Using Apps in Times of Emergencies

In case you missed it, below is the Pass It On Center article that was featured in the March 2011 Friends of ATIA Newsletter.

A priority of the Pass It On Center (PIOC) is making sure that in an emergency, proper communication is facilitated and that no one is separated from their assistive technology, caregivers and family members. One way that individuals with disabilities can be independent during emergencies is through the use of apps. Whether on an iPad®, iPod®, Android™ (or other device), apps provide an easier route for daily tasks and communication.

The word “apps” has become part of everyday language and routine. In fact, while most people use some sort of app to accomplish their personal and professional activities, keeping up with the development of new apps can be overwhelming. At least 200 new apps are released every day with a percentage created specifically for people with disabilities.

The following are three apps that can be beneficial in times of emergencies, especially for people with disabilities:

The ICE (In Case of Emergency) app provides one  central location to communicate personal medical information to first responders during an emergency. This life-saving app stores information about medical conditions, allergies, emergency contacts, insurance information and contact details for doctors. The ICE app provides first responders with one-touch access to identity and key medical information to allow for proper, informed care during an emergency. Individual emergency information is summarized on one screen, including name, photo, medical conditions and emergency contact information. The app is free. Learn more at the ICE app Web site.

Sign 4 Me is an app that provides sign language in 3D. Once the desired sentences, phrases, words and letters are typed in, a 3D avatar signs for the user. Everything the user types is saved in history and used as shortcuts. The 3D avatar can be adjusted for speed, zoomed in or out and rotated to provide the best vantage point for every sign. The Sign 4 Me library includes more than 11,500 words and is growing. This app is an easy way to ensure efficient communication between the hearing and the individuals who are Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing. Learn more at the Sign 4 Me app Web site.

Emergency Aid is another app that can be a life-saving tool for someone involved in an emergency. This app provides how-to instructions, full color pictures, and even warnings and lists of what not to do in emergency situations. It can be useful for those first to arrive at the scene of an emergency and who need to help others or for individuals faced with a personal threat. The Emergency Aid app houses active links so appropriate emergency aid services or web sites can be accessed with one tap. More information can be found at this Emergency Aid iTunes Web page.

The Pass It On Center encourages everyone to be prepared when disaster strikes. The PIOC works to assist individuals with disabilities in emergency situations by defining a role for the reuse of assistive technology (AT) as a temporary solution for those who lose AT in an emergency or have a new need for AT. For more information on what the Pass It On Center is doing to promote AT Reuse in emergencies, visit the Pass It On Center Web site.
In the AT Reuse Loop: A Pass It On Center Publication
Volume I, Issue 3, May / June 2011
Pass It On Center, 1700 Century Circle, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30345

Pass it on center website:

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