Assistive Technology Collaboration Site-
Idea for Knowledge-Networking Award
I met a man name "J" who uses a Franklin Spanish-English Translator to communicate, but he doesn't speak Spanish. We were at a play and he wanted to say something to me just as the lights dimmed, the universal cue for "Say it now, before it the show starts." However, his little keyboard failed him. Dark shadows and silence.
All he needs is a hacked blackberry -- something with a backlit display and keyboard that could speak for him, or at least display text. Something, anything better than is other option-- the table-bound, outdated huge keyboard, more suitable for someone with more severe motor impairments.
The needs of individuals who are differently-abled can never be generalized, making large scale production of assistive technology devices obsolete or customized ones "too costly." (Elderly, People with Developmental Disabilities and Traumatic Brain Injuries...) According to ARC of Illinois-- Illinois is ranked 49th* in the nation for disability funding.
Social network variation on the Org (cross-bred with Geekcorps), the purpose is to provide an online venue so that the assistive technology needs of different populations can be met via improvised collaborative teams.
With the right experts, we could design/recycle simple online forms/questionnaires so that case workers and other qualified professionals can easily interface, making something like a wish list.
The Web can provide us with 2 very important resources.
First, sites like zefrank.org and make.com have proven that there are plenty of saavy nerds who have way too much free time to tinker and/or a compulsion to take things apart and re-build them.
Second, we have way too many outdated cell phone and gadgets that will end up in landfills. Instinct tells me that someone would be more likely to send in a gadget/ part if they know it's going toward a specific project or helping one person.
Liability-- however something is better than nothing, and it's not like consumers of products would be human guinea pigs, depending on their individual health status and what they themselves want and/or their representative can express for them-- it's worth a shot considering how many people are out there with no money, time, or resources to get anything. W-A-I-V-E-R ?
Privacy-- help here, I don't think that we have to use names of people. But their needs to be some type of system... We cannot be too scared or "save our own butt" protective b/c of HIPPA--clinically relevant information is OKAY amongst people directly assisting and attending to a medical condition.
>>I am very tired, but had to write this out before it got lost somewhere in my brain. Please edit, expand, discuss at your inspiration and pleasure. *please double-check, eyelids burning
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