Assistive Technology NEWS

Summer 2014

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REGISTER NOW for the Assistive Technology Summer Conference July 20 - 22, 2014

If you haven’t registered yet for this year’s 16th Annual Assistive Technology Summer conference - Assistive Technology: Multiple Perspectives, Multiple Solutions, what are you waiting for?  The early bird registration fee expires on June 20th.  Now is the time to take advantage of the very reasonable conference fee that will allow you to update your assistive technology knowledge and earn continuing education hours in a lovely resort environment. Want to ramp up your AT expertise? Sign up for the AT Boot Camp pre-conference workshop as well.

If you are planning to stay at the hotel, keep in mind that the special room block rate of $89 per night (all rooms are suites) also expires on June 20th. We have more than 47 breakout sessions, wonderful featured presenters who will be sharing their own perspectives and successes with assistive technology and you will see new exhibitors this year as well.

Speaking of the Exhibit Hall, if you work with or are a consumer/family member, AzTAP is very excited about offering consumer access to the Exhibit Hall. As a new feature this year, the Exhibit Hall will be open to the community – at no charge – with our complimentary Exhibit Hall Pass on Monday afternoon, July 21st from 1:30 – 6:00 p.m. (The Exhibit Hall closes at 6:00).

We expect approximately 50 assistive technology-related vendors, disability organizations and state agencies.  The Exhibit Hall provides an opportunity for persons with disabilities, family, friends and advocates to learn more about assistive technology products for vision, hearing, communication, mobility, education, employment and daily living activities.

Please note that this pass is valid Monday, July 21, 2014 from 1:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. for the Exhibit Hall Only and does NOT provide access to conference sessions or meal!  To receive your FREE Exhibit Hall Pass, please register here

If you would like to attend the full conference and want more information about the schedule, sessions, speakers, and the possibility of limited consumer scholarships, go to the AzTAP website  and click on the AT Conference tab.

Contact Adi Kalika at 602.728.9532 or by email at if you have any questions or need assistance.

Art Without Limits by Zot Artz 

What kid doesn’t like to draw on the sidewalk with chalk?  However, if you are a child with a disability it’s easy to end up being an onlooker rather than a participant. But it doesn’t have to be that way!  

AzTAP, in collaboration with UCP of Central Arizona and Ryan House brought  Dwayne Szot of Zot Artz for All to Phoenix in March for a fabulous community art event that gave kids in wheelchairs (as well as those who could  walk) the opportunity to create their own chalk and paint art projects. Dwayne designs and builds adapted art equipment that makes it possible for anyone to make really fun, colorful and beautiful artwork. In the morning, Dwayne held a workshop to teach service providers how to use his equipment. In the afternoon, the children and adults with disabilities as well as siblings were able to display their creativity. By using specially designed chalk holders or paint rollers, the children were able to produce large scale chalk drawings and vividly colored mural paintings.
Here’s what some of the participants had to say about the event: "My son and I had a wonderful experience at Art Without Limits. It was refreshing to see so many amazing children together creating beautiful art." One of the siblings said:  "It was great! My sister got to draw and make designs and I could do the same on the back of her chair."
Based on the success of the event, AzTAP will be purchasing a selection of the Zot equipment that will be available for loan through our lending library.  Watch for more information in our next newsletter.

Community Collaborations

The Arizona Technology Access Program (AzTAP) continually looks for ways to make Assistive Technology (AT) devices available to the community in the most beneficial and efficient way possible.  To support that goal, AzTAP would like to expand our collaborations with community organizations interested in establishing a partnership to have AT devices placed with them on long term loan.  AzTAP currently has a number of successful partnerships in place with several groups around the state. 
AzTAP entered its most recent long term loan equipment agreement with Ashley Clyde, LLC, a local home health care agency.  AzTAP provided Ashley Clyde with 50 different activities-of-daily-living, low-vision and hearing-related assistive technology devices that will be kept at their office and used by their Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants in their daily work with patients.  Demonstration and trial use of these devices help the therapist and patient decide if the AT device actually helps the person in their real life, home environment.
By having direct access to this equipment in their office, Ashley Clyde staff no longer have to come to AzTAP to check out, pickup and bring back borrowed devices.  In return, every month Ashley Clyde staff will provide AzTAP with (non-identifiable) outcome data on each patient’s experience with the equipment and their satisfaction level with having the opportunity to use the items.  We believe this is a win/win situation for the everyone - patients, therapy staff and AzTAP. 
If your agency or program works with persons with disabilities and you would like to discuss establishing a similar long term device loan partnership with AzTAP, please contact us at or via phone at 602.728.9534 or 1.800.477.9921. 

Emergency Preparedness

Nobody really wants to think about how any disaster – natural or manmade – could affect our lives. However, now that fire season is upon us, this can become more than a remote possibility, especially for people living in highly forested, rural areas.  Everyone should be prepared for emergencies, and if you are a person with a disability or have a family member with a disability, then it is even more important to have a plan in place and to know what resources are available before an emergency situation develops.  In Arizona, there has been a huge effort to make sure that people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs have been included in the statewide emergency preparedness planning process.
AzTAP is pleased to offer a free webinar on this subject.
 “Partners-in-Preparedness” is scheduled for Wednesday, August 13th from 3:00-4:00 p.m. It will be presented by Tony DiRienzi, Independent Living Advocate and Pete Weaver, Director, Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management. Click here to register. 

Spotlight on AT  

Assistive Technology for Meal Time Independence - Focusing on Tremors  

It is frustrating and difficult to eat independently if you have tremors that make it hard to keep food on the fork or spoon. We have received several requests for silverware that can be used for people with Parkinson’s or other essential tremors.  In response, AzTAP has several items in our loan and demonstration inventory designed to help people with this problem. 

We recently purchased a spoon called Liftware. Created for people with tremors, the manufacturer calls this utensil “tremor cancellation in the palm of your hand.” 

A typical solution for people with this type of condition is the use of weighted utensils to steady the hand. Liftware is different, because it works through a computer chip that electronically stabilizes the spoon portion of the device when someone is experiencing tremors. 

Although the spoon is currently the only attachment, the company will be coming out with other attachments, including a fork and key holder.  The device is small and has a rechargeable battery.  According to the manufacturer, over 100 algorithms were tested and the device provided a 70% tremor cancellation rate for the spoon.  We are interested in getting feedback about how well this item actually works, so please make an appointment for a demonstration and/or equipment loan to try out this new product.  At AzTAP, we base our purchases on consumer feedback and inquiry. The retail price for this product is $295.00 from
Weighted utensils are the second type of product mentioned earlier.  The most popular weighted utensils at AzTAP are the Parkinson’s Weighted Kits.  These kits include a knife, fork, teaspoon, tablespoon, 12 ounce insulated mug and two universal holders for pen/pencil/razor, etc.  This set can be viewed at and costs $99.95. 
Another kind of weighted utensil is adjustable, so the weight can be anywhere between 2 to 8 ounces.  This may be beneficial if there is a possibility the weight of a utensil would need to be changed.  The website for this type of device can be found at price for a soup spoon is $24.63.
AzTAP has all of these devices available for demonstration and loan.  AzTAP does not sell any products and there is no charge for device loans or demonstration. Prices and websites are provided for informational purposes only and no endorsement is implied. Please contact us at 602.728.9534, 1.800.477.9921, or for more information. 

"App"-ealing Technology

Since the 2014 Winter/Spring Newsletter edition, the AzTAP Loan Library has increased the number of assistive technology related apps from 130 to 190. Our extensive list of apps may be useful in many areas, such as speech communication, vision and hearing impairments, and daily living. However, in this issue, we are highlighting two apps designed for people with Learning, Cognitive, and Developmental disabilities: 
NaviDys:  This app provides modifications of web sites for people with reading disabilities, dyslexia, low vision, blindness and other disabilities that make reading difficult. NaviDys is a web browser for the iPad (iOS 5.0 or later). The user may customize the web site’s font, including the specific font for dyslexia, known as Dyslexie. In addition to selecting an easier to read font, the user may also customize settings for line spacing, letter spacing, and text size. These options make reading the web much easier for people with visual disabilities. Please note that NaviDys is currently available for iPads only.
AudioNote Lite:  If taking notes quickly and remembering the context in which they were taken is challenging, try AudioNote Lite.  This app combines the functionality of a notepad and voice recorder, therefore synchronizing notes and audio. Each note acts as a link directly to the point at which it was recorded.  This means the user does not have to search through an entire recording; AudioNote Lite takes you right to the spot you want to hear.  Use AudioNote Lite on an iPad or iPhone (iOS 5.1 or later, and optimized for iPhone 5) at school or work. This Lite version is limited to 10 minutes of audio per note and 2 hours total. But, if you would like unlimited recording and improved sharing options, you can upgrade to the full AudioNote app.
To view our most current list of Apps, click here

Using Technology to Get Technology

We have updated and simplified the online Request Form for our loan and demonstration services. Now you can easily request to borrow devices, schedule a demonstration or ask for more information about a specific assistive technology item by using the redesigned Request form. Search our inventory by clicking here.

Copyright © 2014 Arizona Technology Access Program, All rights reserved.

AzTAP is a statewide, Phoenix-based program of the Institute for Human Development at NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY.

Our mailing address is:
2400 N Central Avenue, Suite 300, Phoenix, AZ 85004
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