speech generation device (SGD)

Over the next few months, we will be featuring how the autonoME is used by individuals affected by different diseases and conditions.  This month, we will discuss amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

ALS is a neurogenerative disease affecting the brain and spinal cord nerve cells.  It is progressive and results in the inability for the brain to control muscle movement, which eventually leads to loss of speech and lack of ability to move, eat and breath.  Unfortunately, there is still no cure for ALS.

The autonoME is an integrated environmental control unit (ECU) / speech generation device (SGD) with full augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) capabilities.  One of the features that makes the autonoME ideal for individuals with ALS is its ability to accommodate multiple input methods.  This is extremely important as the disease progresses.  For instance, a person with ALS may initially be able to use touch for commands.  Once their sense of touch becomes compromised by the ALS, they can still control the autonoME using alternate input methods such as eye gaze, sip and puff or eye tracking.

Overall, the autonoME helps individuals with ALS become more independent by allowing them to communicate using AAC and control their environment, including lights, doors, fans and television sets.  The autonoME can even be customized to allow individuals to access the Internet, make phone calls, send text messages, take photos, play games and more.

Are you or a loved one facing ALS?  Or, are you a professional who works with ALS patients?  If so, please give us a call to learn more about how the autonoME custom environmental control unit / speech generating device can help improve overall quality of life for both the individual with ALS and their caregivers.

ECU unit for hospital

(Part 1)

The autonoME is a custom environmental control unit / speech generating device that can be used in both hospital and residential settings.  As a hospital ECU, the autonoME not only helps patients gain independence and the ability to control their environment, but it also frees up staff time that can then be dedicated to patient medical care.

Spinal cord injury units throughout the country are equipped with the autonoME. We will be posting several articles over the next few months which outline why the autonoME is a preferred ECU unit for hospital settings. Let’s take a closer look at the anatomy of the autonoME.

All-in-one

The autonoME is one of the most ideal ECU units for hospitals because of its all-in one features and comprehensive capabilities.  Not only is the autonoME a full environmental control unit, but it is also capable of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).  Couple this with the fact that it is also a computer equipped with the Windows operating system and you have the perfect all-in-one ECU / AAC solution!

Retrofitting capabilities

The autonoME is a custom environmental control unit that can be retrofitted into existing infrastructure.  Cables and clutter are eliminated as Accessibility Services Inc. (ASI) has manufactured a convenient wall box that holds all of the necessary components.  When it comes to new construction installation, we can serve as part of the planning team.

Next month, we continue to examine the anatomy of the autonoME and what makes it a perfect ECU unit for hospital settings. Want to learn more about the autonoME?  Give us a call for a complimentary consultation!

look to learn software

Adaptive equipment for quadriplegics has made what was once impossible now possible. Take a look at this article recently published in the The Inquirer (Philadelphia):

New technology allows spinal cord patients to drive a NASCAR race car

This feature story discusses how an individual with quadriplegia controls a race car using a special helmet equipped with head tracking and sip and puff technologies. An accelerometer on the car and helmet detects head movement, thus allowing the car to turn left or right.  A sip and puff straw controls braking (sip) and speed (puff).  Additional cameras also gather important data, which, along with the accelerometers and straw, helps the car deliver a smooth ride.

The special helmet is equipped with custom environmental control unit features, much like those available with our signature autonoME package. The above article illustrates one of the many reasons why hospital ECU units are so important. Using an ECU in hospital settings helps quadriplegics and their caregivers get hands-on experience mastering the device.

The autonoME is a combined environmental control unit (ECU) and speech generating device (SGD). It’s dual augmentative and alternative (AAC) / hospital ECU capabilities make it perfect for spinal cord injury units.  We’ve installed the autonoME in numerous public and private hospitals as well as spinal cord injury units in Veteran’s Administration hospitals throughout the country.

Interested in learning more about the autonoME and how this custom environmental control unit / AAC package can help you, your loved one, or patients achieve maximum independence?  If so, please send us an e-mail or give us a call.  We’re here to help!

Job Opportunities for Quadriplegics

ABILITY JOB FAIR Holds Online Video Career Fair

for Individuals with Disabilities

We have been featuring different jobs for quadriplegics on our website each month.  This month, we want to highlight the ABILITY JOB FAIR, which is holding an online video career fair specifically for individuals with disabilities.  The ABILITY JOB FAIR takes place on Thursday, October 25, 2018 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm Eastern and will include employers such as Facebook Careers, Waste Management and abilityjobs.com. If you would like to sign up or learn more about this online job fair, visit https://abilityjobfair.org/.

The event is part of the abilityJOBS, a website dedicated to connecting recruiters with individuals with disabilities.  If you cannot attend the online job fair, but you would still like to explore job opportunities for quadriplegics, https://abilityjobs.com/ is another great resource to consider!

Accessibility Services, Inc. specializes in quadriplegic assistive technologies designed to help individuals achieve independence.  Our signature autonoME is an environmental control unit (ECU) and speech generating device (SGD) combined into one convenient package.  Since every disability is different, we design a custom environmental control unit with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) capabilities to fit each individual we serve.  One of the most popular features of the autonoME is its ability to accommodate different input methods such as touch, voice, sip and puff, eye gaze and head tracking.

ECU devices have revolutionized the way quadriplegics interact with their surroundings.  The autonoME is especially popular with job seekers because of its ability to not only help individuals control their environment but communicate as well.  We encourage the quadriplegics we serve to check out the abilityJOBS website to learn more about how they can connect you with potential employers and help you find an enjoyable, fulfilling career.

environmental control units

Accessibility Services, Inc. (ASI) has been on the forefront of providing communication devices for quadriplegics and environmental control units for disabled individuals for more than two decades.  We have witnessed first-hand how advances in technology have made the difference in the lives of quadriplegics and their families.

While we focus primarily on environmental control units and speech generating devices, other types of adaptive equipment for quadriplegics have also helped make the impossible possible.  Check out this story of a quadriplegic who broke his neck in an accident 15 years ago.  Pieter du Preez from Johannesburg is completely paralyzed below the chest, and can only move his wrists, biceps and shoulder.  Yet, he has secured a sponsorship from Isuzu Motors South Africa to participate in the Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship:

https://www.rnews.co.za/article/21550/quadriplegic-athlete-warms-up-for-isuzu-ironman-70-3-world-championship

It is important to note that du Preez is not participating in an event for persons with quadriplegia; the Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship is a full Ironman competition with no separate category for quadriplegics.

ASI believes in inspiring and empowering individuals with spinal cord injuries and debilitating diseases to pursue their goals and dreams.  We don’t take a cookie-cutter approach when it comes to helping quadriplegics achieve independence.  We customize our environmental control units and speech generating devices to accommodate each individual’s unique needs.

ASI salutes brave individuals such as du Preez who serve as role models and are living proof that even the impossible is sometimes possible.  Contact ASI today to learn more about how you, too, can achieve the independence to pursue your lifelong dreams.

jobs for quadriplegics

Job opportunities for quadriplegics are plentiful if you know what you are looking for and where to look.  Accessibility Services, Inc. takes time to feature different jobs for quadriplegics in hopes of helping you or your loved one explore different career opportunities.

This month, we are featuring the position of researcher.  What makes this job so attractive is there are vast areas and opportunities you can consider.  Stephen Hawking, for example, was one of the world’s most prolific scientific researchers.  There are also opportunities for research in the medical and mathematics fields.  Website developers often employ research assistants when developing fact-based websites.  And, media professionals need extensive research when working on in-depth articles and feature stories.  The list is almost endless!

Assistive technology for quadriplegics – including the autonoME environmental control unit / speech generating device – makes it possible for individuals with varying levels of disability to complete research projects.  Research often involves digging through published articles and publications, as well as developing and initiating case studies and surveys, all of which can be completed via the Internet.

If you or someone you love are a quadriplegic due to injury or progressive disease, it’s important to remember that there are resources that can help you achieve independence and lead a full life.  Are you a quadriplegic who is successfully employed in a research job?  If so, we would love to hear your story!

ecu control unit

Environmental control units (ECU) have transformed the lives of quadriplegics by giving them independence and the ability to control much of their surroundings.    ECU units in hospital settings have gained popularity over the years. Accessibility Services, Inc. is proud to be considered a leader in the hospital ECU field.  We have installed our autonoME – which is an integrated ECU and speech generating device – in numerous spinal cord injury units throughout the country.  Let’s take a look at some benefits of ECU control units in hospital settings.

Environmental Control

One of the primary reasons to install hospital ECU units is for its environmental control features.  ECU hospital features include the ability to adjust the bed, turn on the lights and control the television.  Empowering individuals with spinal cord injuries with a hospital ECU not only promotes independence for patients, but also frees up staff time as well.

Nurse Call Button

Traditional call buttons can be difficult to access.  A hospital ECU is equipped with an easily accessible nurse call button.

Customizable for Different Patients

Each patient has their own set of unique needs. Patients may require different input methods to operate the ECU. Hospital staff can easily customize the autonoME so patients with differing levels of spinal cord injury can easily operate the ECU.

Familiarize Patients with an ECU

ECU control units in hospitals play an important quality of life role.  Patients with spinal cord injuries benefit from using a hospital ECU while in the spinal cord injury unit.  At the same time, they learn how the ECU works so they can continue to maintain their independence when they return home.

What makes what we do so rewarding is seeing how our ECU hospital solutions have helped so many quadriplegics achieve independence!  Were you introduced to the autonoME  or hospital ECU while recovering in a spinal cord injury unit?  If so, we would love for you to share your story!

Online Service Representative

Accessibility Services, Inc. takes time each month to focus on job opportunities for quadriplegics.  We feel employment is an extremely important aspect of helping persons with quadriplegia achieve independence.  Advances in adaptive equipment for quadriplegics, assistive technology for quadriplegics and communication devices for quadriplegics have made it possible to perform tasks that were nearly impossible a decade ago.

This month’s featured job is Online Service Representative.  Online Service Representatives can work either in an office environment or at home, depending on company policies and preferences.  Job duties revolve around providing sales support, customer support and/or technical support to individuals via an online chat.  Employees in this field usually need to have good computer knowledge, ability to communicate via online chat, and knowledge of the product and /or service being represented.

Assistive technology for quadriplegics, including environmental control units (ECU units) and speech generating devices, have made it possible for quadriplegics to learn and operate the computer programs necessary to become an Online Service Representative.  Communication devices for quadriplegics and adaptive equipment for quadriplegics allow individuals to attend and actively participate in training and any staff meetings pertaining to the job.

Our autonoME is a custom environmental control unit and speech generating device conveniently integrated in a single package.  Many of our clients have pursued successful careers thanks to the autonoME.  If you or a loved one with quadriplegia are considering an Online Service Representative job, give us a call.  We can fit you with the right custom environmental control unit to help you achieve your career goals!

Quad Squad

Check this out! A group of 20 paraplegics and quadriplegics recently got together for a game of paintball:

https://wtkr.com/2018/08/13/unique-paintball-battle-kicks-off-in-virginia-beach/

The participants named their teams (i.e. the quad squad) then embarked on an afternoon of strategy, fun and serious paintball action.  Adaptive equipment for quadriplegics and assistive technology for quadriplegics make what seems impossible possible.  And, look at how much fun everyone had!

Accessibility Services, Inc. advocates independence, and stories like these warm our hearts.

Are you currently participating in a game, activity or sport thanks to the help of an environmental control unit, speech generating device, or another type of assistive technology for quadriplegics?  If so, we would love to learn more and feature you in our News section!

Power Pad

The wait is over.  The Power Pad is now available and this highly anticipated product definitely exceeds expectations! Power Pad is being called the industry’s most powerful, all-in-one augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solution.  Designed for those with complex needs including quadriplegics, the Power Pad is a speech generating device like no other.  For one, it is compatible with any AAC access method.  This is important for those with progressive diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) as the Power Pad is able to accommodate different input methods as the disease progresses.

Everyone is raving about the exceptional computing performance of the Power Pad, which is powered by Grid 3 software, equipped with the Intel® Core™ i5 processor and has expanded memory.  These allow the Power Pad to operate faster and seamlessly, even while running multiple applications.  Couple this with extended battery life and a second battery which can be changed without powering down and you have one impressive unit.

Another attractive feature is the integrated EyeTech TM5 gaze camera featuring an extremely large track box designed to accommodate users with involuntary head movement.  High quality Bespoke stereo sound, shatterproof HD Gorilla Glass display and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth round out the Power Pad’s long list of impressive qualities.

If you are looking for an all-in-one augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solution, give us a call.  We will be happy evaluate your situation to see if the Power Pad is the right AAC solution for you.