Your Haiti Relief Efforts: From the Ground Up...
|Anyone who has read Three Cups of Tea or Stones to Schools
has been struck by the power for good that can come from one or a
handful of caring and determined people. The books demonstrate how real
change comes out of relationships forged between individuals to serve a
common mission (in this case building schools for girls in Pakistan and
Afghanistan). AT programs live this lesson, too, when they forge
partnerships to provide services for people with disabilities. We call
them organizational partnerships, collaborations, etc. but often they
start with a conversation between just two people. Change starts on the
Cut to Haiti. The
last thing any American wants to read right now is how their aid or tax
dollars are locked up in red tape, stuck in containers of goods,
failing to reach starving and hurting people... Click here for the rest of "Your Haiti Relief: From the Ground Up..."
Your Haiti Relief Efforts: From the Top Down...
|If Richard Lumarque and the power of a single tweet are inspiring (see previous article: "Your Haiti Relief Efforts: From the Ground Up..."), equally heartening is news that this collaboration, between government-funded AT programs and on-the-ground nonprofits, is now officially sanctioned and aided by the U.S. government.|
This is in sharp contrast to how things worked during Hurricane Katrina and the Iowa floods. Back then AT programs responded, but in a grassroots way without federal help or acknowledgment. Indeed it wasn't until... Click here for the rest of "Your Haiti Relief efforts: From the Top Down..."
Field News: Mauricio Lizama on Puerto Rico's
Low Cost Device Design and
Development (LD3) Program
A Different Approach to Alternative Financing for AT
PRATP is making AT
accessible by actually making AT! Here Program Director Mauricio Lizama, Ph.D.,
ATP, describes their unique approach to a state financing activity and how it helps residents with
disabilities in Puerto Rico and beyond.
The Puerto Rico Assistive Technology Program (PRATP) developed the Low Cost Device Design and Development (LD3) program in February 2007 as a State Financing Activity for the Assistive Technology State Grant Program. After previous attempts to implement low interest loans and other alternative financing programs in Puerto Rico, the LD3 program was created under the category of "state financing activities that allow consumers to obtain AT at reduced cost."
The LD3 program designs and develops low cost devices that mimic AT solutions on the market, and provides installation, configuration, and training for the end user. The AT user pays only for the materials needed for the construction of the device.
A consumer's device request qualifies for LD3 program assistance if it falls under one or more of the following scenarios:
1. The desired AT device does not exist on the market: In this case, PRATP works with the consumer to fabricate an AT device
to satisfy the particular needs of the individual with disabilities (i.e. develop a head-controlled videogame system for a quadriplegic child).
2. The AT device exists, but it must be modified to make it usable by the consumer (i.e. adapt an electric feeder controller to be activated through a fiber-optic switch).
3. The AT device exists, but it is too expensive to be obtained otherwise. In this case, the adaptation targets the functionality of the original
device but... Click here to read the rest about Puerto Rico's LD3.
Nifty Product: The MV-1
The MV-1 is a vehicle designed by the Vehicle Production Group* to
be wheelchair accessible, not converted. It has capacity for up to two
"common" wheelchairs plus additional seating, a built-in telescoping wheelchair ramp with a
1,200 lb. weight capacity, flat load floor, and interior
floor-to-ceiling height of almost 5 feet. It also has a "green option"
with a dedicated Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powertrain system.
Learn more at www.vpgautos.com.
in 2006, The Vehicle Production Group LLC (VPG) designs, develops and
markets purpose built specialty vehicles to meet the needs of large
niche vehicle segments that have historically been served by converting
or retrofitting general use vehicles.
Have a comment on this product? Click here
Disclaimer: AT Program News makes no
endorsement, representation, or warranty expressed or implied for any
product, device, or information set forth in this newsletter. AT
Program News has not examined, reviewed, or tested any product or
device referred to in this electronic newsletter or at www.atprogramnews.com.
Hot Resource: Chicago Lighthouse AT Help DeskThe Chicago Lighthouse has
a free AT support line for computer access. Ray Campbell operates the desk
and has served people in 48 states, six Canadian provinces, China,
South Africa and New Zealand. He will assist with hardware or software
problems as long as the caller is blind or has low vision or is calling
on behalf of someone who is blind/low vision.
Toll Free: 1-888-825-0080 (voice/Relay)
AIM Screen Name: tclhelp
Have a comment on this resource? Click here
Ask the Expert:
How to Help Haiti Now?
What's the best way for my AT program to help with Haiti relief now?
-Wanting To Do More
Dear Wanting To Do More:
According to Ron Myers at Portlight Strategies (see Your Haiti Relief Efforts: From the Ground Up), the need as of March 1st is not DME (thanks to a strong response), but clinical supplies and funds for shipping and food. Since clinical supplies are not likely to be on hand at AT programs (they include topical antibiotics, suture packs, and adult diapers), the best help programs can provide is to raise funds from within their home communities and donate at the Portlight website.
Want to Ask the Expert? ATPN will ask for you! (Who the expert is depends on the question you pose). To Ask the Expert, contact ATPN and put "Expert" in the subject line. All questions are posed anonymously from start to finish.
Free Stuff: Portable Text-to-Speech Software
Balabolka ("chatterer" in Russian) is text-to-speech freeware that may be run from a USB drive on any computer with a Windows operating system (2000/XP/2003/Vista/7) and at least one voice installed. The program gets 5 star ratings from a variety of download sites, including Download Pipe, Download3000, Download25, and DownloadMost.
-works with all computer voices installed on your system (free voice downloads are available at the Balabolka site);
-can save on-screen text as a WAV, MP3, OGG or WMA file;
-can read clipboard content;
-view text from DOC, RTF, PDF, ODT, FB2 and HTML files;
-customize font and background color;
-control reading from the system tray or by the global hot keys;
-Balabolka uses various versions of Microsoft Speech API (SAPI); it allows users to alter a voice's parameters, including rate and pitch. The user can apply a special substitution list to improve the quality of the voice's articulation.
-works with a variety of spell checkers;
-supports "skins" that allow users to customize their Windows appearance.
Click here to learn more and download Balabolka
Have a comment on Balabolka? Click here