Wednesday, September 12, 2012

ALS Service Locator for the iPad/iPhone

By Centers For Disease Control and Prevention


This CDC iPad application, brought to you by the National Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Registry, has been designed as a way for users to easily access the closest ALS service providers nearest the user’s ZIP code. The application allows a user to pick a particular type of ALS facility (Clinics, ALS Association (ALSA) Chapters or Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Offices), enter a valid ZIP code and perform a search. Alternatively, a user can use the geolocation feature to find their current location and use the returned ZIP code to perform a search. The results will return a map and table of the five closest ALS facilities nearest the provided ZIP code. The results are ordered from A – E, whereas A is the closest facility and E is the farthest facility. The tabular information contains the facility’s name, affiliation, address, phone and the approximate distance from the provided ZIP code. The map is fully interactive and allows the user to pan and zoom into the facilities location. The user can touch a facility point to get information on that particular facility.


iPad Screenshot 1
iPad Screenshot 2
iPad Screenshot 3
iPad Screenshot 4
iPad Screenshot 5

View In iTunes
  • Free
  • Category: Health & Fitness
  • Released: 05 September 2012
  • Version: 2.2
  • Size: 25.6 MB
  • Languages: English, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
  • Developer: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.

Customer Ratings

We have not received enough ratings to display an average for the current version of this application.

More iPad Apps by Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Giving everyone a voice: Researchers aim to improve alternative communication devices

Four University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researchers will be exploring the issues and challenges faced by those using synthesized speech. The researchers bring different perspectives to the project, which is funded by a $200,000 Center for 21st Century Studies Interdisciplinary Challenge Award. Shelley Lund is an associate professor of communication sciences and disorders; Patricia Mayes is an associate professor of English with training in linguistics; Heather Warren-Crow is an assistant professor of art theory and practice in the Peck School of the Arts; and Yi Hu is an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) technologies, developed in the 1970s and early 1980s, allow an individual to type what they want to say into a voice synthesizer, press a button and turn their typed words into spoken words.

Read more at:

Monday, September 10, 2012

28th Annual International CSUN Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference

The Center on Disabilities at California State University, Northridge is pleased to announce that the Call for Papers for the 28th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference opens next week.

The Call for Papers will open on Tuesday, September 4, 2012 and will close on Friday, October 12, 2012.

Please Note: The Call for Papers will be open for 6 weeks to provide presenters ample time to prepare and submit proposals by the deadline. We would greatly appreciate your cooperation by adhering to this timeline. This will allow our Program Committee to review submissions continuously throughout the Call for Papers and acceptance notifications can be sent out on the same basis. Your support of this request will help us prepare once again for this year’s early event dates. Additionally, if the Program Committee receives submissions on a timely basis it would not only alleviate the workload of reviewing last-minute submissions, but would benefit speakers as they would receive notifications sooner and could begin coordinating their arrangements for travel and registration.

Visit for more information about the Call for Papers and the 2013 CSUN Conference. We strongly encourage you to review the information carefully as several updates to the submission procedures have been enacted.

One of the most important updates includes announcing that this year we will be launching our on-line Journal. This information and more is contained in the Call for Papers Procedures and Instructions. Your cooperation in reading, reviewing and adhering to the policies of the Procedures and Instructions would be greatly appreciated and is necessary to ensure that you understand and agree to the submission process and the online journal guidelines.

Other important information includes:

Please remember that labs are not available for General Session presentations.

All sessions will be open and available on a first-come/first-save basis as the feedback from your 2012 conference experience indicated that this option was preferred over the former “save a seat” procedure.

Exhibit Hall News! The Exhibit Hall will open on Wednesday, February 27 at 12:00 pm!

Exhibit Hours will be announced and posted on the website soon so please visit the conference site for information.

The 2013 CSUN Conference will be held February 25-March 2 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego, California.

Sandy Plotin
Managing Director
Center on Disabilities
Call for Papers: September 4-October 12, 2012
Conference: February 25-March 2, 2013

St. Ambrose (Iowa) professor's technology helps disabled

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — One person's trash is another's treasure.

The old saying is most commonly used when describing a fun thrift store find or a roadside freebie. For Dylan Huntbach, one man's trash is his lifeline to independence.

Huntbach, 20, was paralyzed from the neck down when he dove from the shore and struck the bottom of the Cedar River in early July. He was airlifted to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and just recently returned to the Cedar Valley for intensive rehabilitation at Covenant Medical Center.

It was there that Huntbach met Katie Jo Wedeking, an occupational therapist and St. Ambrose University graduate. At St. Ambrose, Wedeking worked closely with Professor Jon Turnquist, an assistive technology professional.

At Covenant, she took that knowledge about assistive technology and put it to work for Huntbach.

Wedeking recently installed what is known as an environmental control unit in Huntbach's rehab room. The unit allows Huntbach to turn on his radio and his television, and to control the volume and channels. He can turn a lamp and a fan off and on and call his nurses at their station. He can even call his friends on the phone.

And when he leaves the hospital in just a few short weeks, Wedeking will install a similar system in his home at no cost to the family.

"This is my demonstration model, but I didn't want Dylan to have to wait," Wedeking said.

Similar units purchased through assistive technology companies would cost the family between $7,000 and $20,000. Huntbach said he used one of those units in Iowa City.

"It means more independence. I don't have to rely on someone to turn my TV or my radio on. I can just do it in the night or whenever," he said.

Huntbach's parents, Kim and Dave, said the device also has put their minds at ease.

"When he got his voice he could yell, but before he got his voice he could turn his TV up or his radio up and they would hear that," Dave Huntbach said.

Dylan uses a simple sip and puff switch to activate the computer program and make his choices. Others can activate the program using a tilt of their head, the tap of a finger, the pressure of their wrist, the flick of their big toe or even the blink of their eye.

"It is truly individualized for each person's ability and needs," Wedeking said.

Turnquist uses discarded computers, flatscreen monitors and other electronics to build the device for a fraction of the cost of the commercial options. The university covers the costs he does incur.
The only difference in the programs is the size of the unit. Commercial units are full computers housed inside small boxes that can attach to a chair or bed. People using Turnquist's program must have space for the computer in the room where they want the control.

Glen Henry, the former University of Northern Iowa swim coach who has been paralyzed from the chest down for more than eight years, said he had never heard of an ECU until Wedeking mentioned it during a therapy session. Now, he can't imagine life without it.

"Those are all outstanding assets I didn't possess prior to meeting up with Katie Jo," Henry said. "What it means to me is I have a lot more freedom to do some of the things I could not do before without assistance. I had to ask somebody to turn it on. Turn it off. Turn it up. Turn it down. Whistle and yell through the window for my wife on the other side of the house. I've explored and discovered there is some independence that has really come about because of this."

His wife, Karen, called the ECU "monumental" for the couple.

Turnquist, who also has a background in computer programming, started developing the program for the ECUs more than a decade ago in part because he was encountering patients he just couldn't help as an occupational therapist. His units, which are usually powered by computers up to a decade old, are now in hospitals and homes across the Midwest and even the world.

"All of these assistive technologies mean independence for the individual and also a decreased effort for the caregiver. Now they can get a break, too," Turnquist said. "Then, the patient starts feeling a lot better, not so helpless and hopeless."

And Huntbach is ready to start testing out some of that new assistive and adaptive technology. Next on his list of activities to tackle: the Xbox. The Microsoft Kinect's voice-activated feature already allows him to control his own movie selection, but he's got his sights set on playing video games again.

"That would be an example of the extremes you can take things with assistive technology and the things we have the capability of doing with adaptations," Wedeking said. "The things I have seen Jon Turnquist do with assistive technology is unbelievable. That he could potentially open up an Xbox remote and wire the connectors to adaptor remotes so that someone would be able to manipulate it to play their Xbox games, there is not a doubt in my mind that he can figure it out or direct one of his students to figure it out."
Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier,