Leadership Reno County Visit!
Happy Friday, Have a wonderful Weekend!
Prairie Independent Living Resource Center does various training activities throughout the year. Some training is given at one of our offices, but other trainings are on location. I was fortunate enough to assist with a few of these trainings at the end of last month. Since I am still fairly new to PILR, I learned a lot myself. The end of last week we had the pleasure of hosting training about PILR Services to the current Leadership Reno County (LRC) class. There were 9 LRC Participants who were very engaged when Roger discussed the different programs and services PILR offer. Then they were shown low or no vision assistive technology in action.
We presented a slideshow about each of our services to the group and followed it up with examples of different types of Assistive Tech that are available for people with low vision or no vision. Some of this technology is pretty cool, we had a talking microwave, a couple of different portable magnifiers (they can take pictures for reference later), a talking calculator, a very loud liquid level sensor to help pour a drink without overflowing, Large Print Items: Playing Cards, Address Book, Check Balance Book, Weekly Pill Organizer, and some other items. The largest drawback on certain assistive technology is how expensive it can be. A talking microwave is several hundred dollars more expensive than other microwaves. Some of these items are life changing, but since it is seen as targeting a small pool of consumers they are pricey.
However, some good news is with the availability of smartphones, some assistive tech can be simulated with a smartphone app. Roger showed us how a $10 iPhone app could replace one of the expensive ($1,500) bar-code scanners and he had an app that was able to tell us what dollar bill he was holding, when our bill reader was malfunctioning. Not all phone apps could replace or replicate all assistive tech, but it was promising after hearing how expensive a single purpose item could cost someone.
After our presentation was complete, we were able to respond to questions from the participants. We appreciate the opportunity to share the services we provide and how we can help improve the lives of people with disabilities. I hope that in the future much needed assistive tech can be purchased without taking a loan out or certain things become mainstream so the availability is greater for everyone who could use them.
What kind of technology could make your life easier?