At ASI, independence is our business.  Perhaps this is why we get so excited when we learn of new technologies that help promote independence in the quadriplegic community.  James Gribble is a quadriplegic who was an avid golfer until he tragically broke his neck in 2008.  Gribble didn’t let his injury this stop him for long.  He soon found a way to get back on the golf course to play the game he loved so much.  He started by finding equipment – such as the ParaGolfer, an all-terrain wheelchair outfitted with a hydraulic seat – that would allow him to play golf despite being paralyzed.  Once he got back into the game, he was determined to help other do the same.  Thus, he founded Empower Golf, an Australia-based company whose mission is, “To facilitate and promote golf for Australians of all abilities”. Empower Golf holds free “Come & Try Golf” clinics throughout Australia designed to encourage quadriplegics and people with disabilities to learn and play the game.

ASI is encouraged by quadriplegics like James Gribble who prove that anything is possible.  Every day, we are privileged to help brave individuals with devastating spinal cord injuries and debilitating illnesses such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) become more independent. We offer the most advanced and customized environmental control unit (ECU)/speech generating device (SGD) package on the market and we will continue our research and development to stay one step ahead of technology. We do what we do to transform lives!

If you are interested in learning more about our products and services, feel free to contact us for a complimentary and personalized consultation.

Read more about Empower Golf:

January 23rd’s Google Doodle featured Ed Roberts, a pioneer and activist who advocated for disability rights.  According to Google, January 23rd would have been his 78th birthday.  Roberts contracted polio at age 14, which resulted in him becoming a quadriplegic. He took on the role of activist after being denied his high school diploma as a result of not being able to compete in driver’s education and physical education classes.

Roberts was eventually awarded his high school diploma and became the first student with a sever disability to attend the University of California, Berkeley. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science.  Among his many achievements include:

  • Spearheading and creating the Physically Physically Disabled Students Program at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Led the Berkeley Center for Independent Living
  • Was appointed Directory of the California Department of Vocational Rehabilitation in 1976 by California Governor Jerry Brown
  • Co-founder of the World Institute on Disability

Accessibility Services, Inc. salutes Roberts for his dedication and hard work toward improving the lives of people with disabilities.  Sadly, Roberts passed away in 1995. We hope that our work to help quadriplegics achieve independence through our autonoME environmental control unit (ECU)/speech generation device (SGD) package would have been applauded by Roberts if he were alive today.  It is his tireless efforts of advocating for people with disabilities that has opened the doors toward quadriplegics living fuller, more independent lives today.

Accessibility Services, Inc. prides ourselves on keeping up with the latest research and technology affecting quadriplegics. Knowing what breakthroughs could be on the horizon helps us prepare for possible new customization options for our autonoME environmental control unit (ECU)/speech generating device (SGD) package.

2017 started with some promising news for quadriplegics.  According to WPVI ABC-6 in Los Angeles, a new experimental device is helping some individuals with spinal cord injuries perform simple tasks like putting on socks, holding a cup, etc.  Dr. Daniel Lu at UCLA is the lead researcher on the study.  The National Institutes of Health is also involved.  The study consists of a complex device (32 electrodes) that shows the brain how to finds ways around spinal cord damage.  The report indicates that people receiving the new stimulator have regained some movement, including the ability to type and dial a telephone.

The autonoME can be customized with sip and puff, eye gaze, head tracking and other accessibility options.  This new research indicates that one day, it may be possible for quadriplegics to operate the autonoME without needing these accommodations, opening up the possibility of being able to add additional features for individuals using these types of stimulation devices.

Are you or do you know a quadriplegic who is involved with a research study?  If so, we would like to hear from you.  Please contact us.

 

Latest Report on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Special thank you to Elisha Neubaue, Mike Arnold and the Citrus County Chronicle for publishing this in-depth feature on ASI:

Disabled veterans with qualifying disabilities, such as ALS and some spinal cord injuries, can qualify to receive an autonoME through the Veterans Administration (VA).  We also work with private individuals, in addition to installing units in VA spinal cord injury units, hospitals and long term care facilities.

Thank you, Citrus County Chronicle, for helping us spread the word about our life changing technology!

Lisa Swiger

Lisa Swiger

ASI was very excited to be invited as a guest on Veterans Radio.  Our own Lisa Swiger talked with Veterans Radio hosts Bob Gould and Dale Throneberry about the autonoME, which is installed in several Veterans Administration (VA) Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) units through the U.S. They also touched on how veterans who are quadriplegic or have a debilitating disease such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or multiple sclerosis (MS) may qualify to receive an autonoME through the VA.

Listen:

[audio:http://asi-autonome.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/VRP-012917.mp3|autostart=no loop=no]

If you have not yet tuned into Veterans Radio, we strongly encourage you to do so.  The show has been on the air for 14 years. It airs live every Sunday from 5-6pm on WAAM Talk 1600 in Ann Arbor, Michigan and reaches thousands around the globe through live streaming and podcasts. They are doing an incredible service to veterans by covering the latest news, products, books and information of interest to the veteran’s community, as well as sharing listener’s stories and experiences.

We want to extend a special thank you to Bob Gould for inviting us on the show and recognizing the importance of the autonoME and how it is being used to help veterans. We also would like to thank Dale Throneberry who also asked some very pertinent questions directed toward how the autonoME benefits veterans.

Check out the show and let us know what you think!

Veterans Radio featured in Hour Detroit.

Accessibility Services, Inc. Awarded New Contract to Equip VA Hospitals with the autonoME Environmental Control/Speech Generation Package

Accessibility Services, Inc. (ASI) in Homosassa, Florida announced that they have been awarded a new Veterans Administration (VA) contract to equip spinal cord injury units with their signature autonoME environmental control unit (ECU) / speech generating device (SGD) package. The autonoME – specifically designed for quadriplegics and individuals with debilitating diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – allows individuals to completely control their environment (i.e. turn on fan/lights, control their bed, television and telephone, call a nurse or caregiver, open a door, use a computer, etc.) as well as generate speech.

The company has already installed hundreds of units in VA hospitals on a previous contract, including sites in Memphis, Houston, Cleveland, Dallas, Long Beach, San Antonio and Boston, among others.  ASI recently learned they have been awarded a new contract, allowing them to install and service the autonoME package in additional VA spinal cord injury units across the country. ASI also customizes and installs the autonoME in the homes of veterans with qualifying service-related disabilities.

“Our founder, Fred Thomson, founded ASI back in 1989 with a mission to help veterans,” explains Brice Green, Product and Sales Manager for ASI. “I myself am a veteran, and we employ many veterans.  What make us different is that we are continually conducting research and development to ensure we are delivering the latest technology. We also customize, install and support each autonoME package.  We spend time making sure the therapists, nurses, caregivers and patients understand how to use all of the features and are available to answer any questions and provide technical support after the installation is complete.  When someone calls us for support, they actually get one of our technicians, not a call center.”

According to Green, seeing people experience independence as a result of the autonoME is the most rewarding part of each day.

“We are touched by the stories and struggles of the brave people we meet,” says Green. “seeing a person’s face light up when we install the autonoME and knowing that we are making a difference in the lives of so many is the reason why we are in this business.”

ASI will proceed with installing the autonoME at specified VA hospitals throughout 2017.  The company also serves individuals living at home, rehabilitation facilities, and public and private hospital systems. Watch this 1.5 minute video to see how the autonoME is helping one veteran maintain his independence: http://asi-autonome.com/the-autonome-in-action/.

About Accessibility Services, Inc.
Accessibility Services, Inc. (ASI) is a leading provider of environmental control units (ECU’s) designed specifically for individuals with severe disabilities and spinal cord injuries. Founded in 1989 with a primary vision to help veterans, the company has since expanded its mission to address the needs of all severely disabled individuals with a special focus on the unique and exceptional needs of the quadriplegic community. ASI designs, customizes, installs and services ECU’s which enable clients to control their entire surroundings and environment, thus significantly increasing independence and improving quality of life. ASI’s proprietary autonoME unit has become one of the most popular hospital and residential devices on the market. Founder Fred Thompson’s philosophy, “we start with the customer and work backwards” has inspired ASI’s research and development engineers to stay one step ahead of technology, ensuring the company delivers the most advanced and progressive ECU solutions available. For more information, visit http://asi-autonome.com.

As you know, the autonoME is an environmental control unit (ECU) and speech generating device (SGD) all in one single, convenient, integrated package.  We’ve been highlighting different features of the autonoME, and today we are going to talk about how it performs as an SGD.

The autonoME includes all of the features of a traditional SGD, including customized speech generation and augmented speech.  In fact, the autonoME has its own Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) menu.  This menu includes access to a keyboard for typing words and sentences, which can be used as a traditional keyboard, or, operated with Eye Gaze, sip & puff and head tracking. There is also a message bank where you can input and store terms and sentences that may be spoken on a regular basis (i.e. I am hungry; thank you, etc.).  The grid sets are designed specifically for non-verbal users, allowing the autonoME to speak for them and essentially become their voice.

During installation, ASI spends time working with patients, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, caregivers and designated hospital staff to demonstrate the autonoME’s AAC capabilities. Please reference our comparison chart to see how the autonoME compares with traditional ECUs and SGDs.

Hospitals, rehabilitation and nursing facilities – we have technicians who will travel to your site and demonstrate how the autonoME can increase patient satisfaction. Contact us today to set up a customized and complimentary consultation.

This is part two of a multi-part series highlighting the features of the autonoME environmental control unit (ECU)/speech generating device (SGD) package. Last time, we discussed how the autonoME controls television.  Today, we are going to explore some additional ways the autonoME can be used for entertainment.

Games

The autonoME is equipped with a number of games including chess and the ever popular solitaire.  You can also access additional grid sets for more games and apps.

e-Reader

The Kindle e-reader is pre-installed on every autonoME.  Access thousands of books and other media.

Internet Radio

Enjoy your favorite tunes from an endless number of Internet radio stations.

Computer

Your autonoME is equipped with Microsoft Windows. Surf the web, create documents, send and receive e-mail, use a calculator and more.

Two-Way Camera

Take photos or selfies and share them with your family and friends.

Social Media

Update your status, create posts, send Tweets, etc. by accessing grid sets built specifically for Social Media.

Our next article will highlight how the autonoME is used for speech generation.

This is first of a multi-part series where we will go in-depth and discuss the features of the autonoME.  As you know, the autonoME combines both environmental control and speech generation in one single package. This offers individuals full alternative augmentative communication (AAC) and the ability to control their environment with the same device.

There are three types of autonoME packages:

  • autonoME Residential – designed for in-home use
  • autonoME Hospital – used in hospital, rehab and long-term care settings
  • autonoMEgo – an alternative option offering portability for use from patient to patient

Today, we will focus on some of the features that make the autonoME attractive to hospitals, rehabilitation and long term care facilities.


Custom Installation and Ongoing Customer Support

We work with physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses and staff to develop customized autonoME packages for each facility.  Not only do we install the units ourselves, but we spend time training staff on how to the package works to ensure they understand how to maximize all the the autonoME’s impressive features.  We also provide ongoing support and personally handle all questions and inquiries. We do not farm our support out to a third party or call center.

Nurse Call

This integrated feature allows patients to activate the nurse call light, eliminating the need for a separate call button. This is especially helpful for individuals who are unable to press a button as they can activate the call light using features such as eye gaze and sip and puff.

Room Control

The environmental control features allow them to control their bed and lights.  Bed timing can even be adjusted to increase or decrease the amount of time the bed moves in any direction. Patients in rooms equipped with an autonoME generally call on staff less often.

Television Control

Allows patients to fully control their television sets, eliminating the need to call for a staff member to adjust volume or change channels.

Telephone

Controls basic telephone functions, allowing patients to answer and make calls on their own.

It is important to note that our residential units are also equipped with the above features, just customized for in-home use.  For instance, the nurse call feature is actually a caregiver call.  Room control may include operating ceiling fans and door openers.  And, television control may include the ability to switch from satellite to local television stations.

Our next article will discuss some of the popular ways the autonoME is used for entertainment.

Special thank you to Billy Cox and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for publishing the wonderful article on how Manny Galan is using the autonoME to gain independence.  Manny graduated high school in June aspires to study nuclear engineering in college with the help of his new autonoME.

Read the full story.