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- Talking watches, clocks, timers, calculators, scales, and indoor/outdoor thermometers
- Talking heart and blood pressure monitors
- Writing aids, such as large "grips" for pens and pen designs that help reduce the "shake" and muscle pain of writing Tactile knobs for stoves with raised dots to indicate settings
- Battery-lighted magnifiers for reading
- Large-print labelers that print raised, half-inch-high letters and numbers onto sticky-backed tape
- Magnifiers for televisions and computer screens
- Voice-activated automatic telephone dialers
- Remote controls with large buttons and numbers for televisions, cable boxes, VCRs, and auxiliary components
- Computers with voice-recognition and speech software and large-letter keyboards
Where to Find Help with Seeing
American Council of the Blind
1155 15th Street, NW, Suite 720 Washington, DC 20005 (202) 467-5081 (voice) (800) 424-8666 (voice)
(202) 467-5085 (FAX) www.acb.org
Offers names, addresses, and phone numbers of companies and organizations that distribute catalogs and sell products for people who are visually impaired or blind.
American Foundation for the Blind
11 Penn Plaza, Suite 300 New York, NY 10001 (212) 502-7661 (voice) (212) 502-7662 (TTY) (212) 502-7777 (FAX) www.afb.org
Offers Making Life More Livable, a book featuring simple home adaptations for people with vision loss. Includes tips on using oven and stove knobs, finding clothes in drawers, labeling canned goods, and more.
Descriptive Video Service (DVS)
WGBH 125 Western Avenue Boston, MA 02134 (617) 492-2777 (voice) (617) 787-0714 (FAX) www.wgbh.org/wgbh/index.html. This national service makes many television programs and movies on video accessible to people who are visually impaired or blind by providing narrated descriptions of visual elements. Broadcast free to viewers. Offers information on how to access DVS as well as a home video catalog and television guide.
Lighthouse International, National Center for Vision and Aging
111 East 59th Street New York, NY 10022-1202 (212) 821-9200 (voice) (212) 821-9713 (TTY)
(212) 821-9705 (FAX) (800) 829-0500 (Information and Resource Line)
Offers a large-print consumer catalog that features products such as a prescription bottle magnifier, large-print playing cards, Braille speaker telephone, and much more. Catalog is also available in audiocassette and Braille and on computer disk.
HEARING - Tools and Gadgets that can Help
- Telephone amplifiers with adjustable tone, pitch, and volume
- Flashing-light phones, doorbells, and smoke alarm adapters
- Cordless headphones for televisions and audio devices
- Vibrating alarm clocks you can place under your pillow
You can find assistive devices in hardware stores, discount stores, pharmacies, and plumbing supply houses. Medical supply companies also stock useful items. Check your local Yellow Pages under "Medical Equipment and Supplies." Specialized catalogs are another place to look. Here are some resources for information about products and services that may help with your or a loved one's particular needs. By listing these organizations and companies, AARP is neither endorsing their services and products nor vouching for their quality.
Where to Find help with Hearing
Better Hearing Institute
5021-B Backlick Road Annandale, VA 22003 1-800-EAR-WELL (voice/TTY)
Offers a list of retail outlets that sell assistive listening devices.
League for the Hard of Hearing
71 West 23rd Street New York, NY 10010-4162 (917) 305-7700 (voice) (917) 305-7999 (TTY)
(918) 305-7888 (FAX)
Offers information on assistive listening devices and provides hearing rehabilitation and human service programs for people who are hard of hearing or deaf.
Self Help for Hard of Hearing People
7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1200
Bethesda, MD 20814
301-657-2248 voice, 301-657-2249 TTY, 301-913-9413 fax
Offers information on dealing with hearing loss and on assistive listening devices, cochlear implants, and hearing aids.
Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc.
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 604 Silver Spring, MD 20910 (301) 589-3786 (voice) (301) 589-3006 (TTY)
(301) 589-3797 (FAX)
Publishes and sells a nationwide text telephone (TTY) directory and provides information on where to purchase devices such as alarms, signaling devices, decoders, and TTYs.
REMEMBERING - Tools and gadgets that can Help
- Electronic pill boxes with an alarm that signals when to take medication
- Telephones with memory dialing and spaces for photos of people frequently called
- Timed faucets that automatically turn off water
- Audio cassette tapes and books with memory improvement exercises
Where to Find Help with Remembering
The Brain Injury Association, Inc.
105 North Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Promotes awareness, understanding, and prevention of brain injury thorugh education, advocacy, research grants, and community services supports. The 800 number Family Help Line offers information on where to obtain items to assist people iwth memory problems. Products include appointment calendars, beeping watches, spellers, and micro-recorders.
Crestwood Company Communication Aids for Adults and Children
6625 N. Sidney Place Milwaukee, WI 53209 (414) 352-5678 (voice) (414) 352-5679 (FAX) www.communicationaids.com
Founded by a speech language pathologist, the company offers a catalog of products designed for children and adults who are unable to communicate because of stroke, neurological disorder, brain dysfunction, hearing/voice/physical difficulties, or language barrier. Features such items as talking picture cards and speaking aids.
The Mature Mart
P.O. Box 545 Jesup, GA 31545 (800) 720-6278 (voice) (404) 881-9855 (FAX)
This one-stop online shopping mall features more than 20,000 products for daily living, personal care, dressing, and more. Products include a car door opener, easy-to-grip scissors and nail clippers, pill reminders, and a pedal exerciser.
MOMS (Mail Order Medical Supply)
24700 Avenue Rockefeller Valencia, CA 91355 (800) 232-7443 (voice)
Offers a home health care catalog featuring products for daily living such as ribbed door knob covers, padded eating utensils, a walker cane with a built-in reacher, a folding shower bench, and other items for persons experiencing
Tools and Gadgets that can Help with Getting Around and Performing Everyday Activities
- Plastic finger loops that help turn keys in doors and car ignitions
- Long-handled "reachers" for retrieving items on low or high shelves
- Implements that help people put on socks or stockings
- Lever-style adapters that make it easy to turn door handles and faucets
- Widened tub edges and grab bars to make getting in and out of the bath easier
- Clothing with Velcro fasteners
- Specially designed cooking tools, such as cutting boards with finger guards and can openers that don't leave sharp edges
- Rails, straps, and platforms that make it easier to get in and out of bed, up and down from chairs, or in and out of cars, and that generally make moving safer and less tiring
- Exercise machines and equipment that work well and safely for people with limited mobility and flexibility
Where to Find Help with Getting Around
Sears, Roebuck and Company
PO Box 804203 Chicago, IL 60680-4203 (800) 326-1750 (voice) http://www.sears.com/sears/specialty/homecat.htm
Publishes the Home Healthcare catalog, a comprehensive assortment of health care products.
PO Box 2021 Milwaukee, WI 53201 (800) 222-6161 (voice) www.jcpenney.com Publishes For Your Special Needs, a catalog featuring health care items, exercise equipment, beds, bedding, and bath aids. Also offers easy-dressing fashions for men and women.
6 Industrial Road Pequannock, NJ 07440 (973) 628-7600 (voice) (973) 305-0841 (FAX) www.maddak.com email: email@example.com
Manufactures products for independent living. Ableware catalog features products that help adults and children with eating, dressing, cooking, reading, writing, and more.
MOMS (Mail Order Medical Supply)
24700 Avenue Rockefeller Valencia, CA 91355 (800) 232-7443 (voice) www.momsup.com
Offers a home health care catalog featuring products for daily living such as ribbed door knob covers, padded eating utensils, a walker cane with a built-in reacher, a folding shower bench, and other items for persons experiencing arthritis, after-effects of a stroke, or similar conditions.
This website offers information about eating utensils, dressing and grooming aids, wheelchairs, canes, and walkers. Click on Senior Center, then on Personal Care and Mobility.
AARP Pharmacy Service www.aarp.org/gadgets/ The AARP Pharmacy Service mission is to serve the members of AARP by providing quality prescription and non-prescription medications and other health care products in a convenient, low-cost manner; and to enhance the value of services through education and information about medications and other health matters. Shop online for home health care products that can help you with mobility, bathroom safety, back pain relief, orthopedic relief, bedroom comfort, and much more.
Center for Assistive Technology 515 Kimball Tower University of Buffalo Buffalo, NY 14214 (716) 829-3141 (voice) (716) 829-3217 (FAX) wings.buffalo.edu/academic/department/hrp/ot/cat Conducts research and provides education and service to increase knowledge about assistive devices for persons with disabilities. Operates Project LINK, a service that links consumers with assistive device companies related to their needs. The toll-free number for Project LINK is 1-800-628-2281 (voice/TTY).
Disability Resources Monthly Four Glatter Lane Centerreach, NY 11720 (516) 585-0290 (voice/FAX) www.disabilityresources.org Offers comprehensive information on all types of disability resources, including assistive technology such as eating and dressing devices, canes, walkers, and wheelchairs. Offers "hi-tech" and "low-tech" assistive device information.
ABLEDATA 8401 Colesville Road, Suite 200 Silver Spring, MD 20910 (800) 227-0216 (voice) (301) 608-8998 (voice) www.abledata.com Offers a database of safe, accessible products. Covers everything from low-vision reading aids and adaptive clothing to white canes. Information on more than 20,000 products is available by phone, mail, or on the Internet.
TechKnowledge Information Clearinghouse Center for Rehabilitation Technology Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA 30332-0156 (800) 726-9119 (voice) in Atlanta, call: 894-1414 (voice) www.arch.gatech.edu/crt/Techknow/index.html ddinsite.gatech.edu (database Web address) Offers consumers information on where to find a vast array of assistive devices. Information specialists are available to answer questions and help callers define what assistive device they need. Consumers can also conduct online searches (using the database Web site listed above).
Information provided by AARP web site: resources for information about products and services that may help with your or a loved one's particular needs. By listing these organizations and companies, AARP is neither endorsing their services and products nor vouching for their quality.