widget reminders. - Share your reminders. - Add reminders easily from any shareable image.
Easy as it can be: Take a picture and set a reminder. At the date or time you choose your picture will pop up as a notification.
RePic Picture Reminder App image organizer

RePic Picture Reminder App

Very useful to remember to not forget to - bring something with you - fix something - do something - buy something - birthday or christmas presents and even ideas for it Subtile because you know what to do when you see the picture. You can change the notification date anytime. And you do not need to type.
Source: PhotoMind - Simple. Photo. Reminders. on the App Store Source: RePic Picture Reminder
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Limitless: Breaking the bounds of disability | PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs

Speech Synthesis

Limitless: Breaking the bounds of disability

In the United States, one out of every five adults lives with a disability and 6.5 million students receive services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. However, equal access to education, jobs and public spaces continue to be ongoing challenges for individuals living with disabilities. As the final project of the school year, SRL challenged students to find stories that showcase how people with disabilities overcome limits placed on them by doctors, teachers, family and society. The result is Limitless: Breaking the bounds of disability.
Source: Limitless: Breaking the bounds of disability | PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs
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The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work Participation | The National Academies Press


The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work Participation

The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work Participation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Board on Health Care Services; Committee on the Use of Selected Assistive Products and Technologies in Eliminating or Reducing the Effects of Impairments; Alan M. Jette, Carol Mason Spicer, and Jennifer Lalitha Flaubert, Editors


The U.S. Census Bureau has reported that 56.7 million Americans had some type of disability in 2010, which represents 18.7 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population included in the 2010 Survey of Income and Program Participation. The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) provides disability benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. As of December 2015, approximately 11 million individuals were SSDI beneficiaries, and about 8 million were SSI beneficiaries. [read full description]



National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work Participation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi:
Source: The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work Participation | The National Academies Press
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Researchers develop non-invasive deep brain stimulation method | Science | The Guardian
Temporal interference stimulation excites an area in the mouse hippocampus, shown in bright green through c-Fos labelling. Image: Nir Grossman, Suhasa B. Kodandaramaiah and Andrii Rudenko.

Temporal Interference Stimulation in bright green

Now, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have a developed a new method that can stimulate cells deep inside the brain non-invasively, using multiple electric fields applied from outside the organ. In a study published today in the journal Cell, they show that the method can selectively stimulate deep brain structures in live mice, without affecting the activity of cells in the overlying regions, and also that it can be easily adjusted to evoke movements by stimulation of the motor cortex. The new method, called temporal interference, exploits the fact that neurons do not respond to electric fields with frequencies of around 1,000 Hertz (Hz, or cycles per second) or more. Thus, high frequency electric fields applied to the brain pass through it without affecting neuronal activity. If, however, two fields are applied to the brain, at high frequencies that differ by small amounts corresponding to the frequencies to which neurons can respond, they interfere with each other to produce an ‘envelope’ electric field that excites the cells within it.
Source: Researchers develop non-invasive deep brain stimulation method | Science | The Guardian
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The pleasure and the pain of the accessible smart home | TechCrunch
Accessibility logo with hand, eye, ear and text surrounding image

Accessible Home

  In 2017, the promise of the smart home is more or less reality. Companies like Apple and Amazon are using Siri and Alexa, respectively, to help customers control almost every aspect of the home. From controlling door locks to light switches to thermostats and more, the burgeoning capabilities of these intelligent assistants are making tasks such as turning on the lights in the living room doable by just the sound of your voice or the tap of a button on your phone. However convenient and futuristic, one area where the smart home has enormous potential (and pitfalls) is accessibility. For people with physical motor impairments, the ability to open doors and flip switches with only your voice has the potential to make the home more accessible than ever before.
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TechCheck | Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT)
TechCheck task bar

TechCheck task bar

Welcome to TechCheck, a powerful but simple tool to help employers assess their technology accessibility practices. Whether you have a formal accessible technology effort or not, TechCheck can help give you a benchmarking "snapshot" of the current state of your technology, the accessibility goals you want to reach, and what steps you might take to achieve them.TechCheck is scalable and intended for U.S. employers of all types—public or private sector, large or small.What you can expect:
  • It’s quick and easy. TechCheck takes about 10-15 minutes to complete.
  • You’ll get rapid feedback. After completing the questions, you’ll receive a Readout evaluation of where you stand across several dimensions, from internal training efforts to procurement policies.
  • It’s completely confidential. PEAT does not retain your answers except to create your customized Readout. And we will never publish any of your answers, or share that you have participated in TechCheck without your explicit permission.
  • A foundation for building a more accessible workplace. TechCheck provides formal documentation that you can use to win support from management to develop your accessible technology efforts further.
Source: TechCheck | Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT)
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Mount’n Mover | Simple Mounts

Text to Voice
Simple, stable, functional and affordable!
  • Ideal for phones, iPads, tablets, cameras, eating, writing, and reading
  • Trays swivel, lay horizontal, tilt at an angle, and fold down along post
  • Simple Mount Small   (3.5" x 7.0" x .25")
  • Simple Mount Large  (9" x 11.5" x .375")
  • Choice of high or low resistance hinges
  • Uses same wheelchair attachment hardware
  • Simple Mount Large can be off-set to adjust position
  • Available in a variety of post lengths
   For more information regarding the Mounts, check out the following links! Product Specifications and Overview Design and Feature Changes 2016 PDF icon Simple Mount Product Sheet 
Source: Mount'n Mover | Independence within reach!
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Visual Tracking / Motor Coordination Apps for Adults | OT’s with Apps & Technology
Visual tracking apps pic

Visual Tracking & Motor Control /Reaction Time Apps

A recent email from Kate A. requested suggested app for visual motor reaction time for home programming after use of Dynavision in the clinic. Although, I am not a user of the Dynavision, and using a mobile device, a much smaller size requiring less tracking and reach, is significantly different, there are a few apps that might be considered. The link below provides a listing of visual tracking / motor coordination apps for adults with timed response options monitoring (in many) that provide activities and tracking of speed and coordination for the user: Visual Tracking / Motor Coordination Apps Do you use apps for improving eye hand coordination and reaction time with your clients? If so, what apps would you recommend?
frog tipping its hat

Thanks to OT with Apps for the Tip!

A recent research article ” The use of the iPad for post stroke hand rehabilitation: A pilot study” can be found in full at Research Gate. The article describes apps used for the post stroke hand rehabilitation research for training and outcome measurements. Although the research was performed with a limited sample, participants reported positive responses to use of a mobile device (iPad) and potential as a home programming tool.
Source: Visual Tracking / Motor Coordination Apps for Adults | OT's with Apps & Technology
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We’re not getting Luke Skywalker’s prosthetics any time soon

Text to Speech Demo
In 1937, robot hobbyist "Bill" Griffith P. Taylor of Toronto invented the world's first industrial robot. It was a crude machine, dubbed the Robot Gargantua by its creator. The crane-like device was powered by a single electric motor and controlled via punched paper tape, which threw a series of switches controlling each of the machine's five axes of movement. Still, it could stack wooden blocks in preprogrammed patterns, an accomplishment that Meccano Magazine, an English monthly hobby magazine from the era, hailed as "a Wells-ian vision of 'Things to Come' in which human labor will not be necessary in building up the creations of architects and engineers."
The human hand's dexterity -- specifically, the opposable thumb -- has proved nearly as important to our evolution as our cognitive abilities, according to researchers from Yale University, and could potentially impart the same benefits to robot-kind. However, providing mechanical grippers with the same flexibility and adaptivity of the human hand has been incredibly difficult and expensive. That's why a vast majority of current robotic manipulators still use the two-pronged pincer system or are highly specialized to a singular task. "You can get a relatively simple gripper that's inexpensive, or you could get a very dextrous hand
for two orders of magnitude more," said Jason Wheeler, a roboticist at Sandia Labs who helped develop the hand used by Robonaut 2 aboard the International Space Station. "And there aren't a whole lot of options in between."
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