AAC Device Idea

An augmentative communication device is a wonderful idea. I use one and I love it. I have always pondered, “How would I advance it? What feature would I add to it? What group of disabilities would this accommodate?”

Well, I am proposing a speech-to-text feature on every AAC device to help those with hearing impairments, or those like me that are just auditory and visual learners. It would be like the phone for seniors that when the person on the other side speaks, the conversation is transposed into written text. It would be great for meetings, school or normal conversation. And then, there would be a ‘Save’ button for saving the conversation and the text would be able to be made smaller or larger.
What do you think? Helpful, not helpful or the tip of the iceberg?

Article: Something I Would Like To See Get Invented

Now, don’t take me as the 21st century Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton or Stephen Hawking.  I’m not that scientifically knowledgeable. If I didn’t have cerebral palsy, I’d probably be a historian, horseback rider or an artist. Nor do I understand economics.

However, I do understand therapy. I’m writing my invention idea from a therapeutic standpoint and personal standpoint. So what can I bring to the table to assist a person with a disability?  What type of disability would my invention assist?

I’m proposing a body controller for people with movement disorders that are confined to a wheelchair.

“Heather, you’re crazy. It’s virtually impossible to invent something to help someone with a movement disorder. The best treatments are medicine and exercise.”

Yes, the best treatments for a movement disorder are medicine and exercise. But what about those confined to a wheelchair? Could a body controller help those that are wheelchair-bound? I’m imagining almost like a body brace that would fit on an electric wheelchair and it would also support the limbs. When the person has good body movements, it gives less support. When the person has bad body movements, it gives more support. This would be done with a button. My hope is for this to teach those with severe movement problems better body control so eventually, they gain some independence.

What do you think? Helpful, not helpful or the tip of the iceberg?

Second Post for the Day

Hey guys.  Someone earlier this week e-mailed me a link to share about adaptive driving.  Here it is:

If anyone has more links that I can share, please e-mail me.  I may write some articles and share them myself.  I want to share some revolutionary ideas that I have, but I am not involved in scientific research so it’s not easy.  But please look for them.

Thank you

A MEGA Apology

I am so extremely sorry that I haven’t gotten to blog.  Let’s just say that a lot of personal things are going on.  I miss blogging, I do.  So, let’s see.  Again, I apologized for not being able to blog.

I’m reading my e-mails and I got a sweet e-mail from a fifth grader inviting me to speak to his class about the challenges that I overcome on a daily basis.  The class saw this website and hopefully, I will get to do this.  It would be a true honor, for me, my family and the past and future community of those with disabilities if I did this.  I wonder if this could open a public speaking pathway for me.  I would love to see where this leads me.

I have to see if I could do this.  I’ll keep you posted.

Insurance Companies

Insurance companies.  Groups of people that I will never understand.  They like to tell you one thing and then, they like to have their co-workers tell you a completely different version of the story.  It’s like their company plays Telephone everyday.

I have contact with two camp friends and one of them is trying for a new wheelchair.  She needs a specific type of wheelchair and certain parts to it.  The whole wheelchair was denied by the insurance company and they said that these certain parts will have to be paid out-of-pocket.  She had to be driven to the insurance company to tell them that her insurance should be paying for these wheelchair parts.  Not to mention how expensive a wheelchair is without all of her required parts.

Insurance companies.  You were put in place to help people, not make them miserable by denying them equipment that they need for medical needs.  Why can’t you get that through your head?  Are you that ignorant to a person’s needs?  Do you realize that people with limited mobility need expensive equipment that cost thousands and thousands of dollars that the average person cannot afford?  And you’re willing to deny them their equipment?

What a disgrace.  Shame on you.  Shame on you.

Advice for Apartment Hunting

I am facing one of the most difficult stages in young adulthood…. Finding a place to live.  It is NOT easy.  I thought that I had limited options with one facility until I found out that I had multiple options with facilities and living arrangements.  I could choose from a group home or an apartment.  At first, I was going to pick group home because there would be more help.  But I visited some and I thought about it.  I really don’t do well in groups and I want to challenge myself.  So now I decided on the apartment option.

I will keep you updated on my progress.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everybody.  I’m sorry.  December was a hectic month between getting ready for Christmas and, well, let’s say, facility hunting.

Is this college grad working?  Not exactly.  I’m thinking about getting a job, but right now, I want to get a volunteer job in my town.  Setting up an actual paying job in the disability world is different than the average employee.  On top of that, the idea of making as much money as you want gets screwed over if you’re already on social security checks.  I’m putting the job hunt off for that reason.  And I need more work experience before really considering a job.

But, managing Self Direction is a job in that I have to manage comm hab hours every week, making sure the day’s activity is weather appropriate and knowing when your aide can or cannot work.  Where I live, winter can get frigid.  But it’s fun.

I hope you have a Happy New Year.

A Look Into My Personal Life: My Music

I think that I have lost it with Bill Staines radio on Pandora.  I love it!  It is a station with country, folk and New Age music mixed into one station.  It is one of my personal favorite stations on Pandora because it’s calming, relaxing and it plays a lot of variety.  It could play folk, bluegrass, old time and a lot more.  I binge listen to it a lot.

It doesn’t play Christmas music, but I think that it has a lot of themes that can relate to the holidays.  It has a lot of songs centered around the love of nature and it just fits into the holidays because this music reminds people of how important it is to come together and love each other. A lot of the songs are about nature and this station could warm a person’s heart like the holidays do.  And a lot of songs about nature are peaceful.  They forget about the hustle and bustle of the city craze.

I developed the love for soft music in senior year.  I always have shied away from loud and wild music.  Even today, I can’t stand hip-hop or rap or rock-and-roll.  Some rock-and-roll I will listen to, but I have to be in the mood for it.  I don’t even keep up with the Joneses with music.  I just listen to what I like.

What kind of music do you enjoy?

Four Days of Gratefulness: Day 4

Alright everybody.  Happy Thanksgiving.

So I did something yesterday.  I got my first manicure in years.  My aide took me and I wanted to do this as a surprise for my grandmother.  I always have a hard time doing my nails because of my movement disorder and it is really enjoyable.  I have not done a formal manicure in a nail salon in years so I wanted to go get one for Thanksgiving.  With the help of my aide, it was a success.  So today I am grateful for my first manicure =].