Accessing Potential Through Assistive Technology
Gifting Guide Day 24: Kitchen Gadgets

Holiday meals are one of the star features when getting together with friends and family. However, some tasks may be difficult for some. Whether it’s during prepping, cooking, eating, or cleaning, we could all use some help. You may be a seasoned chef in need of large-print tools, someone having difficulty with opening jars, someone with an upper extremity amputation or injury, or you just want to make some tasks less of a hassle. Here are some kitchen gadgets for you to consider as a gift to yourself or someone else!

The items listed below are not limited to one specific vendor. Do an online search for similar items. Many are even available on Amazon, online assistive technology stores, or your local pharmacies or big box store!

Image of measuring spoons with large print measurements

Measuring cups and spoons with large print would be great for someone with low vision.

Table top magnifying glass

A magnifying glass stand could also be helpful when reading labels or recipes.

An electric can opener could help save time and eliminate the frustration and physical pain of operating a manual can opener.

Image of automatic pump inserts for beverage jugs

These automatic drink dispenser pumps eliminate having to twist open a cap and picking up and tilting a heavy gallon of milk, juice, or beverage when pouring yourself a drink.

cutting board with a variety of holders for safe cutting

A one-handed cutting board could be useful for someone with an upper extremity amputation, weakness, loss of function or even a recent injury. He or she could prep ingredients independently using this specialized cutting board.

Image of a pickle jar in a wedge gripper for opening jars

This solo-grip non-slip jar opener could also be useful when you only have one hand available.

Clip on silicone strainer attached to a pot

A clip-on strainer is easy to apply to a pot or pan and allows you to grab the handle with one or two hands when straining your food.  

Two suction cup brushes attached in sink

These suction cup brushes are helpful when trying to wash a cup or small dish single handedly.  Perhaps the sink is not wheelchair accessible and reaching over to the side prevents you from easily using both hands to wash a dish.

Yellow scoop plate with user scooping peas and carrots

Scooping plates are great for anyone needing a little extra help when scooping up food on their plate. When used in combination with angled, weighted, or other adapted utensils if needed, these plates allow the user to be more successfully independent during meals.

Image of kitchen with anti fatigue mats in front of counters

Lastly, an anti-fatigue kitchen mat would help reduce any leg or back pain or discomfort that usually comes with having to stand long hours while preparing a holiday meal.

Gifting Guide Day 21: Adapted Clothing

As a child, do you remember waking up on Christmas morning, running downstairs, and opening all your presents, hoping they were stuffed with new shirts, socks, and brand new undies! Yeah, me neither. But as an adult now, I appreciate some new socks that don’t have holes in them and a nice oxford shirt or work pants that are stylish and fit well. For people with disabilities, finding clothing that is easy to don if you have difficulty with your hands and is stylish AND looks properly fit, especially when using a wheelchair, can be difficult. There are a variety of specialty clothing companies that make clothing that is easy to put on, fasten, and some even are fit, especially for those who use wheelchairs.

Eric LeGrand, former Rutgers football player, with clothing designer Mindy Scheier.

For a short TED talk on how clothing empowers people with disabilities, visit:

Please note: We do not endorse any of these companies. There are many companies that provide accessible clothing. This is just a short list.

Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive:

Image of people with disabilities wearing fashion from Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger manufactures stylish clothing with easy closure options, fit for prosthetics, fit for a seated position, sensory-friendly fabrics, and suitable for people with various disabilities. On their website they state: “These are clothes that look good, feel good, and with the help of innovative design twists, deliver more effortless dressing for people with disabilities.”
Contact information is available on website at:


Silverts has an online clothing catalog that allows you to shop by need. They have clothing separated into categories for people such as those with amputations, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, ALS, and dementia. They have even listed clothing for people who are dressed by a care giver.
Phone: 1-800-387-7088

Zappos Adaptive:

Zappos Adapted website, with a woman in a manual wheel chair wearing easy to put on boots.

Many people are familiar with the large online shoe retailer Zappos. What most people don’t know is that Zappos Adaptive was created in 2017 based on customer feedback to sell shoes for people with special needs. They have a collection of specialised products, including easy on/off shoes, shoes that are AFO friendly, and diabetic shoes, as well as undergarments and seated clothing.
Call Zappos 1-800-927-7671
Text Zappos (833) 927-7898

Billy Footwear:

Screenshot of Billy Footwear website, showing their special flip top zipper shoes.

Billy Footwear focuses on universally designed shoes. One of the founders has a spinal cord injury, and decided to redesign shoes to meet his needs. Their footwear incorporates zippers that go along the side of the shoe all the way to the toe. This allows the top of the top of the shoe to open up completely.
Contact information can be found at:

Ministry of Supply:

Screenshot from website showing a professionally dressed woman wearing the pants while using a wheelchair.

Ministry of Supply is another mainstream online retailer that has a selection of professional adapted clothing for adults. They offer “Kinetic Adaptive Pants” for men and women that are designed and tested to fit properly and be comfortable for people who use wheelchairs. The fabric is designed to stretch as needed while maintaining a sharp and professional look. The company will also reimburse the cost of hemming pants with up to $25 of store credit.

Gifting Guide Day 20: Workshop DIY Gifts

Holiday Gifting Guide: DIY Assistive Technology Gifts

Nothing beats a holiday gift that someone has taken the time to make just for you! We have a whole lot of creative problem solvers and makers around our office and workshop, and many of us turn to the Instructables website for ideas on how to help people with disabilities.

Two rehabilitation engineers making a custom chair by grinding parts to shape in the rehabilitation engineering workshop.

Here is a sample of some projects that  you could make (or ask Santa to make) as assistive technology.

Motorized Light Bulb Changer:

DIY motorized light bulb changer from the Instructables website.

This project was developed by a gentleman who needed a way to change lightbulbs from a 2 story high chandelier, but someone in a wheelchair or of short stature could benefit from such a device. It contains a small motor, some other light electrical parts, some 3D printed parts, and a painter’s pole.

PVC Therapy Trike:

Volunteer build PVC tricycle being ridden by a child with special needs.

Instructions to build this child’s adapted tricycle were posted by volunteers for the Utah Assistive Technology Program. The adapted trike can be built for around $400 in materials, and is designed for children form ages 2 to 5 years, weighing under 50 pounds. Parts can be purchased from your local hardware store, or a kit can be purchased from .

Child’s Coloring Table:

DIY paper roll coloring table from the Instructables website.

I mentioned in a previous post how beneficial a table that holds rolled paper can be for children and adults with disabilities who which to draw, color, or paint. This project shows how one maker converted an old side table into an inexpensive coloring table.

WheeStroll- Wheelchair Stroller Attachment:

Man with DIY wheelchair mounted baby carrier, make from electrical conduit and an infant car seat.

This is a really neat project where a maker designed a system to attach an infant car seat to a wheelchair. The design combines off the shelf parts with some 3D printed brackets, and in beautiful in it’s simplicity.

Wheelchair Accessible Planter:

Home build wheelchair accessible garden planter

These plans show how to build a planter that was used at a community garden for wheelchair accessibility. I like that it is deeper than most other designs I have seen, but still provide for knee space due to the way the bottom slopes. It is a nice design.

Doorbell Room Light:

Woman who is deaf with a doorbell light flasher while her son is outside trying to get her attention.

This project was developed by a young man whose parents could not hear the door bell ring. The standard wireless door bell flasher was not working, so he decided to make something that would flash the room lights. This is a great project for someone who wants to learn more about electronics, programming, and soldering.

Guitar Tuner for People who are Blind:

Electronic guitar tuner that has been modified for people who are blind.

This is another great electronics project where a commercially available electronic guitar tuner has been modified with an Arduino microcontroller to change the visual output on the tuner to be played as tones through an earpiece.

Keep on Making!

Rehabilitation engineer Michael Papp displaying a custom made wood turning gouge with extra long handle.

I’ve always enjoyed making things in the workshop, and I have found common products can be easily tweaked to improve their form and fit for specific individuals. For example, I can make tool handles on chisels, screw drivers, and hammers thicker for some one with dexterity issues or arthritis. I can make wood turning gouges with longer handles for someone who might need to use a lathe while sitting in a wheelchair. Sometimes making your own assistive devices is the only way to meet a specific person’s need.

I could go on and on about all the cool projects on the Instructables website. It has something for every type of maker, whether you cook, sew, enjoy woodworking, gardening, electronics, programming, and especially for teachers.

Gifting Guide Day 19: Move it, move it…around the house.

Laundry, ugh….bad enough as it is it can be worse if you have a physical impairment that makes carrying laundry from one place to another a real booger. And what about if ANYthing is difficult to carry? What if you rely on a mobility device or perhaps, you’re unstable when you walk? How do you manage to get things from one place to the other? Let’s look at some devices that could help!

Rolling grocery cart

Grocery Cart

  • If someone finds it difficult to get their groceries from the car to the kitchen, a collapsible grocery cart is a great gift idea! When they are collapsible they can be transported in the vehicle until time to use.
  • They can also be used during shopping trips to the mall and often include a removable shopping bag to make it easier to load into the vehicle.
  • Some varieties even have stair climbing wheels that make it easier to go up curbs or stairs with the cart.
  • The pictured version also converts to a hand truck to make it easier to transport packages when the grocery bag isn’t useful.

Find many varieties at Amazon or your favorite super store.

Kitchen cart

Kitchen Cart

  • Often, when I’m working with someone who uses a mobility device to walk or is unstable while walking I’ll recommend a rolling kitchen cart to help that person move items from one location to another.
  • It’s a great tool for someone who needs to take dishes/meals from the kitchen counter to the table.
  • It can also be used around the house to move other hard to carry items.
  • Search for kitchen cart or beverage cart to find a variety that fits the user’s needs. Try to look for one with a sturdy frame, isn’t too large for the space or too large to manage, has decent size wheels so they don’t catch on carpet or rugs, and has an easy to hold handle for stability.

Find many varieties at Amazon or your favorite super store.

rolling laundry sorter

Rolling Laundry bins or sorter

  • My favorite assistive technology…almost. It’s something I use weekly… a rolling laundry bin. Why carry laundry baskets when you can roll them?
  • I love the laundry sorters on wheels so that the sorting work is already done for you.
  • The laundry sorter pictured has distinctive bins for dark, light, and color laundry so it makes it easier to sort and keep up with which bin is which.
  • I recommend searching for a rolling laundry bin or sorter and looking for one with a sturdy frame, easy to roll wheels, and a manageable size for the space and user.

Find many varieties at Amazon or your favorite super store.

utility cart

Utility Cart

  • A folding utility cart has been a back and energy saver for me both in my personal and work life.
  • They make it easier when you have a lot of things to load and unload from the vehicle.
  • They make it easier to transport numerous, heavy, or large items.
  • I’ve used it to help me and others move out of homes.
  • I gotta admit, my doggies also love riding in it when we go to food truck festivals at the park!
  • Look for a cloth sided one to reduce weight of the cart. My preference is also the carts with rubber wheels instead of the bulky plastic ones. Be sure to check out the specs to make sure you’re not getting one that’s too heavy for the user and get one that’s reviewed to be easy to fold up for storage.

Find many varieties at Amazon or your favorite super store.

Do you have a favorite cart that you’d like to share about? Comment below!

Did you enjoy this training module? Please complete our participant survey to help us with our federal reporting.

Follow us on social media to keep up with the latest on the Gifting Guide!

This list is provided for informational purposes only as APTAT does not endorse specific products or brands. When purchasing be sure to thoroughly research the product features to ensure it will meet your individual needs.

Gifting Guide Day 17: Interacting With Your Furbaby

Disability friendly products for you and your pet.

When pets are a part of the family we want to make sure that everyone can take part in loving the furry family member. Below are some cool products we found that can help!

Image of Furbo dog camera shooting a treat to a yorkie, Image reads "Alexa ask Furbo to toss a treat every hour"

Smart Treat Dispenser/Camera

  • If you have a lot of anxiety (like me) about leaving your pet family at home then a camera is a great tool to check in on them. But what if virtual interaction with a pet could ease an anxiety attack, debilitating anxiety about being away from one’s comfort zone, or other behavioral symptoms resulting from a disability?
  • Furbo has taken that a step further and not only included the opportunity to talk to your pet through the device but it can also send them treats!
  • Automated treat dispensing isn’t just useful for when you’re away but it also helps if you have difficulty manipulating or accessing treats in person. The treats can be dispensed via the app or Furbo can also connect with Alexa to allow you to dispense treats by voice.
  • There are a variety of cameras and dog treat dispensers on the market so be sure to find one that fits your needs!

Find out more and where to buy at Furbo.

A rabbit interacting with a treat puzzle

Interactive Reward Puzzles

  • One of the things I found most difficult about having puppies while also having a disability that causes chronic fatigue and pain is keeping them entertained when I had zero energy pr too much pain at the end of the day. Enter: reward puzzles.
  • Interactive toys and reward puzzles require your pet to seek and solve the various buttons, trap doors, or interactions to “release” the motivating food reward.
  • The toys/puzzles come in a variety of challenge levels so if your pet is figuring them out in 2.7 seconds like my papillon then it’s time to up the challenge level!

Find a variety of options at Amazon, Chewy, or your favorite pet store.

a cat sitting next to an automatic food dispenser

Food Dispenser

  • If you find it difficult to manage the large pet food bags or manipulating to scoop out portions daily, consider an automatic food dispenser.
  • There are a variety of options available that can either be set up on a schedule or controlled via an app. Be sure to research which features will best suit your needs!

Find a variety of options at Amazon, Chewy, or your favorite pet store.

a bone shaped toy with illustrations of how it's operated by phone

Robot Toys

  • If your pet loves to play fetch or chase things then look for toys that can be activated by motion, remote, or an app. These features make it more accessible for you to interact with your pet without physically interacting with the toy. Super fun and rewarding for you both!
  • TIP: If you struggle with low vision look for toys that make sound or light up so you can help your pet locate a lost toy.
  • TIP: If you have limited fine motor look for toys that have large activation buttons (or that perhaps…could be modified by your favorite rehab engineer for ability switches)

Find a variety of options at Amazon, Chewy, or your favorite pet store.

Gifting Guide Day 16: Adapted Art Supplies
Lucy the dachshund/shepherd mix dog finishing off her latest painting.

I don’t know about your house, but around here, everyone from Grandma to the dog likes to be creative, and so art supplies are a common gift during the holiday season. Here are some art ideas for children and adults with disabilities.

Do A Dot Art! Markers

Two Children Playing with Do A Dot Art Markers

These bright and extra thick washable markers are very easy to grip. The extra thick sponge tip never dries out and makes perfect dots every time. The ink dries quickly and are gluten and latex-free.

These markers are designed to help children learn to develop eye-hand coordination and color recognition.

The Pencil Grip Kwik Stix Paint Pens

Child drawing a snowman with Kwick Stix paint sticks

Kwick Stix are tempera paint sticks that take the mess out of painting while allowing children to explore their artistic side. The paint is semisolid and twists  out of the pen, similar to a glue stick. The paint is washable, non-toxic, and assorted sets are available online.

Kid Made Modern Gem Jackpot Crayon Set

Grinning child coloring with yellow gem shaped crayon.

These large, gem shaped crayons are are easy to grip, and can be used to draw lines or fill in large areas of color. They work no matter how they are being held, so there is no wrong way to use them.

Art Desks with integrated Paper Roll

Two children drawing on paper unrolled on child sized art table.

Aside from gripping your markers, crayons, or paints, holding the paper in place can also be challenging for children. Art paper can be taped down to aid in holding it in place. A desk with an integrated paper roll holder makes it much easier for kids to get creating. While any old desk can easily be modified with a paper roll holder and platen, there are a variety of desks for children and adults that integrate this feature. Large sheets of paper provide more space to get creative, and children who have better gross motor skills have plenty of space to work.

Paper Roll Holder:

Paper Roll Art Table:

Paper Roll Desk:

Loop Scissors

Person gripping a pair of yellow loop safety sissors.

Called squeezy scissors by some, these ergonomic scissors help those with poor fine motor function or problems such as arthritis by automatically opening back up after each cut. Available with safety tips for kids, there are also sharper versions for adults for sewing, crafting, and general household use. There are also sewing scissors and garden shears available with a self opening spring.

Squeezy scissors for children:

Loop scissors for adults:

No Spill Paint Cups

Green no spill paint cup with green paint brush and green cap

No spill paint cups have a cap that prevents spills and messes. The funnel-shaped cap aids in getting the brush into the paint, and work well with tempura and other non-toxic paints. An additional cap can fit over the funnel top so that the paint can be easily reused.

Gifting Guide Day 15: Charlie Mae’s First Day
Front cover of Charlie Mae's First Day by Hanna Wilson

An extraordinary picture book for preschoolers that encourages kindness and acceptance of children with different abilities! Like the endearing main character of this book, some children may appear to be much different and end up having more in common with their peers than anticipated. Inspired by real life Charlie Mae, this story was initially written to aid as an introduction to her kindergarten class. It’s transformation comes with a deep desire to serve as a tool to not only spread awareness at a pivotal age, but present a feeling of belongingness to kids and families like Charlie’s.

Charlie May’s first day is available at, along with the story of the real Charlie Mae, activity sheets for preschoolers, and and informational video explaining epilepsy to preschoolers. There is also additional information available on their Facebook page at:

Charlie Mae’s first day was written by Hannah Wilson, a resident of Chilton County. Wilson wrote the book from the perspective of her daughter. She had decided to write the book in the summer of 2000 as a resource that could be used by other special needs families. Wilson said, “My dream for it is for it to make its way to all the families like ours, I feel like it would just mean a lot to them.” Visit for more information on the inspiration behind the book.

Gifting Guide Day 14: Smart Microwaves

Yes, there actually are smart microwaves that can be operated hands free!

I had to see it to believe it myself, but there are now a number of microwaves that can be controlled via voice commands with Alexa or Google Home. No more searching and trying to find the correct buttons.

These microwaves require the user to place the food in the microwave, but then they can do the rest by stating something similar to, “Alexa heat for 20 seconds.” There are also a number of presets available to make the process go even smoother, but I know sometimes presets are more trouble than they are worth. One GE model allows the user to scan the barcode of a frozen meal, and the microwave knows what settings to use. An Amazon smart oven offers convection and air frying capabilities.

Of course, before purchasing any smart microwave, it would be beneficial to look into reviews and features. I am not able to recommend any specific one, but I am providing a couple of resources below that may help in your decision making.

Top 8 Smart Microwaves– Only the first four are voice controlled

The Best Microwaves for Blind Person and Visually Impaired – this article is almost two years old, so keep that in mind when considering their valuable information

Holiday Gifting Guide Day 13: Bidet Seat
Alpha JX Bidet Toilet Seat with remote control installed in a bathroom

A bidet is a specialized bathroom fixture for cleaning yourself after using a toilet. While popular throughout the world, bidet fixtures still see limited use in the United States. Bidets may be a separate bathroom fixture that looks like a small wash basin next to a commode or may be a bidet toilet seat or a handheld bidet wand.

Bidets greatly aid in cleaning your backside after elimination, especially for people who have difficulty using toilet paper. Handheld bidet wands are the least expensive option, and require the user to manually clean their posterior. Cost of a bidet wand ranges from $50 to $150.

Bidet toilet seats are more expensive, but can do the job automatically, and this is typically what our rehabilitation engineers recommend when doing bathroom modifications. Bidet toilet seats cost from $300 to $1000+ depending on options. Reasonably priced models around $400 have features such as heated water, heater seat, different washing functions, automatic washing, heated air drying, remote controls, and may even have a night light around the rim. More expensive models have motorized lids and advanced cleaning functions.

I like to have hands-on experience with any assistive technology that I recommend, and so I purchased an Alpha JX  Bidet Toilet Seat for a round bowl, cost around $340, a few years ago from . This device has all of the must have features at a reasonable price. Based on experience, I have the following suggestions and observations. The bidet seat is larger than a standard toilet seat, making the opening smaller. If at all possible, I would recommend only installing a bidet seat on an elongated the toilet. The seats for round bowl toilets are smaller than most people are used to, but this may be a benefit for smaller users.  The heated water is a must have, and the automatic cleaning feature is highly recommended. I would recommend a seat with a remote control for anyone with mobility problems, as the remote can be placed or secures somewhere easily accessible. People like the heated seat, especially when the weather is cold. A quick, pre wipe for people with soft stool is recommended for a more complete clean. Be sure to measure the space from the toilet seat bolt holes to the back of the tank before ordering; as I mentioned before the bidet seat is larger than a standard toilet seat and may not fit all toilets. It takes longer to use the bidet seat than toilet paper alone, as the dry function may take a minute or two to cycle through. So bring some good reading material! Over all, bidet seats, especially when combine with a sheet or two of toilet paper, will result in better clean. And they make a huge difference in independence for people who are unable to reach to clean themselves at all.

 For a more detailed description and tips on using a bidet seat, visit

Gifting Guide Day 12: Robotic Vacuums

As someone who spent a few summers as a professional cleaner, I now avoid it whenever possible. When the first Roomba robotic vacuum came out, I was skeptical but intrigued. I bought my first one in 2007. It was a Roomba 560, the third generation, and many of the kinks of earlier models had been fixed. I have been impressed, as that vacuum is still going strong. I’ve replaced the brushes, filters, and battery, but it still works as well as when I bought it. Over the years, I’ve added to my fleet of cleaning robots, including two Scoobas (robo mops) and a Samsung PowerBot9000. The Samsung is a better cleaner, but it has some problems charging, and getting reasonably priced parts is impossible.

Well Used Samsung Powerbot and iRobot Roomba vacuums

While robotic vacuums are not as effective at cleaning as a push or canister vacuum, they are easy to use if you don’t have the time or ability to vacuum, and the way I see it, if you run the robot three times a week, your house will be much cleaner than if you only pull out the push vac once a month. Some of the higher-end models can even empty themselves.

One major caveat; if you have pets, you better be sure there hasn’t been an accident before the robot runs. It will make a mess and may damage the robot.

Some robots move methodically across the floor, leaving those nice straight vacuum lines (like my PowerBot). Others move randomly (like my Roomba) and leave a random pattern the carpet. There is no visual difference if you use on hard floors, but if you like lines, look for one that vacuums in a grid pattern.

Some vacuums have smartphone apps. I’ve never had one like that, but if you want to set your vacuum off from work, that might be a feature worth the price. Another feature is a scheduler. Before I had pets, I had the robot automatically vacuum a few times a day while working. Now that I have pets, that is a big no-no. Some robots work better on hard floors vs. carpet. Both the Samsung and Roomba I have worked fine on either surface. Another nice feature is side brushes. Side brushes will allow the robot to clean along the edge of the room and closer around furniture. My Roomba has side brushed, and my Samsung does not. There is a definite difference in that the side brushes definitely clean more area. I also like it when the vacuum can find its way back to the dock to recharge. Some robots, like the Roomba, need extra sensors (called a lighthouse) to find their ways back when it does multiple rooms. Another cool but pricy feature is automatic dust bin emptying into a docking station.  I never minded emptying the dust bin, but if you find it difficult to do every time it runs, auto empty may be worth the price.

As I can’t possibly buy and review every piece of technology out there, I maintain a subscription to Consumer Reports to get an unbiased opinion on what the best products are each year.

Robotic vacuums vary in price from $200 to $1000. But the more expensive devices don’t always clean better. Some of the best ones, according to CR, include the Eufy RoboVac 11, the LG Hom-Bot CR5765, the Samsung Powerbot Limited Edition Darth Vader and Storm Trooper editions(Really? Where is Gonk?), and the Samsung Powerbot SR20H9051, the Ecovacs Deebot M88, and the tried and true iRobot Roomba S9+. The prices on these robots run from $250 to $900, depending on features.

I highly recommend finding a good robotic vacuum. Just be sure to pick one that has the features you need.

Gifting Guide Day 11: Suvie for Disability?

It exists! It really does exist!

An oven that keeps your food cold until it’s time to cook. I have to admit I was intrigued and a little skeptical when I saw the commercial. But the concept is fantastic. Not only is it great for busy individuals who would like dinner ready when they get home…it really got my wheels turning about how this could work for individuals with disabilities.

While the cooking robot has many cooking features and the ability to control via the app the most intriguing feature to me is the “Scheduled Cool-to-Cook: Cool-to-cook technology keeps your meal safely refrigerated until it’s time to start cooking. Enter your mealtime whenever you’re ready, and Suvie does the rest.” Imagine the possibility of someone being able to have a fresh cooked meal that may normally have to rely on a care giver or the microwave.

Ways it could benefit:

  • A caregiver could prep a meal in the morning that can be scheduled to cook for the evening.
  • The countertop device can be placed where it is easy to reach.
  • The pans are small and easy to carry or manipulate.
  • All the cooking is performed within the device so no need to tend to the items with stirring or flipping.
  • As long as the person can safely manipulate the pans after cooking this is a safer alternative to cooking on a stovetop or trying to remove hot items from a large oven.
  • The programmed cooking settings make it easy for someone with confusion or memory difficulty to cook a meal.
  • It can be controlled with a smartphone which improves accessibility for those with vision difficulties who can utilize a screen reader.
  • Suvie offers prepackaged meal options with clear cooking instructions.

Find out more about the Suvie at And Check out this preview of the Suvie on Youtube.

What do you think about the Suvie? Comment below!

Did you enjoy this training module? Please complete our participant survey to help us with our federal reporting.

Follow us on social media to keep up with the latest on the Gifting Guide!

This list is provided for informational purposes only as APTAT does not endorse specific products or brands. When purchasing be sure to thoroughly research the product features to ensure it will meet your individual needs.

Gifting Guide Day 10: Staying Hydrated!

Don’t let a physical limitation keep you from access to H2O!

We all have that overflowing cabinet of water bottles and cups that we got from here, there, and everywhere…right? But are all those beverage vessels useful to a person with a disability? Probably not. Let’s look at some ideas of beverage holders that might help!

When purchasing any beverage device look for the following features to improve accessibility and safety:

  • The ability to attach to the individual’s mobility device easily.
  • An option to securely use and position a straw if the user can’t pick up the bottle.
  • The size: it may need to be large enough to hold enough water for several hours or it may need to be small enough to be easily carried.
  • Easy to clean and sanitize.
  • Easy to carry without spilling.

Bottle with long flexible hose or straw

  • A long flexible hose or straw makes it easy to position the straw close to the mouth so that the user can have direct access to their beverage at all times. This is important to consider when the device needs to be attached somewhere on the wheelchair where a user might not be able to reach it or may not have the ability to pick up their drink.
  • A Giraffe Bottle (pictured) for example, makes it easy to select a straw option that fits the user’s needs and the lid is already modified for the straw.
  • A rehab professional secret is to modify a standard drink cup with Modular Hose and food grade tubing (like a refrigerator water hose).

Camel Pack

  • A camel pack, originally intended for outdoor enthusiasts, is a great alternative when the user would like to have access to a larger quantity of beverage throughout the day. The bag can be hung from the back of a wheelchair or other mobility device and has a long tubular straw that is designed to come over the user’s shoulder. It could easily be adapted with modular hose to help position the straw near the mouth.
  • Pictured is the CamelBak Hydrobak available on Amazon.

Cup Holder

  • If your beverage vessel doesn’t come with a cup holder be sure to consider whether one is needed. There are a variety of options on the market and you’ll need to make sure it can attach properly to someone’s mobility device, bed, or workstation. You’ll also want to look for one that has flexibility in the size of bottle or cup it can accommodate.
  • Picture is a Mobility Cup Holder designed with a strap to attach to mobility devices.

Beverage Transport Helper

  • Maybe someone just needs help getting a beverage from point A to point B without spilling it. There are a few options on the market for devices that can help someone carry their beverage with “zero gravity” technology. One example is the SpillNot Drink Carrier (pictured).

Do you have a favorite beverage product that you’d like to share about? Comment below!

Did you enjoy this training module? Please complete our participant survey to help us with our federal reporting.

Follow us on social media to keep up with the latest on the Gifting Guide!

This list is provided for informational purposes only as APTAT does not endorse specific products or brands. When purchasing be sure to thoroughly research the product features to ensure it will meet your individual needs.

Gifting Guide Day 8: Medication Helpers

Don’t lose track of your daily dose!

For many it can be difficult to keep track of medications. Divvying up daily dosages can be tedious. Opening pill bottles can be frustrating. Remembering if you’ve taken a dose can be confusing. Making sure a loved one is taken care of remotely can be worrisome. For all these issues…there is technology that can help!

Don’t hesitate to also look into prescription services if the technology isn’t meeting the health and safety standards you need to meet! Also check out these articles by HealthLine and Tech Enhanced Life that review several pill dispensing devices.

When purchasing any medication device look for the following features to improve accessibility and safety, remembering that the necessary technology is dependent upon the individual:

  • Audible or visual alerts to remind the user to take their medication.
  • Locks for individuals with memory issues who may try to access additional doses.
  • More robust technology that can offer remote connectivity to provide alerts to a caregiver if the medication hasn’t been accessed.
  • Easy to access containers for those with fine motor issues.
  • Travel friendly packaging for those who need to carry medication with them.
e-pill dispenser with compatible app

Automatic Pill Dispenser

  • There are a variety of automatic pill dispensers with differing features to suit your needs. They can have remote access, various alarms, prescription services, etc.
  • An example of a mid tech version which locks the dispenser until it’s time to take the medication. The device provides an audible and visual alarm at the time set up within the app.
  • A “simpler mid tech” version would be the Smart SF Pill Dispenser which eliminates the need to divvy out the dosages and instead tells you how many pills to take from the designated slot at specified times. Extremely helpful for those who don’t want to open several bottles every time it’s time to take their medication.
Collage of medication tools like a bottle opener, blister pack popper, and travel water bottle with pill dispenser

Medicine Aids under $20

  • If you’re looking for simple tools to help someone be a little more independent with their medication check out items like a pill bottle opener which makes it easier to grip lids, a travel bottle with pill dispenser which improves the convenience of taking medication on the go, or a pill popper to get medication out of those pesky blister packs!

Illustration of a hand holding a smartphone with medication reminder on the screen

Medicine Reminder Apps

  • Don’t forget your smart phone can be a handy dandy reminder tool! Set alarms or check the app store to find medication reminder apps. Be sure to read reviews to make sure the app will meet your needs.

Do you have a favorite medication technology that you’d like to share about? Comment below!

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This list is provided for informational purposes only as APTAT does not endorse specific products or brands. When purchasing be sure to thoroughly research the product features to ensure it will meet your individual needs.

Gifting Guide Day 7: Power the lights on and off without making a move

With today’s technology, someone can be sitting and never have to lift a finger to turn the lights on (or off).

Imagine getting into bed and realizing the kitchen lights are still on. For many, this is frustrating to walk back to the kitchen. For others, they have to get back into their wheelchair to return to the kitchen to flip the switch.

There are a number of safety features that may be automated, such as if a camera or motion sensor senses movement after a certain time, lights come on. When not home, lights can be set to to randomly go on and off. The lights can also be set to automatically come on at sunset or at a certain preferred time.

Philips Home Bridge with four bulbs in starter kit

This Hue Starter Pack includes the Hue bridge and bulbs to get started.

  • The Hue bridge plugs directly into router and utilizes the built in Zigbee network.
  • The Hue bridge allows up to 50 bulbs to be controlled via voice or smart device. Timers, routines, and more are able to be set on each of these bulbs.
  •  With an Amazon Alexa or Google Home device, you can use simple voice commands such as, ‘Alexa, dim the lights’, or,’ ‘Hey Google, turn on the table lamp’, to control your lights. Compatible devices include: Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Generation or newer, Amazon Echo Plus, Amazon Echo Show 5 or newer, Google Home Mini and Google Home Hub.
  • Up to 10 Hue bulbs may be controlled using Bluetooth without using the bridge, but there are a number of limitations. More info on this can be found here at Hue’s website. I highly recommend using the Hue Bridge.
  • The bulbs are guaranteed to last 3 years, so there is much less replacement of bulbs!
  • The bulbs and bridge are compatible with the Hue app that may be installed on any iOS or Android device. This app allows users to customize lighting for their needs and to control from outside of the home if needed.
  • There are a vast number of types of Hue bulbs available to fit the needs of your household.
  • How to set up the system

Wyze bulbs are a budget friendly option

Sengled bulbs have more compatibility and still a budget option

  • Sengled bulbs work with Apple HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Home.
  • These bulbs have an energy consumption tracking feature built into their app
  • These are another budget friendly option, at around $12 per bulb.
  • No hub or bridge is required, and setup is very quick. They connect directly to your home network.
  • These bulbs are missing most of the advanced features, but through the Alexa or Google Home, some may be able to be utilized.
  • These bulbs are more readily available than the Wyze bulbs.
  • These bulbs require the use of the Sengled Home app.
  • How to setup the system

Pro tip: Pick one and stick with it. It’s easier to have one system than bouncing back and forth.

Comment below if you have some other smart bulbs you have found to work great in your home OR if you have any great tips on how to better use them with voice activation.


This list is provided for informational purposes only as APTAT does not endorse specific products or brands. When purchasing be sure to thoroughly research the product features to ensure it will meet your individual needs.

Gifting Guide Day 1: Smart Devices for Temperature Control

Stay the perfect temperature with these cool devices!

Temperature devices are great for someone with difficulty regulating their body temperature. But why would we want them to be smart controlled? Because they can be controlled by a smart device or voice to turn on/off or adjust temperature! Multiple control options are ideal features for someone with mobility issues, chronic pain or fatigue, vision impairment, and many other limitations.

When purchasing any temperature control device look for the following features to improve accessibility and safety:

  • Ability to control through wifi connected app. This allows a user to navigate through a smart device with their preferred access. It also allows for a caregiver to remotely control the device as needed.
  • Ability to control with your favorite smart home speaker which allows the user to control the device hands free by voice!
  • Safety features like timers, shut off, or app alerts.
Image of a folded blanket with controller and smart phone displaying the Sunbeam app

Sunbeam® LoftTec™ Wi-Fi Connected Heated Blanket.

  • Control the Heated Blanket from anywhere using the Sunbeam app, voice assistants, or wired digital controller. Great for when a caregiver needs to adjust the settings remotely!
  • Pair with the Wi-Fi-enabled Sunbeam app to power on, select heat settings, and preheat your bedding from anywhere.
  • Use with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant voice-enabled devices for easy use, even in the dark. Hands free control is great for accessibility!

Find out more and where to buy at Sunbeam.

Vornado OSCR37 AE 37″ Oscillating Tower Circulator with Alexa

  • Alexa-enabled circulator which allows hands free control
  • Oscillation on-demand prevents direct air flow to someone who may be sensitive.
  • 4 speed touch controls to suit many needs.
  • Quiet operation so those with sound sensitivity can still enjoy the device.

Find out more and where to buy at Vornado.

Atomi Smart Space Tower Heater

  • ETL Certified and with various built-in safety features, such as a tip-over safety switch, overheat protection, and cool-touch housing.
  • With built-in WiFi connectivity, you can control this space heater through an app, which also displays the unit’s status and room temperature so you can increase or decrease the heat as needed. Perfect controls for a caregiver that needs to check in remotely.
  • Use simple voice commands to turn your Smart Tower Heater on or off using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

Find out more and where to buy at Atomi.

Ecobee 3 Lite Smart Thermostat

  • Control straight from the app or your smart home assistant. Hands free control!
  • Can be controlled remotely by a caregiver.
  • Can be programmed with a schedule to suit individual needs.
  • Smart room sensors available to make sure the temperature in your room is just right!

Find out more and where to buy at Ecobee.

Do you have a favorite temperature control product that you’d like to share about? Comment below!

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This list is provided for informational purposes only as APTAT does not endorse specific products or brands. When purchasing be sure to thoroughly research the product features to ensure it will meet your individual needs.

Applications and Resources for Community Living

The following list details applications for iOS and Android devices that are meant to enhance community living, whether it be by communication aids, social networks, or other resources useful for those that may be benefited by the use of assistive technology in the community.

Next Door – free, private social network for you, your neighbors and your community. It’s the easiest way to connect and talk with your neighbors about the things that matter in your neighborhood.

Every Block – “use EveryBlock Map to see where news, neighborhood talk, crime, business, 311 service requests or other activities are taking place…and join in.”

Patch – “If you’re looking for “everything local,” Patch is the app for you. Local schools? Check. Breaking news? Check. Homes for sale? We’ve got those, too.”

Freecycle – makes it easy for people to give away their unwanted but reusable items to people in their local community who can use them. People can post items to give away or request items from others in their local community.

Olio – connect with your neighbours and local shops so that surplus food, and other household items can be shared, not thrown away. Everything on OLIO is available for free or for donation.

IOBY – ioby mobilizes neighbors who have good ideas to become powerful citizen leaders who plan, fund and make positive change in their own neighborhoods.

Proloquo2Go – Proloquo2Go is an AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) app used by people with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. It is available in English, Spanish, French, and Dutch for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Apple Watch.

Good Karma Applications – “exceptional mobile apps for people living exceptional lives”

Cough Drop – helps those with complex communication needs make their voices heard.


  • dial 2-1-1 on your phone and be connected with an information and referral specialist that will help you find the services you need.
  • Website

Phoenix – local job placements for those with disabilities seeking work

For other assistive technology needs at home and your community, please visit to view our AT loan library, which is completely free for residents of Alabama.

See our YouTube video on the subject with even more details here:

Adapting Toys


Adapting toys can seem overwhelming, but anyone can adapt a toy to be switch accessible! This lesson will teach you how to solder, how to make switch ports, and how to adapt a toy. If you have any questions about this module or would like to have in-person training for this module please email 


This module has been broken down into four sections:

  1. Introduction to Adapting Toys
  2. How to Solder
  3. How to Make Switch Ports
  4. How to Adapt a Toy

If you are interested in learning more about the switches used to control your toy or interested in creating your own switch please visit our All About Switches Module

If you already have a switch port and are comfortable with soldering please skip ahead to part 4. If this is your first time soldering please watch the videos and practice before moving on to step 4! Like any skill, soldering takes practice, patience, and focus so give yourself a few practice runs!

Tools you will need to adapt a switch based toy:

  • Soldering Iron
  • Soldering Iron Stand
  • Wire Strippers
  • Scissors
  • Flux
  • Solder
  • Double Stranded Wire
  • 3.5MM Female Stereo Jack
  • Paper Towel
  • Switch Based Toy (one that has a “Press Here” button and is battery operated works best)
  • Wire Cutters
  • Sewing materials (optional)


Please watch the following video on how to solder.

*The fumes from the solder and the flux are not harmful, please wear protective eyewear*


*If you decided you buy your own switch port (watch intro video for more information on buying switch ports) then you can move on to Part Four. *

Please watch the following video on how to create your own switch port

Part Four: Adapting your Toy

If this is your first time adapting a toy please make sure to watch the other videos before continuing on with the last step!

*Please wear protective eyewear *

I will be adapting a My Pal Scout stuffed animal. You can purchase the dolls at Walmart or online

Alternative Computer Access

This module will guide you through alternative types of computer access and different ways to control the computer. Please take note of which version of operating system (OS X El Capitan or Windows 10 for example) the resource is for as software and hardware for computers is always rapidly changing!  If you see a product you are interested in, please check our lending library for loan availability.

Macs (uses OS X)

To check what operating system you are running on click the Apple logo in the very top left-hand corner then select “about this Mac”. At the top of the pop-up window, it should say OS X followed by a name. For example OS X Moutain Lion or OS X El Capitan. If you have a different operating system than the one listed with the instructions below some direction may have changed. Please contact Apple Support or your nearest Apple store with any questions regarding your operating system. 


PC (uses Windows)

To check what operating system you are running on click on the “start” menu and click on settings. From the settings menu click on “about”. Where it lists the edition is what operating system you are running. For example Windows 8 or Windows 10. If you have a different operating system than the one listed with the instructions below some direction may have changed. Please contact Microsoft Support with any questions regarding your operating system. 


All About Switches

Do you have a student who needs to use a switch for access? Do you have a student that needs to progress from cause and effect to scanning? This course is designed to explain what a switch is, how it is used and to identify software that can support your switch user for use on their level and how they progress to the next.

  1. Switches and Switch Interfaces
  2. Switch Software
  3. Switches and iPads
  4. Creating  or Buying your Own Switch
  5. Powerlink


Lesson 1: Switches and Switch Interfaces

A Switch Interface is a device that connect the switch to the device. Most devices (unless specifically design for those with disabilities) do not have a port to connect a switch and so switch interfaces fill that gap. They can also be used as control centers for functions. For example: a computer switch interface will allow different mouse functions to be controlled through different switches. Various switches and switch interfaces can be borrowed for 2-3 weeks from the T.A.S.C. lending library.

Lesson 2: Switch Software

We are getting closer every day to having all programs be switch-accessible, but unfortunately, we still have quite a ways to go. Below are listed a very programs that are switch accessible. If you have any programs you would like to add please mention it in the comments below! 

Lesson 3: Switches & iPads

iPad switch interfaces can be borrowed for 2-3 weeks from T.A.S.C. Lending Library.

Lesson 4: Creating or Buying your own Switch
Anyone can create their own switch. If you have access to a 3D printer, you can print out your own switch (with a few other materials needed) for about $10! Thank you to the UAH Students in the engineering department for creating a wonderful inexpensive Switch design! 


Lesson 5: Powerlink
AT We Love- Powerlink Webinar taught by Laura Schertz, MS, OTR/L, T.A.S.C. (Recorded 02/20/2013)

Low Tech AT

This module will provide lessons on how to create low assistive technology solutions using materials available at hardware stores, electronic stores, and Dollar Trees!

Eye Gaze Frame
This lesson provides instruction on creating a PVC Eye Gaze Frame to assist in communication.


Mouse House
This lesson provides information how to create a “mouse house” which enables a computer user to hit a larger target in order to activate the left mouse click. Great to use with the Cause and Effect games listed in our Link Library.

Adapting Toys & Other Battery Operated Devices

  • How to Make a Simple Switch (Youtube Video)

Flip Book
This Word document can be used to create a low-tech flip book to use when communicating with an individual with disability who can say yes (by blinking, raising eyebrow, etc.).

Mouse Adaptations
Simple and free/low cost ways to make the computer mouse easier to use.

Wireless Call Bell

Telephones and Cell Phones

This Course provides information about how assistive technology can assist in making telephones and cell phones accessible.

711 Relay
A free public service for communication between standard (voice) users and persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, and speech disabled using text telephones (TTYs) or PCs via the internet. 

Switch Activated

AAC & Phones

Many dynamic AAC Devices can work with infrared capable, blue-tooth compatible cell phones, or voice-activated phones.

  • Contact AAC vendors directly to determine which equipment would be most effective. Most medical insurances will not cover the cost of the telephone or accessories due to it not being medically necessary.

Telephones for Hard of Hearing/Deaf

Text Messaging
  • For some individuals with disabilities affecting their ability to verbally communicate, text messaging is a great option.Warning–Most cities do not have a way to text 911 call centers for emergencies.
  •  textPlus-Text from iPad
  •  TextNow-Text from iPad

More Options
Spinal Cord Injuries and AT

This Course explores how assistive technology can benefit individuals with spinal cord injuries.

Carlene Hall 

United Cerebral Palsy’s T.A.S.C. received funding in 2010 from “Paint the Streets 5K” in memory of Carlene Hall.

These funds allowed us to purchase more technology for our demo and loan closet. Please check out our lending library Alabama AT 4 ALL where you can check out items for 3 weeks before you buy. This allows consumers a trial period to decide if a device will benefit them or not!

Carlene Hall Carlene Hall with Grandchild

Computer Access

Computers are a way to access the internet; and with the internet, we are able to scan through thousands of years worth of knowledge and communicate with individuals all over the world. When someone is unable to access the internet it can be frustrating and hinder their ability to learn and communicate. Believe it or not, There are plenty of products to help individuals utilize a computer. Some devices are even 100% hands-free.

Independent Living
By making a few small changes to the home and lifestyle you can allow someone more independence.

  • Accessible Homes Some changes could be extending doors with different hinges, adding a ramp to the front doorstep, moving around the furniture to fit a wheelchair, or adding a door hinge that opens door with the push of a button.
  •  Automatic Door opener
  •  Door Hinge extenders
  • Eating and Drinking There are do it yourself (DIY) adaptations for eating and drinking. You can either make your own low-tech devices or buy ones that may look a bit nicer. It all depends on how crafty you can be! Look around your house and make your own adaptions that fit your specific needs!
  • Please check out our Eating and drinking Module under “Independent Living”
  • Check out our Pinterest for great links to technology

Visit TASC’s profile on Pinterest.

Communication Devices

This course provides information on communication devices, also known as AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication) and SGD (Speech Generating Devices). If you are looking for information on voice banking please check out our ALS, Voice Banking, and Speech Amplification module.

Low Tech Communication Solutions

Low Tech for Emergencies
In emergency situations it is important to have access to communication. These free booklets below give instructions on how to use the booklets to better serve the individual.

Low Tech for Everyday 
It is always good to have basic needs covered by low-tech AAC. This way if there is not access to Higher tech devices the individual can have their needs met until another device replaces the free printed sheets you can get below.

Single Message Communicators
Here is an Alphabetical listing of some of the vendors and the names of their single message communicators. 
Static AAC Devices

Dynamic AAC Devices

Does using voice output devices/AAC/SGD impede natural speech?
Links to research articles and additional information.

Communicating with an Ipad/Itouch/Iphone
There are many apps available for communication:

  •  Meet Dennis-an iPad AAC user
  • List of Free and Inexpensive Apps for Communication (created in 2011)
  • Proloquo2GO
    The following video teaches how to edit boards using Proloquo2GO.

    Presented by Kate Moseley, AT Specialist

    on September 29, 2015

    If video is blurry, click the settings icon and change quality to 720p HD.

  • Cough Drop – CoughDrop is a new team-based AAC application founded here in Utah. For the past two years we’ve been working with over 50 experts around the country to make AAC simpler and more approachable, and to build supporting tools that can better enable and empower parents, therapists, and teachers to help communicators make their voices heard. Join us to learn how the unique features of CoughDrop and how you can utilize cloud technology to give you data and reporting, of the AAC experience, in real time.

    Presented by Utah Assistive Technology Teams

    on December 11th 2015

    If video is blurry, click the settings icon and change quality to 720p HD.

CoughDrop Follow-Up Training – This video shows how to set up an account, how to manage the account settings and some information about setting up the app.

Presented by Utah Assistive Technology Teams

on December 11th 2015

If video is blurry, click the settings icon and change quality to 720p HD.

For more information on Cough Drop please contact:

Scot Wahlquist
Director of Business Development
CoughDrop, Inc
Every Voice Should Be Heard

Funding an AAC Device
AT at Home

The majority of individuals you meet want to stay at the home as opposed to nursing homes. What adaptions can you make in your home to keep someone at home for longer? This module will share links to different devices and resources for you to keep your care recipients at home for longer. 

Cooking, Eating, Drinking

Please check out our Cooking, Eating, and Drinking Module for more ideas! 

Bathing, Dressing, and Hygiene

Tasks in these categories can always seem overwhelming for both the caregiver and care recipient. There are many different devices and tools to make these daily living activities more manageable.

Bathing: For more ideas check out our Pinterest

Dressing: For more ideas check out our Pinterest

Hygiene: For more ideas check out our Pinterest

Alerts, Reminders, and Stress Relievers

Sometimes care recipients are in need of assistance but have no way of alerting their caregiver. There are many different ways to signal alerts.


  • Alabama Respite is a temporary relieve for caregivers. Interested in learning more about vouchers, natural supports, or ways to take a breather? Check out their website for more information ( )!


The following links provide a list of resources and ways to modify your home in order to make it more accessible for individuals with disabilities and seniors.

Alabama Alternative Finance Program

STAR program that provides financing to families so that they may purchase assistive technology, adaptive equipment, and related services.

Reutilization Program

Assistive technology is donated to the Reutilization programs throughout the state of Alabama and then consumers with disabilities can request the equipment at no cost.

Funding Home Modification

Vendors providing AT for the Home in Alabama

Websites for Home Automation & Other AT


CASA (Care Assurance System for the Aging)

CASA’s mission is to assist the elderly and homebound who have unmet needs, with volunteer services. Our programs are designed to enable them to maintain their independence, dignity, health and safety, in their own homes.

CASA provides services at no cost to clients. Services are based solely on need, without regard to income, race, social status or religion.

  • CASA of Marshall County
    18 Grimes Drive Guntersville, AL 35976 Phone: (256) 279-0007 Fax: (256) 582-2922
  • CASA of Madison County
    701 Andrew Jackson Way Huntsville, AL 35801 Phone: (256) 533-7775 Fax: (256) 533-7544
  • CASA of Limestone County
    409 S. Marion Street Athens, AL 35611 Phone: (256) 232-5751 Fax: (256) 232-5780
  • CASA of Jackson County
    50 South Broad Street Scottsbro, AL 35768 Phone: (256) 259-3736 Fax: (256) 259-3182
  • CASA of Dekalb County
    P.O Box 681295 Rainsville, AL 35986 Phone: (256) 845-2049 Fax: (256) 845-9021

Building and Remodeling Your Home with a Certified Aging in Place (CAP) Specialist

The National Association of Home Builders provides a certification in Certified Aging in Place. Upon completion of this course, builders are able to:
• Describe the home ownership market as it relates to the three segments of the Aging in Place market
• Consider contractual and legal concerns for building professionals providing design solutions to the Aging in Place client
• Perform a needs assessment to identify and prioritize the needs, wants and wishes of the Aging in Place client
• Recommend specific design solutions for the Aging in Place client
• Estimate and schedule the Aging in Place project while regarding special considerations
• Identify considerations for executing the job while the client is in residence

Click here to find a CAP Specialist in your area.

CAPS in Alabama (February 2011-Listed Alaphabetically)

Company City CAPS Classification
John Allen Southern Construction & Design Inc Madison n/a
Mary Ann Brechun MA Brechun Design Hoover Designer
Robert Brown H.C. PITMAN FAIRHOPE Remodeler
Cherilyn Cleveland Berryhill Holdings Corporation Anderson n/a
John Dollison John B. Dollison Huntsville n/a
Rebecca Estes University of South Alabama, Dept. Occupational Therapy Mobile Occupational Therapist
Robert Goff Southern Construction & Design, Inc Madison Builder
D. Clay Harbin Parksite Plunkett Webster (PPW) Calera n/a
John Horchen J.A.H Design Costruction Newton n/a
Michael Kane Kane Building LLC Dadeville Builder
Randall Knott Wellborn Cabinet Inc. Ashland n/a
David Lisenby Lisenby Construction Inc Montgomery n/a
Paula Lowrey University of South Alabama Daphne Occupational Therapist
Robert McKay McKay Building Co. Inc. Birmingham Remodeler
Jewel McKay McKay Building Co. Inc. Birmingham Remodeler
M. Lynne McWhorter Cabinet Trends Hoover Designer
Bobby Monk Best Inspections, Inc. Springville Builder
Cindy Monk Best Inspections, Inc. Springville Other
Max Moody DREAMMAKER BATH AND KITCHEN Trussville Remodeler
Clara Parnell
Clara Parnell, MS, OTR/L Birmingham Occupational Therapist
Marlisa Pierce M Pierce Designs Dothan Designer
Philip Shelton Shelton Construction, Inc. Decatur n/a
W. Strickland Milton Strickland Builders Inc Pike Road n/a
Britt Thompson Thompson Construction Services, Inc. Hoover n/a
Ann Underwood Design-It-Studio Pleasant Grove n/a
George Williams Precision Homecrafters Inc Birmingham Remodeler



This module is designed to provide information about assistive technology related to transportation.

Personal Vehicles

Neat Vehicles

Public Transportation

Recreational Vehicles


STAR Program
  • Reutilization ProgramOccasionally accessible vans and wheelchairs lifted are donated to the Reutilization Program. Below is a link with a list of the reuse centers in Alabama. Please follow the link for more information.
  • Alternative FinanceFunding may be available for qualified applicants through the Alternative Finance program in order to acquire accessible transportation.Click here for additional information.
Cooking, Eating and Drinking

This course provides information on various AT tools that can help an individual increase their independence in cooking, eating, and drinking.


Sometimes simply adapting the eating and drinking can give someone all the independence they need at the table. Follow these helpful videos and links for more information!


Utensil Options

The following video will inform you about adaptive utensil options and how they can assist with eating.

Presented by Laura Schertz MS, OTR/L
on Jan 16 2013

If video is blurry, click the settings icon and change quality to 720p HD.


Universal Cuff

The following video will inform you about universal cuffs and how they can assist with eating.

Presented by Laura Schertz MS, OTR/L
on Jan 16 2013

If video is blurry, click the settings icon and change quality to 720p HD.


T Rocking Knife

The following video will inform you about T Rocking knives and how they can assist with eating.

Presented by Laura Schertz MS, OTR/L
on Jan 16 2013

If video is blurry, click the settings icon and change quality to 720p HD.


Alternative Knife

The following video will inform you about alternative knives and how they can assist with eating.

Presented by Laura Schertz MS, OTR/L
on Jan 16 2013

If video is blurry, click the settings icon and change quality to 720p HD.


Turned Spoon and Scoop Bowl

The following video will inform you about turned spoons and scoop bowls and how they can assist with eating.

Presented by Laura Schertz MS, OTR/L
on Jan 16 2013

If video is blurry, click the settings icon and change quality to 720p HD.


Nosey Cup

The following video will inform you about Nosey Cups and how they can assist with drinking.

Presented by Laura Schertz MS, OTR/L
on Jan 16 2013

If video is blurry, click the settings icon and change quality to 720p HD.

Plate Options

Lipped plates, sticky table mats, and specialized bowls can really assist individuals with eating. Follow these helpful videos and links for more information!


Ucuff and Plate Guard

The following video will inform you about Ucuffs and Plate Guards and how they can assist with eating.

Presented by Laura Schertz MS, OTR/L
on Jan 16 2013

If video is blurry, click the settings icon and change quality to 720p HD.


Plate Options

The following video will inform you about different plate options and how they can assist with eating.

Presented by Laura Schertz MS, OTR/L
on Jan 16 2013

If video is blurry, click the settings icon and change quality to 720p HD.

Follow TASC’s board Accessibility & AT in the Kitchen on Pinterest.

ALS, Voice Banking and Speech Amplification

Voice Banking is a process individuals who are losing their voice “bank” words and phrases by recording them using a computer. For individuals who have lost their voice, relatives or friends with similar voice qualities can be used for voice banking.

Individuals with ALS benefit greatly from voice banking, but it is important to begin as soon as possible because it is hard to determine how long the voice will remain strong and intelligible.



Introduction to Voice Banking
In this lesson, you will learn what voice banking is: a process for recording words and phrases.


Microsoft Sound Recorder
In this lesson of the Voice Banking Module, you will learn how to use the Microsoft Sound Recorder.


This lesson will guide you how to use Audacity, a free sound editing software. It is taught by Laura Parks, Assistive Technology Specialist for TASC.



This Software pairs perfectly with Therapy Box’s apps: Predictable and ChatAble. It also works with Windows/ Andriod based SGD


Augmentative and Alternative Communication


Speech Amplification

  • Portable PA System – This device would be great to attach to the front of your wheelchair (using industrial velcro)
  • Portable PA Sytems – Comes in different colors and a strap for around your neck


Apps for Communication 

  • Predictable
    • type a message using the intelligent word prediction, which learns their pattern of use, making prediction even faster. Use Nuance voices, record your own voice saying familiar phrases or use your voice banked ModelTalker voice.
    • $159.99 iPhone and iPad
    • Predictable iTunes Link
    • Predictable User Guide
  • Verbally
    • Verbally is an easy-to-use, comprehensive Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) app for the iPad. Verbally brings speech to those without and enables real conversation with its simple, intuitive design. Just tap in what you want to say and Verbally speaks for you.
    • Free or Full Version for $99.99 iPad only
    • Verbally on iTunes
  • urVoice
    • urVoice is an easy-to-use, highly customizable, affordable text-to-speech solution. You type it – urVoice speaks it or you can save it as a Quick Phrase to be used later (you can even include a picture)
    • Free Full Version for $4.99 iPhone and iPad
    • urVoice iTunes Link
  • CommunicAide
    • CommunicAide offers the largest selection of real photographs and real human voices to date for nearly any situation, as well as the ability to import your own photographs for a truly customizable experience
    • $69.99 iPad only
    • CommunicAide iTunes Link
Apple Accessibility and iAccess

This module will review the accessibility features for Apple products (Mac Computers, iPads, iPods, iPhones, Apple Watches and more).

Accessibility and the iPad

The following videos will review the Accessibility features that are already programmed into the iPad. Please check the publishing dates on the videos as features may change in the future. 



There are a lot of wonderful features on Apple and iDevices that we are unaware of. Did you know that you can use your iPad with just one  switch? Are you aware that you type in braille directly on your iPad? Most people are unaware of these features. Watch the following videos and click the links below for more information

The following video is a general overview of the accessibility features in iProducts such as the iPad and iPhone. We briefly review all the categories in accessibility such as hearing, vision, motor accessibility, and guided access.

Presented by Kate Mosely, AT Specialist
on August 18, 2015

If the video is blurry, click the settings icon and change quality to 720p HD.


Voice Over

The following video is about Voice Over for Apple products. How to turn it off and on and use all of Voice Over’s features!

Presented by Kate Moseley, AT Specialist
on August 10, 2015

If the video is blurry, click the settings icon and change quality to 720p HD.


Switch Access

The following video is about Switch Access on the iPad. We review the settings of Switch Access, three different types of switches, and how to hook up a switch to an iPad.

Presented by Kate Moseley, AT Specialist
on July 29, 2015

If the video is blurry, click the settings icon and change quality to 720p HD.




The following video will teach about Alternative styluses, mounts, and switch access can help make the iPad more accessible.

Presented by Laura Parks, M.Ed., AT Specialist
on September 11, 2014

If the video is blurry, click the settings icon and change quality to 720p HD.

Related Links:

Low-Tech Solutions for Easy Access 

The following Videos will inform you about low-tech solutions to make the iPad more accessible. These videos are presented by Laura Parks, M.Ed., At Specialist

How to Make an iPad Stylus

How to Make a Home Button Stopper

Sticky Situation iPad Sleeve

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