AT to the Rescue!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


By MATP Staff Laura Hall, MSW


MedCenter 31-Day reminder system showing color coded pill boxes and alarmRecently, I had to take a leave of absence from Michigan Disability Rights Coalition due to a illness.  Normally, I am an extremely organized person, but in this case, all of that went out the window.  During that period and even now, assistive technology has been my saving grace.  Here are just a few of the things that have been getting me through:

My medication changed drastically during this time and it was hard for me to manage the new dosages.  I used the MedCenter 31-Day Reminder System with Talking Alarm Clock.  This system holds all of my pills for the month in daily pill boxes.  The boxes are numbered and color coded so I can know if I’ve taken by pills for the day.  The alarm clock, which I affectionately call “the nag” reminds me… repeatedly… when to take my pills).

Amazon Echo Dot in white and blackI have had an Amazon Echo (also called Alexa) for quite some time.  It became so useful to me while I was ill, I bought three more Echo Dots! Alexa was able to play relaxation music, play games with me, read my Audible books, and send voice messages to friends, family and co-workers, and even turn on and off my lights.   The things that Alexa is able to do (her “skills”) grows every day and I am excited to see what else she can do!

While I was at home, I was often unable to get into my power wheelchair.   As luck would have it, my power wheelchair also broke down at this time.  Transferring, especially into the shower with the help of my personal care attendant, was more dangerous than it has ever been.  To help with showering, I used a tub transfer bench (which comes in a variety of sizes and models), a pocket shower curtain to easily reach shampoo, etc, and…scuba shoes!  Scuba shoes? Scratching your head a little on that one?  Let me explain.  Scuba shoes are designed for scuba divers to protect their feet from rocks and debris and they have mesh that allows them to dry quickly . For me, they provide great grip and traction on slippery surfaces!  I also use them in aquatic therapy for protect the bottom of my feet.

Bottom of a scuba shoe showing tread and grip


I am so grateful to assistive technology for getting me through this rough patch.  I am also really happy to be back in action with the Michigan Assistive Technology Program (MATP) and contributing to this blog again!

How does AT “come to the rescue for you”?