Uncategorized Archive

Get Out…. and enjoy the beautiful fall weather!

Posted September 7, 2018 By Lee Learson

The cool fall weather has arrived and it’s a great time of year for outdoor activities. Beach, lake, mountains, parks, hiking, biking and all kinds of sports…. it’s all there for you.

You can rent or buy adaptive equipment and join a local sports program, or just have some outdoor fun with family and friends. The following are resources for organizations and adaptive equipment that will get you what you need to enjoy the great outdoors and some indoor sports too!

Disabled Sports:

Disabled Sports USA’s mission is to provide national leadership and opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness through participation in community sports, recreation and educational programs.


Sports Abilities: Sports Abilities has a comprehensive resource list for

Read the remainder of this entry »

Be the first to comment

Accessible Locks for School Lockers

Posted August 28, 2018 By Lee Learson

You’re back at school, you’ve wandered the halls looking for your locker… you finally found it…. only to realize that the standard locker padlock doesn’t work for you…. now what??

Moving up to middle school or high school often means that you will have to use a locker. And for kids with disabilities, that can be a challenge.

Standard locks require confusing number combinations or keys. There are a variety of products available including tactile locks, simple word or directional access locks and locks that work with an app on your smart phone or iPad. Take a look at the resources below for the latest in accessible locks!

WorWord Combination LockdLock: No keys or number combinations needed. WordLock uses the alphabet to set your own combination with your favorite words. Visit www.WordLock.com to learn more.


Master Lock® Master Lock® (ADA-Inspired Portable Locker Locks) makes locks aimed at making studens as independent as possible.

Simple Combo™ For students with difficulty remembering combinations but who don‘t have dexterity challenges. The Simple Combos™ locks use specially selected combinations that use only numbers printed on the dial (no sub-increments) so users can more easily recall and dial their combination. Supervisory access control is available to match your existing system and dials available in multiple colors.

2650 Push Key™ For students with limited dexterity, difficulty remembering combinations or visual impairments. The Push Key™ locks feature a no-turn key operation where the user inserts the key into the lock and pulls down on the lock body to open the shackle. Lock is easy and simple to use with an easy-to-grip flared body. Lock includes four keys – two with large key head covers for easier grip.


Tactile Push-Button Combination Padlock: This Tactile Push-Button Combination Padlock is easy to operate by touch with tactile numbers (1-8) and push-button design. Simply identify each tactile number in the 4-digit combination by touch and push down the corresponding buttons. Then toggle the switch on the bottom over and the lock pops open. It’s a handy low vision combination lock for the blind and visually impaired.

LS&S Directional Combination Lock: This Master Lock with speed dial enables you to set your own combination based on directional movements instead of the traditional rotary style. Move the lock button/dial left, right, up and down and it is faster to use than traditional locks.

Locksmart Keyless Padlocks: State-of-the-art capacitive fingerprint sensor allows unlocking in under 0.8 seconds. Stores up to 500 fingerprints for multiple users. Adaptive algorithm means the lock becomes faster and more accurate with each access.

By using your mobile device, you can open your LockSmart padlock without any physical keys, conveniently share virtual keys in an instant, take ‘keys’ away, and track your lock’s use. LockSmart’s keyless Bluetooth padlock is much more than a lock. LockSmart gives you trackable keyless security.

Be the first to comment

New from Don Johnston!  Innovations like robot vacuums and self-driving cars are giving people time to spend in more useful ways. Quizbot is ready to do the same for quiz-building.

With Quizbot, teachers can build quizzes automatically from any text (online articles or PDFs) with one click. The accessible quiz is automatically put into Google Forms and scoring is automatic.

Build quizzes automatically from any text with one click. Automatic scoring through Google Forms shows instantly what is being comprehended.

How it Works

Read the remainder of this entry »

Be the first to comment

By Cal Jeffrey (Techspot)

Microsoft just announced a new controller for the Xbox One that will bring accessibility to gaming for those with a variety of disabilities.

It is called the Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC), and its design is not like anything you have ever seen. It looks a bit like a dual-turntable device that one would use to DJ a party. In fact, that is what I thought it was when I first saw pictures of it.

The minimalist design has two large circular pads, an over-sized directional control crossbar, and a few menu buttons. It has a headphone jack on the side as well as a USB port for connecting a separate joystick, but what sets the XAC apart are the 19 3.5mm jacks on the back of the device.

The ports can be used to connect a wide array of assistive technology including Read the remainder of this entry »

Be the first to comment

By:  Jenny Lay-Flurrie – Microsoft Chief Accessibility Officer

Today we celebrate the seventh annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day and announce new technology and resources for people with disabilities. The goal of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about accessibility. For us, it’s also about digging deep into how technology can empower the 1 billion people worldwide who have disabilities. Not only is it important that we do this for our customers and our employees, it’s also an exciting area for technology and innovation to drive incredible impact. In 2011, the World Health Organization changed the definition of disability to the result of a mismatch between what a person wants to achieve and the environment or society that he or she lives in. Technology can play a leading role in bridging the gap. It’s both exciting to think about the tremendous opportunity to empower and humbling to think about our responsibility to get it right.

Technology has human impact. It can empower people like Dan, a devoted gamer whose life was changed by an accident; Nori, who is passionate about Japanese culture and public speaking and has low vision; and Joseph, a first-year student who studies biology at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York and is deaf.

While we live our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more every day, on GAAD we are pleased to be announcing the Xbox Adaptive Controller, a new technology to help more gamers game. We’re highlighting AI for Accessibility, which provides opportunities for Read the remainder of this entry »

Be the first to comment

Robots Bring the Class to the Student

Posted March 17, 2018 By Lee Learson

By Michael Gagne, District Administration

These days, McKenna Smith is back in the classroom. She’s a high school student in Missouri’s Nixa Public Schools, but had been unable to attend classes since elementary school because of chemotherapy treatment.

But Smith didn’t miss as much interaction with teachers and classmates as she could have because she connected with them remotely—via robot.

The Double Robot resembles a Segway scooter with a tablet computer attached to the top of the neck. Last year, the robot helped Smith seemingly be in school, as shown on a YouTube video. https://www.doublerobotics.com/

The robot wheeled up and down the classroom, while Smith’s face appeared on-screen, with a camera below the display. The camera captured the classroom, teacher and other students, and allowed Smith to interact with the class in real time.

Virtual inclusion

Researchers at the University of California Irvine studied the Double Robot and what it called “virtual inclusion.” Being connected to peers through robots can Read the remainder of this entry »

Be the first to comment

Ultimate Guide to Traveling with Disabilities

Posted November 15, 2017 By Lee Learson

Reprint from ” Champion Traveler

About 56.7 million United States citizens are living with a disability, according to the most recent national census. While traveling can be a lot of fun with new memories made, it is important to make sure wherever you travel to can accommodate if you have a disability. Luckily, there are several options available so that those who do have a disability are able to travel comfortably and safely. 

General Travel Tips for Individuals with Physical Disabilities

Physical disabilities are those that limit one’s ability to move, making travel more challenging. Physical limitations don’t have to keep you from traveling altogether. These tips and resources will help you plan for your travel and overcome challenges that may arise. 

  • Make sure before your trip, you choose a resort, hotel or cruise that provides accessibility. If you are able to choose your own destination, select a location that provides accessibility for physical disabilities. If you aren’t able to choose your own destination, find out if there will be accessibility accommodations at the location. Flying Wheels Travel lists several destinations and cruise options that offer accessibility for individuals with physical disabilities.
  • Working with a travel agent who is experienced with disabilities can take a lot of pressure off of you and make traveling much easier and smoother. This website, DisabledTravelers.com provides a list of travel agents who offer specialized services for those with disabilities.
  • Research your destination and hotel. Whether you picked it out yourself or a family member or friend chose the location, do your research on the destination and hotel to find out what services and accommodations are available. Different regulations may apply regarding accessibility in public locations when traveling outside of the United States. This article provides tips and information from 23 major airlines on what to do for travelers who need extra support.
  • Find the proper luggage that will be easy for you to handle. Finding luggage that also protects your equipment when handled by airplane personnel is important too. This article from MIUSA.org offers tips for choosing the right type of luggage.
  • Always make sure you pack your medical cards, Medicare card if you have one, discount cards, passport, debit and credit cards, and Traveler’s Checks.
  • You can make arrangements with the airline prior to the day of travel. Certain accommodations, such as bringing wheelchairs or other equipment onto the plane, require to be planned in advance.
  • Make sure to keep TSA’s helpline number on hand. Their helpline can be reached at 1-855-787-2227 in order to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions.

Tips & Resources for Individuals Traveling with Cognitive Disabilities Read the remainder of this entry »

Be the first to comment

Holiday Gift Guides!

Posted November 5, 2017 By Lee Learson

It’s that time of year again. Looking for creative, engaging, educational and fun gifts ideas?                                            Check out these resources!

Be the first to comment

DocsPlus is Here!

Posted June 12, 2017 By Lee Learson

Cricksoft announces the launch of DocsPlus! This exciting new writing tool for middle school, high school, and college students will be replacing WriteOnline. DocsPlus is a student-friendly word processor designed to help struggling writers to independently tackle curriculum writing tasks:

Help students organize their ideas and plan writing tasks with the built-in mind mapping tool and audio note creator.

Offer subject-specific writing frames and word banks to support your learners as they tackle new writing genres and try to incorporate more relevant vocabulary into their work.

Encourage students to actively review their own work with the DocsPlus speech feedback tool.

Save time and money that would otherwise be spent on scribes and readers by using DocsPlus to support students who require additional access arrangements during exams.

If you would like a free copy of DocsPlus, email to USinfo@cricksoft.com or call 1 866 332 7425.

Be the first to comment

Apps for Creating Stories

Posted May 28, 2017 By Lee Learson

Looking for great story creating apps? Here’s a rundown (with links) of some of the best! Story telling is a great way to encourage kids to write and hear themselves speak too. It provides an opportunity for kids to be imaginative and creative while learning the foundations of writing and storytelling. Creating their own stories can be used not only for telling stories about events, but for writing social stories, sequencing daily living skills, creating schedules and so much more. The following are just a few of the wide variety of story creating apps available. Read the remainder of this entry »

Be the first to comment