AT Training to Support Individuals with Autism at NEAT

April 27, 2015  |  9 AM – 3 PM  

Nicole Feeney, an Assitive Technology Specialist at the NEAT Center at Oak Hill, will discuss and demonstrate various assisitive technology tools that can help support individuals with Autism in various settings.

Workshop objectives include:

  • Participants will learn about various assistive technology tools that can help support students and individuals with Autism in a variety of environments including home, school, work and in the community.
  • There will be demonstrations of powerful apps, as well as accessibility options, for Android, Chrome and iPad devices.
  • Participants will gain insight on the power of low-tech tools for individuals with Autism.
  • There will be discussions on how to determine the most efficient tools and ideas for how to implement them successfully.
  • Assistive technology supports demonstrated will include items for enhancing social learning, sensory supports, leisure time, academic and functional skills, personal safety, visual supports and schedules, adapted books as well as social stories.
  • Contact hours offered for professionals in the field of Special Education.
  • Opportunities to meet with Exhibitors and Service Providers to gather important information about products, resources and supports available to individuals with Autism and their families.

Fee:  $35.00

Click Here to Register  

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Adventure Days at the Perkins School for the Blind

Introducing Adventure Days at Perkins School for the Blind and in partnership with the Massachusetts Association of Parents of the Visually Impaired (MAPVI)!

Perkins and MAPVI are inviting families to visit the Perkins campus and experience different aspects of the Perkins programs while also getting to socialize and meet other families, all in a kid-friendly environment!

Everyone is welcome! This event is free and open to the public as well as any kids currently enrolled in any Perkins program. Kids of all ages and their siblings are welcome to attend.

Our second Adventure Day will be on Saturday, March 14th from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. We’ll meet in the Lower School auditorium for snacks and learn about sensory play and sensory integration! Interested families are invited to tour the Perkins campus after the fair.

Please click here to register!

What’s a Hands-On Sensory Fair?
This event will be led by Kathy Heydt (Assistant Education Director of the Lower School), Greta Mangini (Occupational Therapist in the Lower School) and Lindsey Moss (Physical Therapist in the Lower School). They will introduce families to the concept of sensory motor integration (SMI) and how we can use play techniques at home to help our children calm down or maintain a level of alertness. We’ll also learn how to avoid over- or under-stimulating our kids.

There will be multiple stations set up throughout the Lower School on the first floor where families and children can experience sensory play first hand. The stations will be based on vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile play. We’ll have the opportunity to play in the SMI room and Lower School gym, too!

10am to 10:15am: Snacks and visiting
10:15am to 10:30am: Introduction to Sensory Integration with Kathy Heydt
10:30am to 11:30am: Families can explore multiple games and play stations throughout the Lower School at their own pace with guidance from Greta and Lindsey
11:30am to 12pm: Tours of the campus for interested families

Please click here to register!

We’re planning more Adventure Days to come! Save these dates:

  • May 9th
  • July 11th


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The Carroll Center Seeking Cell Phone Testers

In this study of a new cell phone, we are seeking feedback from individuals who are totally blind or functionally blind – meaning that you must rely solely on the non-visual use of a screen reading software such as JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver, or TalkBack in order to interact with devices and web content.  Some familiarity with a touch screen device such as a smart phone or tablet is essential, but you must be able to use that device without use of your vision in any way to qualify for participation in this study.

When it’s Happening

We will select a total of 12 qualified individuals for this study.  Each person must be willing to attend a 90-minute testing session scheduled between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. during a 3-day period from March 10 to 13, 2015.  User testing sessions will be held at the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, MA; you are responsible for your own transportation to and from the center.


Each selected individual who completes their scheduled 90-minute testing session will receive $120 for their participation in this study.

If You Are Interested

Please send an email to David Kingsbury at that includes the following information:

  1. Your first and last name
  2. Your telephone number and best time to reach you
  3. Which screen reading software do you currently use for web browsing?
  4. Which smart phone or touch screen device are you familiar with?
  5. Confirm that you do not use any vision to interact with your device

All interested individuals who wish to be considered for this study must respond by email, but you may call David with any questions at 781-974-2001.

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Nationwide Release of the BEP’s U.S. Currency Reader Program to Help the Blind and Visually Impaired

By: Rosie Rios


The Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is now accepting and processing applications nationwide from blind or visually impaired individuals who wish to receive a currency reader to denominate U.S. currency.  Under the U.S. Currency Reader Program, U.S. citizens or persons legally residing in the U.S. and its territories who are blind or visually impaired can obtain a currency reader device at no cost.  The currency reader, known as the iBill® Talking Banknote Identifier, is compact in size, easy to use, and provides a response within just a few seconds.  A user simply inserts a Federal Reserve note into the device, presses a button on the side, and the reader identifies the denomination.  The device operates on a standard AAA battery and can read U.S. currency in circulation today.  The reader can be set to indicate the note’s denomination by voice, a pattern of tones or series of vibrations.

To apply for a reader, an individual must fill out an application, which is available on the BEP’s website at  The application must be signed by a competent authority such as a doctor, therapist or rehabilitation specialist, and then mailed to the BEP at the address listed on the form.  If an applicant has verification of a visual impairment issued by another Federal, State or local agency, a copy of that documentation can be submitted in lieu of certification.

The national rollout of the U.S. Currency Reader Program was preceded by a pilot program conducted in partnership with the Library of Congress’s National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), where NLS patrons were able to pre-order an iBill® Talking Banknote Identifier.  Under the pilot, which ran from September to December 2014, more than 16,000 readers were requested by NLS patrons.

The U.S. Currency Reader Program follows the BEP’s successful development and launch of two free mobile applications that operate through a mobile device’s camera to scan and denominate U.S. currency:  EyeNote®, which operates on the Apple iOS platform can be downloaded for free from the Apple iTunes Store, and the IDEAL Currency Reader, which operates on the Android-based platform, is available on Google Play.  To date these applications have been downloaded more than 20,000 times.  They provide an alternative for those who wish to use their cell phone rather than carry another device.

The U.S. government will continue to research a raised tactile feature for use on the next redesigned Federal Reserve note and will continue to add large, high-contrast numerals and different colors to each redesigned note denomination that it is permitted by law to alter.  The process for redesigning Federal Reserve notes is complex and time intensive.  Notes with any new features are not expected to be in circulation before 2020.

More information about the meaningful access program can be found at the BEP’s website at  For questions about the U.S. Currency Reader Program or assistance with the application process, individuals can call 844-815-9388 toll free or email

Rosie Rios is the Treasurer of the United States




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MIT’s Open Style Lab Summer Program

Greetings! There are solutions, and there are solutions. A good solution fixes a problem. An awesome solution changes our worldview beyond the problem. At Open Style Lab, we invite you to come up with awesome solutions!

We’re looking for 24 students to be part of our second Open Style Lab summer program at MIT (June 12-Aug 15). Over 10 weeks, we will design, prototype and refine a clothing solution for a client with a disability together. We’ll combine rigorous engineering concepts with strong sense of design and aesthetics.


  1. Current enrolled in college degree program, or not more than 2 years post-graduation
  2. Design, Engineering or Occupational/Physical Therapy backgrounds

Applications open from now till March 2! Questions? Visit our website or contact Lea Yoon at

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Be Prepared- If It Can Break-It Will

How many of you recognize the slogan “Be Prepared”? If you were a Boy or Girl Scout when you were young or have children in scouting you will recognize it.  But be prepared for what?  If you are a person who uses durable medical equipment you should be prepared that it will eventually need repair.

What if you or a loved one are losing mobility due to age or illness? You may need DME options to make you more mobile and safer from falls. Get the device in anticipation of the need.

What do you use when your device is no longer working or when insurance won’t pay for a new device?

The REquipment program is one way to get gently used refurbished equipment for free. Go to the website,, to see the items now available. It includes over 60 manual wheelchairs, 25 power wheelchairs and other items such as bath benches, sling lifts, standers, adapted strollers and more. Don’t wait until your wheelchair is no longer in service. Do you have a loved one who is becoming more frail and needs a rollator or transport wheelchair? We have them!

Check out the inventory and put your request in online or call 1 866 244 6156 to talk with a staff person about what you need. A small delivery fee may be requested for certain items.

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Better Living for those with Multiple Sclerosis through Use of Technology

HackMS is happening next week!

Bring your tech community together by drumming up support for a hackathon with a meaningful goal. Kicking off February 6 through 8 at District Hall in Boston, Hack MS will bring developers, designers and health students together to help those living with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Teams will compete for $40,000 in prizes by creating tech-based solutions that may help people living with MS better manage their stress.

Because your views on solving problems through science and technology align closely with ours, we believe your followers would greatly benefit from learning more about this event. View Official Rules and Event Details for additional information.

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Triloc GPS Watch

The Triloc GPS watch offers reliability and comfort for those worried about wandering loved ones. Triloc is an innovative and award winning GPS personal locator, incorporating leading edge technology.

Features include:

*2G/3G/4G cellular and GPS technology

*4.0 Bluetooth wireless connectivity

*water resistent to 3 feet

*two-way voice

*SOS/check in button

*lockable strap with tamper alert

*fall detection alert

*airplane mode

*battery life up to 48 hours and more.

How Can I Find the Location of the Person Wearing The Watch?

Using either a computer, tablet or smart phone you can track the location of the watch. Apps for tablets and smart phones are available in the Apple App Store and Android Google Play Store.

What Will It Cost and Will Insurance Pay? It costs $249.95 plus Monthly Voice and Data Plan.  Product cost may be covered by insurance under HCPCS 55162 and ICD-9/10 diagnostic codes for U.S. citizens.

For more information go to:




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Saftey in the Kitchen

Have you or someone in your family left the stove on and caused or almost caused a fire? CookStop will help prevent unattended cooking fires allowing people to stay longer and safer in their homes. CookStop addresses common situations as well as specific needs.

Cook Stop continously checks for movement in the kitchen.

If the person leaves the room or falls asleep while cooking, CookStop shuts the stove off.

The system is functional upon installation, immediately reducing the chances of a fire.

CookStop is great for: those in senior living, campus housing, multi-family living, busy families and individuals with disabilities.

CookStop can be programmed to lock out cooking during certain hours or put on hold if the item needs to be cooked for a long period of time.

What does it cost?   $359.00

For more information go to


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Some of you may know that a new durable medical reuse program was piloted in the greater Boston area this past year.  You can find it onlne at We are celebrating our one year anniversary this month and happy to report that we collected over 100 items and have reassigned over 70 items.

Little did I know when we started to develop this program that I would benefit from it myself. Last May, I had an unexpected surgery which required many months of recovery. Upon coming home from the hospital I found I could only walk short distances, couldn’t climb stairs and felt unsafe standing in the shower. I contacted the program and a manual wheelchair and shower chair were delivered to my home free of charge. They made it possible to get around my home and feel safe from falls.

I have now fully recovered and plan to donate the equipment back to the program so that someone else can utilize it. I know the staff will do a good job to sanitize and refurbish the equipment for the next person. Reuse works!

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