Bookshare is an online catalog of digital books for people with visual disabilities, and is free to any student in the United States with a qualifying disability. Additional information on who can qualify for membership and proof of disability requirements can be found at Bookshare’s website at: http://www.bookshare.org/_/membership/qualifications.
For those that are comfortable with a needle, thread, and soldering iron, you can save a lot of money by converting your own toys for use with adaptive switches with this instructional video from Children’s Care Hospital and School in Sioux Falls. Arlen Klamm, Assistive Technology Coordinator, providers step-by-step instructions to adapt any electronic plush toy to work with a variety of adaptive switches.
For more information on Children’s Care, visit: http://www.cchs.org/.
The NoHands Mouse is a hands-free mouse that utilizes foot pedals, ideal for those with no or limited hand movement. Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux systems, one pedal controls movement of the cursor, while the other is used for clicking. Right and left click functions are accessed by a heel movement (right mouse button) and toe click (left mouse button). Interestingly, the commercial on the company’s website does not address disabilities per se, but is targeted at those looking to avoid carpel tunnel syndrome. Available for purchase directly from Hunter Digital, this alternative cursor device costs $359.99.
Susan Fleming, MN, RN, CNS and PhD candidate at Washington State University College of Nursing shares her experience working as a nurse of over 35 years. Having been born with only one hand, Fleming has excelled in her profession with the help of a prosthetic hand. While offering encouragement to others in the field with a disability, her experience can be enlightening to there rest of the biomedical community as they serve those with disabilities.
The Medical Library Association Guide to Health Literacy is a comprehensive introduction to the topic of health literacy in both the public and hospital library, including service to special populations. Included in the discussion of special populations is “Health Literacy for People with Disabilities” by Shelley Hourston.
Hourston discusses the barriers to health literacy facing the special needs population along with a brief overview of various disabilities: physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, brain injury, low vision or blindness, low hearing or deafness, mental health disabilities, and learning disabilities. Hourston notes that health literacy can be especially important for those with disabilities as they also tend to have an increased use of medication (p. 119).
Kars M, Baker L, Wilson FL,. The Medical Library Association guide to health literacy. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers; 2008.