Cristen Reat Mobile Technology for All Abilities
My name is Kristen Reid and I. Am with bridging apps which, is a program, and a website of Easter. Seals Greater Houston I love the fact that Jordan asked that question and said, that. They're gonna be hearing from bridging apps and talking about different apps so that was a great kind of segue. So, what. I'm going to share with you today is a little bit about our program and. Our website but mostly the, topic is. Hopefully. I can make the clicker work correctly is. Exploring. What we call single purpose apps as cognitive, support. So. We're gonna kind of talk about what that means, we're. Kind of dialing it back from virtual, reality, and machine learning and AI this. Is just very low-tech. Simple. Things that. You can use on your smart phone and tablets, that I'm going to be discussing today so. Some of the apps you may have heard of and some of them may be new to you. Just. A little bit about me I helped. To start bridging apps which basically, our goal, is to use what, most, people have low-cost. Commercially. Available off-the-shelf, mobile. Technologies, and using, them with people with disabilities, all. Types of disabilities not just cognitive, disabilities, to. Help them reach their full potential I'm the, parent of two, children my, younger son just turned 15, he was born with Down syndrome and other. Disabilities. Vision impairment. He's, on the autism spectrum so, we have a lot going on and I basically helped to start a support group that, was helping him, and we, were working with our therapists so I heard that there was an OT in the audience earlier so, we, were working with OTS and speech pathologists. When this technology was new when it was just coming out in 2010. And it, was the wild wild west of app development. There. Was a huge new market, for young children that. Hadn't been tapped before so a lot of the early apps that. Came out were, targeted. For kids under the age of 5 so. What we began doing is looking, at all. Of these apps for our young children to help improve skills. We. Were all looking at things like fine motor skills gross motor skills language, development, and. Things like that so that's how we got started and we became part of these Sheils Greater Houston in. 2011. And if. You all don't know. Lots. I encounter, lots of people who don't know what Easter Seals does but basically. Nationally. And we are the largest provider, of disability, services, outside. Of the government so. All types of disabilities there's, one affiliate in most major region, or city and. Based. On the, demographics, of that city there. Are programs and services that are wraparound services, for those individuals. So what. We do at bridging apps we. Are an in-person program, and also a website. Bridging. App so our G and we. Try to bridge this gap I've heard, a lot of discussion today, just about we. All know it's pretty obvious that you can't just give someone technology, and expect. It to be a panacea, and a, silver, bullet for solving, all problems that, just does, not happen, so, in, our, what.
We Try to do through our website and through, our assistive, technology, labs in the Greater Houston area is we, work with people of all different types. Of disabilities including cognitive disabilities, and help, them bridge that gap so. If we provide a training in person we try to push that out through. Our website through newsletters social, medias videos and things like that so. We hope that if you've not visited, bridging apps before, that. You consider visiting, the website because we think that it's a shortcut. For lots of people to. Find apps for different types of needs, so, we have a database of about 3,200. Apps those. Are both for iOS and Android platforms, we. Don't do too much with Kindle or Nook. We. Spent a lot of time doing app reviews, and it's not just me sitting around doing. App reviews, or writing app reviews what we did early on is we wanted, to connect. With the early adopters, who. Were professionals. So speech pathologist, special ed teachers. Physicians. Different. Assistive, technology professionals, who were using the devices when they first came out with different. Populations, and so, what we're trying to do is crowdsource. Their knowledge, which, is very siloed, and try. To bring it into one place so. When you read, an app review it may be written by a special, ed teacher it may be written by a speech, pathologist so, we kind of gather, all this information and. Try to share it out with people who don't necessarily have access we've encountered many people through, our website who live, in a rural area and have never had a speech pathologist for, their child or. Their loved one with a disability so, we spend a lot of time working on a previews to give out free information, that's high quality, my. Favorite section of the website is success stories people write in to us with different, how their smartphone. Has helped them in some way and we also write lots of success stories, just. About the different people. That we work with we. Focus, on hardware and accessories for. Smartphones and tablets and usually, I get a blank look and what. That means is basically the cases, the carrying systems the styluses. Different. Ways to access different, ways to use mount, switches. The. Tecla shield is, really. Helpful. For people with a lot of mobility issues, so, we try to put that information on the website too we trial a lot of this in our assistive, technology, labs and then we push that out so. That lots of people can have access to that information because, you can get a lot of that stuff on Amazon today we. Also do programs and trainings all around the. Country not just in Houston so. I. Am, going to move I'm going to kind of introduce a little really, short clip from a video. Because. As we launch into the topic of single. Purpose apps as a cognitive support, a. Friend, of mine who is the, husband, of one of my dear co-workers. Is. I think can, really describe, what his, smartphone. Means, to him better. Than I can so I'd like to show, roll that video to. Kind of start the conversation, seniors. A several, stroke. PhD. In Johnson, or 20 years of charges. Sorry. Can you restart it with captions, I want to make sure it, were they on there okay, sorry truly. Like second, brain yeah so. You reduce a lot of worry about, how we forget, to good times and, everything. Keep trying to evaluate and keep track of whereabouts. I used, it too because a lot of tutorials, really. Being, able to. Know. I. Feel. Like productive. Day yeah seems, like a all. Right. And. Even create notes too without typing a lot, of it translates, across disability across, age. So. It wanted you to hear from Lincoln because. I love he, kind of encapsulates what. A lot of our clients. And different people that I've spoken with they. Consider their smartphone, their second brain I just love that and he really. Expressed eloquently, that it helps them get around cognitive, shortfalls. So, that's launching, into this topic of single. Purpose apps as a cognitive support, so let. Me just go to the next slide there so, we. Look at a lot of apps we have lots of people who look a lot of apps and share that information with, us and so what is emerged over the years are. Something. That we just kind of term single purpose apps and, so. We felt that we should define it and just talk about it and the features and it may make sense to you it makes sense to a lot of us because it's when we're, working with someone and, there's, a common there's a large cognitive, range when you say cognitive, disability, there are people who are much more functional, than other than. Other people when. I'm talking about single purpose apps I'm not saying that people with cognitive disabilities cannot. Use more complex apps but we. Have found a lot of success with these types of apps and just wanted to introduce the concept this.
Is Where we start a lot of places because this is where people are funding success so, we're defining a single purpose app as an app that, is designed to do one thing it has a single function so. Unlike a lot of apps that are platforms. That have all types of menus. Options. Soft. Buttons, that are that are within the app that are very complex. Single. Purpose app is designed to do just one thing it. The features that. We, have kind of looked at as we looked at hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of apps is that they. Have an uncluttered interface, they're, mostly age neutral, that's, not always the case but ideally we would love to see them age neutral, so that you can use them with, lots of different individuals. Often. They have only one or two screens. I'll. Show you some examples of those they. Require minimal, to zero setup many. Of them just launched into. What that they're supposed to do and, we. Also like the fact that some of them are customizable. Customizable. With limits, and, I'll, talk a little bit about that but that's important, for caregivers and that's. Also important, for the individual, with a cognitive disability, themselves. Is to have limits and boundaries for, certain types of apps especially, when it comes to medication and health, issues, it. Also we think that single. Purpose apps assist, with motor planning because, people get used to and again the speech pathologists. Love. This there are a lot of speech, augmentative. Communication, apps. That. Are, based, around motor planning and and that, basically means that somebody. Knows that this one does that one thing and it's in the same place every time so. Someone gets used to the fact that they know that this blue thing does that one thing that I need it to do. It, may seem super, obvious like what's, the big deal it's. Pretty obviously just use simple apps well. The big deal is that for. People in the trenches every day for. The technology that's available today, and, more accessible, to anyone today I just, read, a statistic for, peer Research Center that 95 percent of teens have access to a smartphone now so. If you extrapolate and, one in five people has. A disability that's, a lot of teenagers with disabilities, using smartphones. So. Using a single purpose app lowers. The cognitive, load they're not spending all of their time trying to figure out what it's supposed to do and how to work it. There's, more consumer, buy-in for anyone who's worked in the assistive technology field. We. Know that you have to include the person, the individual, in that in that process, of selection of assistive technology so, if there's buy-in for, something that's easy to use that. They can see then, there's greater potential, for success for, functional. Use. Of that device. To help the person because that's the whole goal of technology, technology, is not a magic bullet I'll say it again not. A silver bullet not, a panacea, it's a tool it's it's a powerful, tool and you. Know we're. We're, lucky to have these today. At this level, it. Integrative, provides for a defined or it supports independence, quickly. So again for these apps that don't require a whole lot of things to learn you. Can learn them quickly and so, not. Independence. In all areas, but, in certain areas for some people it's it's been a difference from night and day between. Functional, capability, more, independently, in a particular area, it. Provides. For a defined safe zone like I said they're gonna they're gonna be some settings in there that you want to set up especially for medication, apps. It. Integrates, into your daily life quickly, that's, another benefit. Some. Single. Purpose apps were, never. Designed for, special, needs but. What we love at bridging apps is for all of the brains. Who are using all these devices with different populations. Is that they have discovered, amazing. Creative uses, for those, apps that they were never designed for and a lot of those apps happen to be single purpose apps one, of my favorite ones does anybody use the talking tom apps there, were some early as I see one back there and.
There's A whole series now it's basically an app that does it's one screen a cat comes up and it. Repeats everything that you say in a high-pitched voice it's, hilarious, well, speech pathologist, started using this particular app because they discovered in working. With people. Who with autism who are non-verbal especially. Children, verbalized. When using that app so that became a reward in the speech therapy session so we. Love stories like that. If. Anyone had in the room has a, statistic. For me I would love to have it because when I was looking at trying to look at current eighty. Abandonment. Rates I've just, found this huge range so I threw this up there that 25, to 75 percent of 80 users, abandoned their device within. Three years and that's just that's just huge. Some. Of the common reasons were the lack of knowledge they're, too difficult they, had unrealistic, expectations. Of what it was supposed to do for them how it was supposed to improve their life or their function. I, know. I think, director. Martin, talked about. The, huge, DynaVox that his son had no interest in I mean that thing is huge if you've ever seen one so. Feelings, of embarrassment due. To excessive attention. Negative. Social judgement about using the devices poor, fit with the users need and a mismatch, between, someone's. Cognitive, ability, and the, sophistication, of the eighty device, that happens all the time and school, districts that we, work. With so. User, user benefits I'm gonna kind of speed up here because I don't have a whole lot of time, greater. Independence again, we already talked about reduces, frustration level. You. Can learn a task in a function really quickly. Greater. Success, and then confidence, to add other tools. To the toolbox adding other apps training, on other apps to help, some improve, somebody's function, and, it links this particular, tool, with a functional, need so kind of like a one-to-one this one does that one thing, socially. Acceptable, these are not big clunky, medical, devices that make you look different this makes you feel included. And. Again. A safe, zone. So. I'm. Going to show you I was gonna switch him back and forth with my iPad and that would take too much time so what I did is I put a series of screenshots of, some apps that I'm gonna go through and show you is just, examples so whenever I'm asked to demonstrate apps, it's really anguishing.
Because, It's. Hard to, know which ones to show so. I just chose a sampling. So. Some of the supports from single-use apps that I'm going to show you is. Medication. Management this, is one I've mentioned a couple times this is so huge for this population. For. Many people with cognitive disabilities, and multiple disabilities. Traveling, with without, in-person, assistance, again, that independence. Of not having someone over your shoulder all of the, time Maps. Things, that speak to you to tell you which way to go or incredibly. Important. Communicating. A new creative, different ways. Has, anyone ever heard of or used the, Marco Polo walkie. Talkie app. Anybody. Heard of that one so, Marco Polo is one that we've been using it base Clee records. A video message that, you can then share with somebody else who's in your social network in the app so. People can actually see somebody's, face and instead of leaving an audio message you can leave a video message for them so, we've been using that with people with different. Different. Cognitive disabilities. Task. Analysis. Tool. For learning new skills so breaking tasks, down into really small parts, or visual. Schedules, we've. Used been using these as an appointment, support to fade a job coach which. Again talked about cost savings and that person breathing, over your shoulder when, you're trying to start a new job you want to get rid of that job coach as soon as possible, and, also self-regulation, increasing. Stress, reduction. These. Are just an example, of some of the populations that we have worked with and in the Houston area that we've used some of these apps with, we. Have a project at a Children's Hospital also, with an, assisted, living facility. Residents. Who are fairly independent but all of them have some type of cognitive, decline and many, of them have different. Dementia. So. Again, very difficult. To decide what to show but, I'm. Just going to go through some screenshots of some apps that we have used anybody. Pillbox, a user in here. You. Have a pillbox, okay so pillbox. II is an, app that. Is. A visual medication, reminder, it literally is just a screen or two and so the screenshot that you see right there is, basically. A visual you can take a picture of your actual medication. And. What. You do when you set the times that you're supposed to take it you, drag that little pill drag, it down into a pill box so. It's. Just fantastic there, are lots of different, times. And, different tones. That you can use to, remind you so, again someone can learn to be much more independent, with. Their medication, using an app like this because it is so visual and because they actually do, the movements. Themselves. My. Coworker actually, uses it with her loved one with a disability and every Sunday night they. Sit and they have a real pillbox and they have all the medications, that out and they, practice on the app first and, so, this is just a great cognitive, tool you practice it over and over again, and it's really helped in the support of having. Her. Loved one be much more independent with medication, so. Pillbox, C is available, I think on only, on the on iOS, devices so, not all of these are for both platforms but some of them are. How. Many people have used PDF, Expert. Anybody. Used a document, editor ever. So. PDF Expert which. Is not shown here but PDF Expert is just a document editor that I find very complicated.
It's Basically, you take a picture of something and, you have all these different choices about what to do with it. Snap, type pro is an app that was developed by an awesome occupational. Therapist, in graduate, school so, she. Developed, this to solve a problem with some of the students that she was working with you. Basically take a picture of a worksheet of something, that needs to be filled out and if. You look I'm gonna see if I can use this if. You. Look at the top left at the the, circle, and. Then there's an oval. On. The right that's black that's. A slider and so you can slide it with your finger to, make the font huge, so. You don't have to go back into your settings and change the font you can do it right within the app and make, it big you also have a choice of different highlighters, I have it highlighted on yellow and you, can basically independently. Fill out a form my. 15 year old son does, not write well never write does not hold a pencil but. He can do this app, to. Do worksheets, to do forms, and then. When you in the top right you can see there's the share sheet it's. Really basically. How you share something it's the little square with the arrow, that goes out the top when. You export that out it doesn't have the highlighting, in and it doesn't have the large font so. Again, you can use this in lots of different areas, you can think of lots of different areas to use it with we've used it with a lot of kids in reaching, transition. Age that, are going that are never going to drive but. They still need to get a state identification, card so that's the example I have here is that of the form, that they have to fill out. But if some of them don't right then they have to have somebody to do that for them so. That is called snap type Pro. Can. Toons. This was an app that was developed out of the University of Victoria in Canada, it's, literally two screens, this. Is a music, player, so if basically. You can import your music, from. ITunes and it imports, like all of the art from the album so a lot of people really really love this especially especially. The older adult population. Because. You. Know now that we download, music all the time we don't necessarily see, the art from, like the record albums, or the CDs that we used to buy and this has really connected, a. Lot of older adults that we've used this with. With. Memories, and recalling, and just socially, connecting, with others but basically this app you. Can the. Screen on the left you, can choose the number of albums, that appear on the screen I, have haven't set right now to twelve so you see twelve circles, and, again. The little slider at the top a little dot you, can move that back and forth with your finger for the volume so. Lots of people have trouble figuring out on their phones and where is that volume and some people with physical issues can't get there but, here it's just a slider you can make it as loud or quiet as, you want the. Rectangles, on the right on the left at the bottom are. Basically, to go to the next screen so that's how somebody could tap and go to a whole other set of music so they can go forward and backwards, rather. Than trying to do it through iTunes or some something. Else that's a lot more difficult so. It promotes listening, to music independently they, also have a timer built-in where let's, say somebody likes to listen to music when, they fall asleep, but. Physically, they can't get up out of their bed and go and turn it off or they can't physically move their hand to do that you can set a timer to do that so, that's an app that we really love to promote independence, we've used it with lots of different ages. Simply. Saying this.
Is An app that was developed by Child Life specialists. Out of Arizona, in a hospital, and we. Loved it because it just has a few screens, and it, helps explain medical, procedures. People, with disabilities, have. A lot of sometimes. Not always have a lot of medical conditions. Sometimes. Things are done to them all the time that they don't, understand, what's being done so this is a simple, way to. Explain. And show and, part have someone, participate. In what. Is going to be done to them blood. Draws chest. Tubes and dose Capiz colonoscopies. There's. A little glossary, that explains stuff there. Is where, it says preps, it explains, preps with pictures, of machinery like an x-ray, machine or. An MRI machine. And. Then my favorite section which is the screenshot on the right is of, a person's, body their, heart and at. The very bottom again you see that slider. Where. You can slide it back and forth to make the marker bigger or smaller fatter, or thinner and you, can choose a color so imagine, sitting with someone explaining. What's about to happen or, even practicing, it days before, and then, happen then clearing it out and having them also, read. Ascribe, it or talk it through it's a talk through you, know it's a way to talk through so it was designed for medical professionals and for families but we have used it for all types of things for even in health classes teaching, parts of the body so. Many people with. Disabilities. Do not get health if. They're enrolled as special education they, know nothing about their bodies, unless. It's done at home so. We think that this is a really great app it's also available in Spanish so you can switch it into Spanish. There. I know there was a whole other session, on augmentative, alternative communication, so. But, I thought this app was just too important not to include this, is called the flip rider AAC, this. Is a super cool app as anyone used this app. This. Was designed for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. To. Have really, basic. Communication. Conversations. And also designed, to have them privately, so. It's literally this screen there are just a couple of settings and what, you do is you type in your message it. Has word prediction in, the middle and then. You see the other the same words flipped, upside down those. Upside down words are for your communication, partner, so. You're having you're, having a conversation and, then, they see exactly, what you're saying then, that person, can then respond, by speech to text that. Can actually respond, say. Something, and it will record, and type out their message back to the person. So. You can have a conversation, back and forth we've, used it in with. Lots of different people of different ages in, different environments assisted, living maybe, you don't want your roommate, or. Skilled nursing you don't want your roommate to, hear necessarily. What you're saying but, you know language, and you can type this out to talk to your nurse or to, talk to the aide that is about to do something that might be you, don't, want your roommate or somebody to hear we've used it in restaurants, some, people stopped. Going out to two restaurants, because the ambient noise is so loud they, just feel like they can't participate where, people have actually used this to participate in the conversation, in, restaurants. This. Is one other video it has no sound. This. Is a, very short video clip of a. One. Of our clients, named Clark and he. Was a firefighter, and he was injured during. His. Work and. Hurricane. Harvey. Gonna. Get emotional. Anyway. He has, an injury and he's, using an app you can see. He's, using a stylus. Do, you think. After. His injury he. Found. It very difficult to use his smartphone and even, more difficult to use the keyboard, on his smartphone he couldn't text he couldn't communicate and, so, we tried a lot of different things and then we ran across this. App which is called do pen script it's, a keyboard add-on there are lots of awesome.
Adaptive, Keyboards out there for smartphones, and tablets if you've never looked, just. Lots, of awesome ones for all types, of different, needs. And this, one worked for him because he wanted to write and it basically transforms. His writing, into. Text and then he can share that he can send it as a text message he can send it as a an. Email and. So. This has been a life changer for him. So. Just a quick wrap up here, against. In talking. About single purpose apps that we've used a lot. Consider. Starting with using them if, you're, introducing, technology with, somebody or they're getting one of these devices in order for them to be successful. Match. Apps to the needs and the desire of the user always person, centered they have to be involved in this process offer. Them a menu of options, to. Choose from, start. With one or two of the apps so. That you have lots of practice for skill mastery before, you move on to something else that's just true for lots of things when you when you learning something new. One. Thing that one tip that we found very helpful, in working. With lots of different people is is setting, up fewer apps per screen to reduce confusion so. We have one client, who actually has. One app per screen on their phone and they've, memorized the, count so they know that that thing that does that thing that they need is on, the third screen and they just count one two three and then they launch it so, that is their strategy that they came up with but just in general having. Lots of apps in folders and. Things becomes very confusing. So. We recommend setting up fewer apps per screen so. Of course I had to throw in a picture of my child a few years ago. I used, this as an illustration. He. Is, using, an app that is no longer available. Called. Drag board it was basically everybody, grew up with those refrigerator, magnets, right that looks familiar so, this was an app version, of that and this, is how he used to do his spelling words in school because. He didn't write right, and he didn't. Really wasn't really good at typing at that time so. He's dragon board to do all of the spelling words and. That app is no longer available so that is kind of a caveat for. Lots of apps we have seen come, and go which. Is why you don't, necessarily want to become dependent on just one and you're always what. We're trying to do is always keep up with the technology, keeping, up with which apps are available, which, apps go away we're, in touch with a lot of developers, so we sometimes even just ask them hey is this one coming ever coming back so. Just have a lot of options. For. People, to try and use, and we've I'm, going to show you and actually I'll go to that right now. We, are, integrating. A category. Of single purpose apps on the bridging apps website because we think it's so important, right, now it just exists, as a list so we have a list of maybe 25, of our, favorite ones that that we have found helpful for people for, again for both iOS and Android and these, are just a list of some of them and I'll just leave this this screen up. Some. Of them you've seen some of you haven't and, the. Last thing I would say is if you. Are using apps in your work if you're using apps personally. I would, love to connect with you and find. Out what you're using and again, we're always looking for reviewers, so if you get. Excited, about this then, please, contact me and we would love to talk to you about reviewing, and it's, very simple process and, we also try to pay a little bit because we recognize that people, we. Really value their expertise, and we want to get out of this siloed. Stuff. And. Put, it all together to be able to help people as much as possible. So, I'm going to go on to the next one which is basically just my contact, information. So. I think that's all I have and we I think I finished, almost on time so we have time for a couple of questions if you'd like but that's, pretty much it thank you so much.