Visual Languages Are Rich, Varied and Concept Based But Not Based on Words and Verbal Languages As A Foundation

Adaptive Living Tools & Visual Language Tools

It is hard to imagine not having words for anything at all. It is harder to imagine not having the language systems to give context and meanings to language and words. But, that is often what happens from traumatic brain injury, stroke and other physiological changes to the brain. It is part of it in many, many cases.

When looking for communicative devices and tools to help people with these difficulties, I noticed that most did not approach language as I did when trying to help myself recover from head injury’s effects. Almost all the tools on the market and suggested by neurology rehab groups were, (and still are), predicated on the assumption of basic language skills and systems within the brain being available to process them, context them and provide untold meaning to them. That doesn’t work in some basic sense when those circuits in the brain are damaged.

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Dining in the Dark

Emily Presents!

I had read about dining in the dark and finally had the opportunity to try it out when a friend decided to celebrate her birthday at Opaque, a restaurant in Los Angeles that offers this experience. There were 10 of us and we had a great time. It was an incredible and memorable experience.

I found the food to be perfectly fine, with the entree (salmon) being a bit too salty. But everything was edible and I left full and happy. However, it was the quality of the experience, not the food, that made the evening so worthwhile.

I was very uncomfortable for the first 5-10 minutes I was there. It was pitch black and I felt helpless and disoriented. Like my dinner mates, I mistakenly dipped my fingers in the butter when the bread basket was passed around and I frequently stabbed my fork vainly about my plate, unable…

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Wheelchairs for the Water

Unique Ability

The New York Times reports:

Beachgoers with mobility issues visiting Trinidad and Tobago can now use amphibious wheelchairs at a flagship beach that allow people with disabilities to safely enter the water.

Four amphibious wheelchairs are available free to visitors at Maracas Beach through the country’s new Amphibious Wheelchair Service. Two lifeguards per wheelchair take visitors into and out of the sea, and remain with them while they are in the water.

The idea for the service came about at a conference last year that included discussions about best practices for beach access for people with disabilities, and is provided by the Tourism Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism Life Guard Service Division and the National Center for Persons with Disabilities.

Continue reading over at The New York Times »

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You can never judge a book by its cover, or a person by his legs.

Non-excluding Design

A few days back, Lars offered us a great opportunity to experience what is it like to be in a wheel chair for some time. And all I can say about this extraordinary experience is that it is quite amazing how I had many different perceptions about being the person in the wheelchair. At first, I tried the electric wheelchair, which looked quite fascinating with pretty good capabilities & controllers. On the soft ground, it was very easy and nice to control; however, it also had several pitfalls. One of those pitfalls is that the late reaction time for the actions that you do. For instance, whenever I wanted to turn right, the system would take some time to respond after moving the controller that actually looked like a joystick. This might not be a good solution for someone who needs to immediately move in a certain situation. Another thing…

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Where’s the books?

Kim's Ability Books

Reading Waffles Every Day

 I guess you might be wondering where are the books in Kim’s Ability book(s).  That’s understandable that you might ask because I have one book, “Waffles Every Day” on my website. However, there are more to come.  They already have titles and exist in my mind. I have already named the characters and written the story lines.

You see, in order to be successful you have to picture that dream as if it has already manifested itself.  I already have the funding, the illustrator, the printing and production company.  

So, when I was thinking about what to name my website, with a little help from my friends at Projectline, we called it Kim’s Ability Books…plural.  The characters will have “abilities” instead of dis-abilities and be very successful in their own right.  

And though it takes money to publish or self publish, I am believing that it will happen.  I…

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Factors to Be Considered Before Moving To Assisted Living

Senior Care Placemnets

Assisted living can be of great help to a lot of elderly people, with a stable community of peers and a roster of caretakers that are sensitive to the needs of elderly and disabled individuals. Yet a few factors must first be thought through before committing to an agreement on paper:

Assisted Living Care

Physical fitness – the health of an individual is arguably the single most important determinant of his or her eligibility for assisted living. A perfectly healthy individual who can walk around and even get some constructive work done may find no need for nurses and caretakers, yet one who is frail and stricken by a disease will find the care reassuring – even lifesaving for those with serious conditions like diabetes or heart ailments.
Cognitive capability – the second most important factor is the mental condition of the individual. Those stricken by dementia, Alzheimer’s or some other disease that…

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Computers have built in accessibility? Who knew?

Jae Wonders

Some of you may be wondering why Jae seems to use “differences” for the more common “disabilities”. Good observation! I have several family members and friends who fit this extensive category and many have expressed the concern that disabled, or handicapped, focuses on what they can’t do, where they are much more concerned about “Can I?” and “How?” Most of us desire to do what we can, take command of our space, and achieve as independently as possible. This includes those with differences, whether physical or educational.
This week I have been looking at some of the accessibility features that are available on the “Big Three” Operating Systems that most individual users are familiar with – Android, Apple and Microsoft. These companies have developed large collections of features that encompass the needs of those with visual, auditory, movement/coordination and learning disabilities or differences. A quick glance through their websites will…

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Stereotypes of Disabilities and Struggles of The Entertainment Industry

Media

I stated in an earlier blog post that I was immediately drawn to the chapter on Cultural Analysis in the book Critical Media Studies: An Introduction because it dealt with the representations of what society often calls minority groups. I, being disabled am specifically interested in the representations of “disability” in the media. The disabled people are one of the groups that are “excluded” from TV and movies. This means that they are “symbolically annihilated or “written out of history through under representation in the media” (Ott and Mack 139), and when they are represented they are often stereotyped, which is the process of constructing misleading and reductionist representations of a minority… group, often wholly defining members of the group by a small number of characteristics” (140). Also, as mentioned in a previous blog disabled people are frequently portrayed by able bodied actors and actresses (MediaSmarts.ca and Henderson 2009).  Disabled…

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