Thursday, October 29, 2015

Using Sound As Assistive Technology

Most people find a gentle melody to be calming, while some people need background sounds to concentrate.  White and pink noise are colors of the noise spectrum that have different audio signals that sound different to yoru ears.  White or pink noise generators are inexpensive and easy to find for iPhones, Androids and on the web.  Another use of sound for calming or aiding with focus is binaural beats, which are paired frequency tones that are slightly different in each ear.  This produces a frequency "Beat" that is perceived by the brain and may induce a neural frequency that occurs in the states of sleep, rest, or alertness.  Two resources for white noise and binaural beats are White & Pink Noise (iOS, Android, web) and Binaural Beats (iOS, Android, web).

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Amazon's Take on Home Automation

The Amazon Echo is an exciting new product with the potential to provide greater independence to individuals with disabilities in their home.  It's functions as a home's central command center, allowing someone to turn on lights on or off, check the weather, add items to their grocery list and more. all by using their voice from rooms far away, and will speak aloud any answers to your questions or commands.  It can also connect to other devices and online services (such as your Google calendar), and has a companions smartphone app that helps you control and customize the device.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Seating Options for Early Childhood

Kids like to move around and sometimes have difficulty sitting still.  The Vidget, a new product available for pre-order from Viggi Kids, allows kids to fidget in a side-to-side motion while seated.  The lightweight chair can help improve focus and attention as well as provide sensory stimulation for children ages three to six.  Its modular cube design allows for the Vidget to also become a desk or stool by turning it on its side.

Another seating option is the Safco Runtz Ball Chair to help learners stay engaged and focused in a classroom or other environment.  Movement helps the entire brain engage and work together.  Sitting on an exercise ball activates and strengthens the core or abdominal muscles, which support both fine and gross motor development.  The Safco Runtz Ball Chair provides the movement and engagement of an exercise ball with the addition of a base for stability and control.