Legacy Link, Inc. Explores Assistive Technology

“For people without disabilities, technology makes things easier. 

For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible.”
IBM 1991 training manual

Legacy Link is the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for the Georgia Mountains region, which services a 13-county area that includes Banks, Dawson, Forsyth, Franklin, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Lumpkin, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, and White.  We also serve additional counties in our Senior Employment, SOURCE, and Ombudsman Programs.  

Recently, we launched our Assistive Technology Lab that is open to our community for tours and assistance.  We have over 75 items on display. 

Assistive Technology (AT) is an item or piece of equipment that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities in all aspects of life, including at school, at work, at home, and in the community.  These items range from low-tech like walkers and shower chairs to high-tech by using your smartphone or computer. Assistive Technology helps people who have difficulty speaking, typing, writing, remembering, pointing, seeing, hearing, learning, walking, and many other challenges.  Different disabilities require different assistive technologies.

In collaboration with Georgia’s Division of Aging Services and Georgia Tech’s Tools for Life, our goal with the AT Lab is to advocate for our seniors to secure these devices to enable independence in their home and community. Georgia Tech’s Tools for Life has put together a resource page on their website that shows funding sources and strategies to obtain funding. Medicare may cover some of the medically necessary devices.  A shower bench, walker, or cane can ensure mobility independence.  A simple gadget like Reminder Rosie can remind individuals when to take their meds or to call their doctor.  The Mail Chime Alert can let you know when the mail has arrived.  The Amazon Echo can be programmed from all over the world with an app where an adult child living in California can program medication reminders for their older parents in Georgia. The ideas are endless of how we can use these tools to support independence!  

For more information about the Assistive Technology Lab in the Georgia Mountains area, please contact Ginger Ragans, 770-538-2651 or visit our website, www.legacylink.org.

Sources:
http://gatfl.gatech.edu
https://centerontransition.org/transition/AT/index.html
 https://www.atia.org/at-resources/what-is-at/

Assistive Technology Curriculum

Low-Tech Tools

*Pencil grips
*Pens, pencils, crayons, markers with extra-wide shafts
*Raised line paper, grid paper
*Reading guide
*Slant Board
*Paper holder
*Non-slip surfaces
*Magnetic letters, tactile letters
*Bar magnifier
*Rubber stamps
*Sticky notes
*Moisture guard
*Head pointer/mouth pointer
*Dowel (held i fist)

Mid-Tech Tools

*Digital recorder
*Calculator
*Electronic dictionary & thesaurus
*Portable notetaker
*Audio book
*Talking book
*MP3 player
*Mini-book light
*Switch-operated small appliances
*Step-by-step communicators
*Inexpensive augmentative communication devices

High-Tech Tools

*Desktop computer
*Laptop
*iPad
*iPod
*Software
*Apps
*Internet
*Augmentative communication devices

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