Monthly Archives: December 2015

Christmas AT Wish List


By MATP Staff Member Kathryn Wyeth

We’ve have been sharing our holiday AT wish lists this month, now it’s my turn! (It’s a bit late for anyone to actually shop perhaps, but I am not actually expecting to get any of these things!)

  1. Amazon Echo1. I have the Amazon Echo “Alexa” and liked it so much, I purchased one for my parents for Christmas. I did it early so I could set it up for them and give them some help using it. I haven’t explored the home automation that can be used with the Echo, so they are on my wish list!
  2. 2. I’ve tried out the Pebble Watch, and like the notification features to help me remember things and to keep in contact better with others. But I’d love to try the Apple Smart Watch. I have an Android phone, so maybe I’d have to change so an iPhone, so this probably isn’t going to happen, but hey, this is a wish list, right?5 different smartwatches
  3. Wall oven with slide out shelf under it3. For home remodeling, I’d love to redo my kitchen. Our gas range was beyond repair, so we are using a 2 burner unit and toaster oven right now. It’s ok for smaller stuff, so good most of time, though I do like to bake and the toaster oven is challenging for this. I’d love to have a drop-in gas stove top along with a wall oven that we could move to different heights if needed for aging in place.
  4. There are so many more things on my wish list, but the holiday is upon us so I’ll leave it at these 3 items! Happy Holidays everyone!

Last Minute Shopping


By MATP Staff Member M. Catherine McAdam

Oh no! It really is holiday time, whether Hanukkah, Kwanza or Christmas, we all find ourselves doing last minute shopping. If you’re looking for assistive technology there are several online options and some podcasts to help.

  • Check out our MATP AT directoryTray with dishes on lap of person in a wheelchair
  • For Blind/low vision gifts there are annual reviews for the holidays at Accessible World called “stocking stuffers”: Accessible world pod casts
  • An older post from Bussani Mobility has some fun ideas: top ten holiday ideas for people with disabilities

Floor stand magnifiyer lampBut, a word of caution is due if you’re not sure what power of magnification, degree of amplification , or communication options is needed consider a gift certificate until you can get to an in person demonstration.  Or include the person you wish to buy for in the plan, because surprises don’t always work!

As for me, I’m always ready for a new technology book from the national Braille press, and oh yes for that last minute gift, you can get fun refrigerator magnets in print/Braille, and a great way to let folks know Braille is alive and well!magnet: Life isn't waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

What’s on your last minute wish list?


Hey Santa, how about one of these?


By Aimee Sterk, LMSW, MATP Staff

I’m not so sure I was on my A-game of gift wishing last week (my husband reminded me I have a yogurt maker but I loaned it to a friend, though the aromatherapy device still appeals)—so I’m stepping it up a bit this week. After finishing up the Hanukkah shopping and gifting for others, I think I have some better ideas for AT that’s on my Christmas list this year. Good thing my family celebrates Hanukkah and Christmas!

First up, Santa, could I have the Peeramid Bookrest with the cute owl cover? I am an avid reader, but my arms fall asleep and my chronic upper back pain can be triggered by holding books for a long time. I often just use a pillow to prop the books on my stomach, but why not have the added benefit of a specifically designed pillow with a built in tray, pocket, and bookmark? I saw these while browsing my local book shop this weekend. If Santa is on a budget, there are navy Peeramid bookrests too for $10 less.

a pyramid shaped firm pillow with a long tassel coming out of the top to use as a bookmark and a lip around all four sides to hold the book

And look at this Santa, I’m still thinking of others, while looking at the bookrest options, I also saw this item for my friends that are iPad lovers—I have an iPad and enjoy it but don’t use it for reading as the backlight hurts my eyes. So—as a service for you iPad/tablet users out there—you may want to ask Santa for this IPEVO PadPillow Pillow Stand. I like that it folds up for tabletop or closer use and unfolds to put the tablet at a distance that might be more comfortable ergonomically or for your eyes.

the IPEVO folded up as a stand with a tablet on it. the prism is folded closer to the pillow base and theres a plastic guard to hold the iPad in place--a small piece like a tab in front of the screen

a woman reclining on a couch with the IPEVO in extended mode--the the prism-shaped bolster is near her knees with her iPad on it and the pillow pad is unfolded and extends toward her chest








Next up—a great stocking stuffer idea Santa—the reCAP, it’s only $7.99. OK, yes, I already have some of these but they are in boring silver. I use them everyday and could use a backup in a pleasant color. I have been on a long quest for the best, safest, most watertight, economical, environmentally friendly water bottle for quite some time. For now, the reCAP is the winner. The reCAP takes any mason jar and makes it into a water bottle. It has a gasket (unlike some other jar transformer systems) and a larger opening to drink out of. I am on several meds that result in dry mouth and feel better overall when I’m well hydrated. The mason jar conversion means there’s no BP of any sort—A, B, or otherwise, and the mason jars are affordable and very easy to clean. I use the wide mouth 24 and 32 oz. versions as they are even easier to clean. My only beef with the recap system, now that I have a car with larger cupholders, is that Mason jars aren’t insulated so they sweat, so if Santa wants to bring me some coasters to keep around the house and office, that would be great too–hint, hint, I like rainbows.

two mason jars one with a smoothie in it and the other filled with blueberries with recaps on the top

the recap in its packaging, basically a lid with a spout with a hinged cover for the spout









Finally, how about a Tile? I first heard of these from Carrie Baugher, a colleague at The Disability Network in Flint. These are small tiles that you can attach to things you frequently lose, then use your iPhone to find them—having the tile ring to find your attached item, or using the map function of the app that goes with tile to figure out the last location and time seen of the item. This all sounded good to me at the time, but the item my husband Joe and I most often lose is our iPhones. So, I thought, “Well great if I can find my iPhone I can find my keys, but what about when I can’t find my phone?” If one or the other of us has our phone we call each other’s phone to help find it—assuming the phones aren’t on silent, then we are in real trouble. Enter second generation Tile to the rescue! With the second generation, you just find an item of yours that has a tile, and use it to ring your iPhone, even if the phone is on silent. Hooray! Problem solved. So, Santa, in hopes of increasing the odds of finding either our phones or a device with the tile attached, Joe and I would like to share a 4-pack of tiles. I’m not sure I can claim this “losing devices” thing as a part of any of my disabilities, but the resulting anxiety definitely exacerbates my real, underlying anxiety disability, so I guess this is a preventive device.

the tile next to a cell phone the tile is 1.3 inches square and has a hole in the top corner to feed onto a key ring

There—a much better wishlist for Santa of AT that will help me every day. And really Santa, I know you know after the year Joe and I’ve had, what I really want, and its not technically something that can be bought, so for now, I’ll just send out positive energy and hope for good things for the New Year, and wish for these things to have a little fun.

Thanks Santa!

Wishing you and yours peace, joy, and love this holiday season and always,



All I Want for Christmas is Some Good AT


By Norm DeLisle. Executive Director

blue glass ornament on tree with lightsAlong with the other members of the MDRC AT team (MATP), I have a little list, which I’m checking twice, of Assistive Technology that I want to find under the tree on December 25.

First of all, I want a speech to text app that isn’t fooled by disability accent, wind and other noise in the immediate vicinity, and honking horns in stalled traffic.

Next, I want a speech based interface for Netflix and all the other entertainment streaming systems so that more people can enjoy them-and that they all follow Netflix and Amazon’s lead and make audio description universal.

Man with virtual reality headgear and gloves onWith the advent of consumer Virtual Reality equipment, I want to make sure all of it is accessible to anyone who wants to use it.

And, following Shaq’s lead, we should all have all sorts of medical treatment systems (like TENS) that are simpler and less expensive, and available without prescription.Cap with electrodes and wires on model of a head

While I’m at it, brain stimulation has been shown to be effective in dealing with many conditions, and in recovery. So why isn’t there an inexpensive way to use it without participating in a clinical study at a University?

When I was younger, I always seemed to ask for things I wouldn’t receive, so I won’t get my hopes up. But send me one of them, alright?