Assistive Technology for Stroke Survivors


Presentation by Disabled Resources

On Tuesday, October 15, 2019, Samantha Mam, Assistive Technology Specialist, Webmaster, and Office Manager at Disabled Resources Center, Inc. (DRC) in Long Beach, gave a presentation to the members of Stroke Support Association (SSA) on the various forms of assistive technologies available to borrow from DRC’s Device Lending Library. Mugi Miyazaki, also from DRC’s Assistive Technology Lending Program, assisted Samantha. DRC’s Outreach Coordinator and Job Developer, Kate Adamson, MSW, was also in attendance. Kate is SSA’s primary contact in its formal collaboration with DRC and is a stroke survivor herself.

The mission of Disabled Resources Center, Inc.: “To empower people with disabilities to live independently in the community, to make their own decisions about their lives, and to advocate on their own behalf.” Stroke Support Association, which holds separate weekly support groups for stroke survivors and their families/caregivers, refers its members to DRC for help with independent living skills, job searches, volunteer opportunities, and assistance with disability, health, and Medi-Cal benefits, in addition to assistive technology.

NATADS Assistive Technology Acquisition System, which operates Device Lending and Operation Centers throughout California, is funded by California’s Department of Rehabilitation (DOR). Disabled Resources Center, Inc. is one of eleven agencies in California selected to contract with Ability Tools to provide short-term loans of assistive devices and gadgets that can help people live independently. DRC offers its stock to anyone, disabled or not, who needs a device on a temporary basis or who wishes to try it out before purchasing it. DRC uses a “try-it-before-you-buy-it” system, lending out is devices for free for a period of up to 30 days. If the user wishes to purchase the item, DRC will provide a link to the vendor.

Assistive Technology Presentation
Assistive Technology Devices for Stroke Survivors

Before the presentation began, Samantha and Mugi arranged a large assortment of assistive technology devices from DRC’s Device Lending Library on a long table at the front of the room. After explaining the program, Samantha described the various gadgets, which include the following:

  • A Pocket Talker is a hearing aid device that includes a headset and a small base unit. It amplifies sound for the user and is available at a fraction of the cost of traditional hearing aids.
  • Livescribe Echo Smartpen is a device that remembers for you. It records everything you write and hear, together or separately. Tap anywhere on your notes to replay the audio. Transfer notes and audio to your Mac or Windows PC, where you can review, organize, or share your content. It must be used with its accompanying notebook.
  • Echo Dot enables voice commands to turn on and off connected lights, fans, TV, etc. It can also be used to answer questions, e.g., “Alexa, what is the weather today?” and play music. The user must have an Amazon account, and DRC will help set that up if requested.
  • A plastic-and-rope Foot Socker that helps the user easily put on socks. EZ Slide Shoe Horns are also available.
  • A hand-held device that enables one-handed buttoning and unbuttoning of clothing.
  • A plastic sheet magnifier to be used with books or computer screens.
  • A mechanical jar opener.
  • Suction-cup shower bars.
  • Tablets, laptops, smart phones (Amazon, Apple, and Samsung).
  • Ramps, walkers, and wheelchairs.

Samantha also reported that DRC offers free of charge non-prescription reading glasses, collapsible canes, and gloves for wheelchair users.

Stroke Support Association is grateful to DRC for this presentation, as well as its ongoing support and friendship.

– Betsy Hardiman, Support Group Administrator


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