PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
is not a complete list of adaptive goods vendors, cane or
computer suppliers; nor is this a sizable list of service
agents. As one lives the life of a person with a significant
disability such as vision loss, one's personal knowledge or
database for accessing material goods and services will DEFINITELY
grow. So be prepared to choose your favorite agent or supplier
through your own experience.
Goods -- Independent Living Aids Suppliers
Hosner Mountain Road
Stormville, NY 12582
(800) 454-3175 or (845) 227-9659
years, Ann Morris has personally gone to conventions and gatherings
of blind and visually impaired consumers, and it is not unusual
to strike up a conversation or even a budding friendship with
her at such a meeting. Ann has a variety of adaptive goods
available, tests them herself, provides good pricing and service
contacts, and is generally good to call if you need hard to
Living AIDS, Inc.
Plainsview, NY 11803
This company has an extensive list of products for a variety
of disability needs. They back their products with lenient
policies on returns and warranties and will usually record
your contact information so as to assist you in any way at
a later date.
Rehabilitation Technology, Inc. (IRTI)
& Customer Services, Attn. Sue Smonetti
134453 Colfax Highway
Grass Valley, CA 96945
(800) 322-4784 (530) 274-2090
has quality goods and warrantees, and they use and test their
products prior to sales. IRTI has free tape and print catalogs
to use and customers can also call or E-mail them for information
on their countless adaptive goods products.
Northbrook, IL 60065
LS&S has many unique recreational products, including
Braille and large print playing cards, adaptive board games,
beeping sports balls, audible flying disks, talking tape measures,
a talking chess computer, talking and Braille dice and more.
Call to find out more.
Vision Accessory Store (Vision Northwest)
SW Hall Blvd., Suite G
Tigard, OR 97213
Low Vision Accessory Store has hundreds of large and small
items for visually impaired consumers. Owned and operated
by Vision Northwest, the store has everything from table top
magnifiers and CC TV's, to small handheld items like monocular
lenses and watches. Call or visit the store to check out their
variety of useful items. The Low Vision Accessory Store is
near Portland, located at the Southwest corner of Hall Blvd.
and Greenberg Road, near Washington Square in Tigard.
Speak To Me Talking Products
SW 43rd Street, Suite 154
Renton, WA 98055-4976
Talking Products Company or the Speak To Me folks sell audio
products that cater to the general population as well as to
those consumers with vision impairments. Their variety of
items and gifts is large, so call or check their website for
further information on what they have.
use of and choice of a white cane is a personal decision.
There are too many cane companies and suppliers to list them
all here. Nearly all the previously listed adaptive goods
vendors sell canes upon order, and if you are familiar with
a company or type, ask them and they will surely sell you
your chosen cane.
standard rigid, white long cane is slowly being nudged out
of popularity by newer and more utilitarian collapsible canes,
which are usually lighter and more convenient in situations
where one must sit or put a cane out of the way. Although
there are many cane manufacturers, at present only one is
listed here. Ask an Orientation and Mobility Instructor to
show you a few canes, check out your vision impaired peer's
canes, use one or two and then choose BEFORE you contact an
adaptive goods dealer to order one. The average cost of a
collapsible cane is $20 to $25.
Hesperia, CA 92345
(760) 956-5265 (866) 332-4883
Fax (760) 956-7477
and Tammy Carmer are the owners of California Canes, and they
have exhibited at many conventions of blind consumers. Their
several styles of canes have been received very well, as they
are very strong, lightweight, and their canes hold a lifetime
replacement warranty. Jeff is blind and the product he has
developed was one of the first carbon fiber, graphite canes,
which can be purchased in either collapsible or rigid form.
Jeff's collapsible canes have very deep ferrules (the connector
that slides between the joints) and this factor makes them
very sensitive, flexible and nearly indestructible, while
maintaining a light weight for hand control and comfort. Call
California Canes and talk to Jeff personally about your particular
cane concerns or a price list. He will enjoy talking to you
and happily make a customized cane upon request.
this new age of computerization, a computer at home or work
should be considered a most valuable independent living aid.
Persons who are blind or visually impaired have certainly
not been excluded within the changing sphere of computerization;
rather we have nearly been overwhelmed with products and services
that can enhance access to mainstream computers and like electronic
systems. A person who is vision impaired can now go into any
computer store, buy a system off the shelf at a normal price,
then go home and load the complementary adaptive technology
that will be appropriate for their individual needs. That
is of course if they have previous knowledge of computers,
and can afford the appropriate hardware and software; that
probably eliminates most of us.
are far too many topics and resources related to assistive
technology (also commonly called access or adaptive technology)
and computers to cover in this listing. So, this section discusses
only two areas specifically for those who may not know much
or anything at all about computers, and then lists an Oregon
direct resource for access technology.
you are new to computers in general or have recently lost
sight and need to learn about the adaptive technology involved
with accessing computer systems, here are two suggestions:
contact your local community college's Disabled Student's
Office and inquire about the availability of classes on computers;
or it might be more sensible to become a client of the Oregon
Commission for the Blind and get adaptive computer technology
training through them.
computers as a novice is not easy for anyone, and it will
take serious education to learn the proper techniques to negotiate
the Internet, word processing, data systems and other functions
that computers are regularly used for. Add vision loss, and
handling computers may not be easy, though with training it
is possible and for some, even addictive. If you do have a
real desire to learn about computers and the access technology
that could put you in the game, get a head start and check
out books from your local Talking Book Library (see details
below). They have many books on general computer topics, and
books on software systems for persons who are vision impaired.
you decide to investigate the available opportunities at your
local college, remember that the Disabled Students Office
will have adaptive equipment available somewhere on campus,
but this equipment will be for registered students only. Unfortunately,
not all community or even state colleges or universities offer
classes in adaptive technology. So consider when taking a
computer class that the curriculum will probably cover only
general computer hardware, application software, and the skills
involving standard computer use.
you decide to look into the opportunities that becoming a
client of the Oregon Commission for the Blind might allow
you, know in advance that this bureaucracy cannot train you
overnight. But the training you will get totally addresses
your individual situation as a person with a vision impairment.
Being a Commission client also means far less time or financial
constraints. In some cases and after training, the Commission
can even provide clients hardware or software.
your local Oregon Commission
for the Blind office and get the details from a lead counselor.
you have previous knowledge of computers and feel that you
can learn on your own about adaptive technology that can assist
you with reentry into computerization, there are some simple
ways to catch up without training. Joining a computer club
or reading magazines and books related to the field are good
ways to catch up on current technology. Both the ACB and NFB
have very good resources listed within their journals each
month that are related to vision-impaired users of computers.
Also there is a magazine called Vision
Enhancement, that though usually for low vision users,
has many reviews of adaptive computer technology. Also refer
to the NLS magazine Listings,
to see what selections they might have to offer in the way
of computer technology.
out the college, Commission and literary options to see which
might best suit your needs. However, as a person with a vision
impairment, do not venture into the well populated field of
commercial training or computer education companies. Private
"pay to learn" schools or companies are for the
general and fully-sighted public; most of these for-profit
schools do not even teach their fully-sighted consumers any
comprehensive skills. Investigate, beware the quick fix pitfalls,
and get into adaptive technology when you're ready to join
final resource in Oregon is a federally funded, statewide
program often referred to as Talon or Technology Access for
Life Needs. The Talon or Access Technologies, Inc. contact
Technologies, Inc. (ATI)
Lancaster Drive NE
Salem, OR 97301
Salem Administrative Office: (800) 677-7512 (503) 361-1201
Portland Office: (503) 725-8395
provides equipment or services that will make it easier for
someone with a disability to live more independently, work
at a job, learn in an academic environment, or pursue recreational
activities. ATI specializes in accommodations related to independent
or daily living, education or employment accessibility, worksite
accommodations or assessment, oral communications accommodation,
orthopedics technology and accommodation, and even recreational
accommodations for Oregonians with disabilities.
should be viewed by persons with disabilities in Oregon as
an enabling problem-solving agency that can assist them in
enhancing their life through a variety of technological solutions.
ATI does not only serve state or federal agency consumer-clients;
they will provide information and/or services to nearly anyone
who calls with a valid need or request. ATI will work out
of their office areas, and they have a sliding scale for the
payment of services or equipment. If you cannot figure out
a solution to your individual disability or technology-related
difficulty and are wondering if some form of adaptive technology
or training might not be the cure, contact ATI for assistance.