Thankful for Assistive Technology
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
By MATP Staffer Laura Hall
As Thanksgiving approaches, I see friends and family creating daily gratitude posts on social media. It’s a lovely idea, and although I am grateful for many things, I just don’t have the forethought to post every day. However, writing this post close to the holiday has led me to think about my gratitude toward assistive technology.
I use so many pieces of assistive technology in my daily life, it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few. I’d have to say I’m most grateful for my power wheelchair, my accessible van, and those handy reachers.
My powerchair, the Flash (read all about it in my previous blog post) is a new addition to my life, and the most critical. Of course it helps get me around, but it also has functions that help my posture and positioning, allow me to get into bed independently, and enables me to reach things around the house and in places like the grocery store.
I am extremely grateful to have an accessible vehicle. It allows me freedom in my work and personal life beyond that which I can have with public transportation. Accessible vehicles can be quite expensive, as evidenced by the number of calls we receive for people looking funding avenues. I am grateful for our Assistive Technology Loan Fund that provides loans specifically for the purchase of AT, and for the ATXChange, where used accessible vehicles are often posted.
Reachers – Simple, low cost, but indispensable. I have one in even room in the house and even an extra backup in case I need to reach a reacher that I dropped. They come in all different shapes and sizes. My favorite type, the Ergomate, has a small pull lug to bring dropped items closer and a magnet on the end. Quite handy for picking up those tiny things that fall, like paper clips.
Since Thanksgiving usually involves eating, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the AT that can help people enjoy the holiday feast. Built-up forks, spoons, and knives can help people better grip their utensils. Plate guards, scooper bowls, high sided plates, and double handled cups are just a few of the things that can help keep your food in your mouth and off your lap. This past year, we have also heard of good experiences people have had from trying the Liftware, (electronic stabilizing utensils) during device demonstrations.
No matter how you’re spending your holiday, we wish you a happiness and give thanks to you, our followers of this blog.