Writer: Tiffany Whisner, Coles Marketing

Have you ever had a conversation with a friend or family member and just can’t seem to communicate to them what you’re thinking? Communication problems can be the result of anything from hard-to-decipher nonverbal cues or too little information to the wrong communication method or not paying attention.

Many relationship problems — whether in your personal or professional life — stem from poor communication.

But how is that challenge compounded when you speak English, and the person you are communicating with — uses sign language?


Hearing tools for the future

Jordan Stemper was born and raised near Milwaukee, Wis. And at 11 years old, he received a cochlear implant.

“In high school, I was mainstreamed with no interpreter,” Stemper said. “It was a personal choice of mine.”

Get started using UNIAccording to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), about two to three out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears. And one in eight people in the U.S. — more than 30 million people — aged 12 years or older have hearing loss in both ears.

Many people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids, assistive technology devices and cochlear implants as well as from captioning and American Sign Language (ASL).

“One of the main impacts of hearing loss is on the individual’s ability to communicate with others,” notes the World Health Organization. “However, when opportunities are provided for people with hearing loss to communicate, they can participate on an equal basis with others. The communication may be through spoken/written language or through sign language.” Stemper’s eyes were opened to the magnitude of this particular communication barrier when he attended Rochester Institute of Technology for his undergraduate studies.

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For individuals with mobility impairments, there are several assistive technologies available to help them control their computers and other devices.  A company behind some of these technologies, called Compusult, has a slogan stating that they are “delivering innovative solutions to the world.”  Staying true to their slogan, they’ve recently released their newest addition to the Jouse family, the Jouse3.  Jouse3 is an advanced joystick-operated plug-and-play mouse that requires minimal action.

To control your computer or other device with the Jouse3, just move the precision joystick with yourJouse3 mouth, cheek, chin or tongue.  The cursor movement is fast, smooth and accurate, making it ideal for drawing or playing games.  The further you move the joystick, the faster the cursor travels.  With the sip and puff switches built into the Jouse3, you can perform right-click, left-click and double-click actions.

The Jouse3 will mount to almost any desktop, wheelchair or bedframe.  There are mounting options for secondary equipment such as switches, webcams and microphones.  According to the brochure, “With the Jouse you have unlimited access to all your computers and devices, giving you complete freedom and control to do everything you want to do!”

More Jouse3 Features:

  • USB 2.0 plug-and-play
  • Nothing is attached to the user, providing greater independence
  • Extremely smooth with excellent tracking.  Jouse3 can be used for drawing or any application requiring fine cursor control
  • Supports Macintosh, Windows, Linux and Unix based computers and Android
  • Lets users control switch-enabled devices
  • Includes an advanced articulated arm
  • CE Certified



Tech Tip: Bookmarks on Kurzweil 3000

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Did you know the term “dyslexia” is derived from the Latin word “dys,” which translates to difficult, and the Greek word “lexia,” which translates to words?  Therefore, the meaning of dyslexia literally translates to “difficulty with words.”  Roughly 10 percent of the world’s population is affected by this learning disability, which makes it difficult to read and write.  Dutch […]

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Tech Tip: CamScanner App

November 17, 2014 Tech Tips

Mark Stewart, Assistive Technology Professional here at Easter Seals Crossroads, introduces us to a free PDF document scanner and OCR available on iOS devices.  Check it out! Click here for more information on the CamScanner App!

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ATU181 – Lekotek’s Toys and Games for kids with disabilities, Microsoft’s 3D soundscape, Virtual Conference for People with Dyslexia

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download   Your weekly dose of information that keeps you up to date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs. Show Notes: Adaptive Toys and Play with Ahren Hoffman, Manager of Industry Relationships and Partnerships, National Lekotek Center […]

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Jazz up therapy with the MusicGlove!

November 13, 2014 Products and Devices

For individuals recovering from a stroke or other neurological injury, physical therapy is often a humdrum part of their daily routine.  Though it is necessary for recovery, therapy becomes so mundane that individuals often lack motivation and may not wholly reap its benefits.  Flint Rehabilitation Devices recently introduced a new device to jazz up this oft-humdrum therapy called the MusicGlove.  The MusicGlove […]

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