Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Cognitive Innovations to Promote Independence in the Home and in the Community conference call. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question-and-answer session, and instructions will follow at that time. If anyone should require assistance during today's conference, please press star (*) then zero. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. Now I would like to welcome our host for today's conference, Mr. Peter Berg. Sir, you may begin
Thank you very much. At this time, I would ask you to do a sound check to make sure our captioner can hear you.
Thanks, Peter. Just doing a sound check so that the captioner can hear and identify
All right. Very good. Thank you, Sandy. My name is Peter Berg with the Great Lakes ADA Center. At this time, I am going to go through some introductory slides before we get to the top of the hour, and we will begin today's ADA audio Conference.
I am on slide number 2. The sound for today's session is being provided through your computer, if you are in the webinar room. You can control the audio within the webinar room through the audio & video panel. You can increase/decrease the volume through that panel. If you are having any sound quality problems, please access the Audio Setup Wizard, which is located in the audio & video panel.
Captioning for today's session is being provided within the audio & video panel. Click on the captioning icon to open up the captioning window. That window can be resized and moved to meet your specific needs. The captioning transcript, you can save at the end of the session, you can save the captioning transcript as a text file.
I am on slide number 4, and I just wanted to briefly cover some useful keyboard shortcuts that can be accessed by anyone and may be of assistance for individuals using assistive technology within the webinar platform. You can get the full list of keyboard shortcuts from the drop-down menu under the Help tab. To increase the volume within Windows, control-up arrow. For Mac users, command-up arrow increases volume. To decrease volume, for Windows users, it is control-down arrow. For Mac users, command-down arrow. To move your cursor to the Chat area within -- for Windows users, that's control-M. That puts focus in the Chat area so that you can enter questions or submit comments through that area. For Mac users, again, that's going to be command-M.
Slide 5, to open up the captioning window, control-F8 for Windows users. For Mac users, that's going to be command-F8. To control -- to close the captioning window -- I am sorry. To close the captioning window, for Windows users, that's going to be alt-F4. For Mac users, that is going to be command-W. Individuals can access the Blackboard platform through mobile devices. Mobile devices supported include the iPhone, iPad, Android devices, and Kindle Fire. You can download the Blackboard Collaborate app through your device's store. Be aware that captioning is not supported through the app, and access for screen reader users, voiceover users is limited within the app itself.
On slide 7, you can submit questions during today's session by entering them in the Chat area. Again, control-M will put focus in there, command-M for Mac users. Even though you do not see that your question has submitted, the question is viewable by the moderators and today's presenter.
And again, you can submit your questions throughout the sessions.
For those of you that are connected by telephone, when we get to the point in the presentation where Sandy will take questions, we will have our operator rejoin us and give telephone participants instructions on how they can ask questions. For mobile users, you can submit your questions directly into the Chat area within the app.
Slide 8, you can customize the view within the webinar room. The whiteboard where the PowerPoint presentation is being displayed can be resized. You can do that by accessing the button that is located to the side and left of the whiteboard. The audio/video, the Chat, as well as the participant list can all be resized. Those can be moved, they can be made larger, they can be made smaller. And you can do that by detaching them using the mouse. And you can access the icon that is in the upper right-hand corner of each one of those panels in order to resize that.
Slide 9, setting preferences. There are a number of audio and visual preferences that by default are turned on. They can become distracting for you as a participant. You can turn these preferences off by going to -- selecting Edit from the toolbar, then select Preferences. Scroll down to General and select Audible Notifications and uncheck any of the audible notifications that you don't want to be notified of, and then do the same for the video preferences. Make sure that you unselect those items and select Apply in order to make those preference changes.
For individuals using screen readers, those preferences can be set through that same manner, as well as within the activity window. For screen reader users, you can access and follow along with the PowerPoint presentation in the Activity window. The Activity window may be opened using control-slash. For Mac users, that's command-slash that opens up the activity window. To close the activity window and return to the main webinar room, alt-F4, command-W for Mac users.
If you have any technical issues during today's session, you can go to the participant list, select Great Lakes, click on that. A private chat window will open. You can enter your issue there. That will go directly to the moderator, and the moderator will follow up with you, or we will have someone from our technical assistance staff follow up with you. You can also send an email to webinars@ADA-audio.org, or you can give us a call at 877-232-1990.
>> Recording started.
Alright good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the June session of the ADA audio conference series. The ADA Audio Conference Series is a project of the ADA National Network, the ADA National Network is comprised of ten regional centers, and we are a leader in providing information to you regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act. You can find information about your ADA Center by visiting www.ADAta.org or by calling 1-800-949-4232. Today's session is Cognitive Innovations to Promote Independence in the Home and in the Community. I am very pleased at this time to introduce our speaker for today. The Speaker for today's session is Sandy Hanebrink, and she is the Executive Director of Touch the Future Inc. So welcome, and thank you very much for joining us today, Sandy. Sandy will go through her presentation, and at the end, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. So Sandy, I will turn it over to you at this time.
All right. Thanks, Peter. Welcome, everyone. I am very happy to be here to share some new technology innovations that we're excited to be a part of. These innovations not only support individuals with various disabilities, but are also universally accessible and available in multiple languages. Some of the technologies I am bringing forward are products of Touch the Future; ATE, which is Assistive Tech Europe out of Belgium, and Signaids. The whole goals are processes to improve autonomous independence through remote support, support of inclusive environments, and then part of an international movement and in an affordable and accessible manner. So what we are going to do today is take a look at some AT options for smart home technologies, apps and mobile technologies, devices that may provide employment support, monitoring technologies, and community mobility.
So one of the devices that we are excited about is the Bluelites. The Bluelites is an add on device that can work with any PC or Android device, and it turns your traditional computer into both an environmental control unit as well as a loudspeaker for communication. This device is -- works with your infrared remotes, like your televisions or other line-of-site type remote controls. It also does z-wave, which can be wired like your light switch, or thermostat controls, or modules that you can plug into and then plug into an outlet. The modules themselves act as a booster for each other, so if you have a weak signal, say in the back of your house and you forgot to turn a light off or something, you have a weak signal, if you plug another module in in-between, it boosts the signal. The beauty of these devices is the z-wave modules can be purchased at -- online or through traditional stores like Lowe's, Home Depot, and even Wal-Mart.
The built-in features of the Bluelite includes four radio switch control ports, as well as an expansion that can do eight. So you may use the device for communication with, say, four of your contacts, and then environmental cultural for the other. It is now ready for both the DAISY mount, as well as the mount mover. It is rechargeable and a Bluetooth device, so it can either be connected through a connecting plate or it can be sitting on the shelf or even in a backpack or under a chair so that the user experience is using the device with only the tablet in front of them or computer in front of them.
Another device that has taken on kind of an interesting set is our smart light bulb. It is an LED light bulb, it's dimmable, and it changes colors. And at first, we were using it just for environmental control. It is Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC, and with a single contact point, you would be able to use your mobile phone or tablet to tap the content point without any wiring to signal to turn the light on. So if you drove up into your driveway and tapped it, you could turn the light on from your car, or maybe you have a light where the switch is in a hard-to-reach area, and you could make that light accessible by putting a contact even on the arm rest of a wheelchair. In addition to that, added features, it does change colors. So it is programmable. You can use it to flash one color for the doorbell and maybe red for an alarm and then blue for the phone. So you can program it to signal for different reasons. You can also use it for sensory support so that it will change colors and be a mood light, if you will, to the sound of music. It does have a timer on it, and now we are testing a new addition to it where we've added a speaker to it, so now not only will it signal with color, but it will signal audibly. For instance, you could program it for if an alarm goes off to say "fire alarm" or "kitchen firearm alarm" versus "bedroom fire alarm." So it gives universal access, more information to people who need it in the way that they need it. All in the light bulb.
One of the apps we helped to develop is a set of apps called Cloudina. Cloudina apps are designed specifically with the intent of making it easy to use and tailor-made to provide autonomous independence for individuals with cognitive/intellectual disabilities or communication disabilities. So it -- so within the apps themselves, you can use one or all of the apps. It just depends what the user's needs are. It's also supported through a virtual coach, so it enables the individual user to use their Cloudina in public and have the assistance of everyday citizens to help them achieve whatever task it is that they are trying to achieve, and then if necessary, to have connection to their coach or care provider. It's all done through a cloud-based management system, so that you can set the schedules and items and change things real-time and on an incident to incident or day-by-day or monthly basis, whatever is necessary. So the apps are currently available on the Cloudina are the Calendar, the Phone book or Telephone app, the Photo album, and Blue Assist. And soon the camera -- simplified camera, which will automatically load to the Photo album, and then Viamigo, which is a wayfinding application will be available. They are currently in research and testing.
So with the Cloudina calendar, it supports the user in organizing his or her daily activities to prevent missing appointments or forgetting to execute tasks. So you can see you can select the icon for the Cloudina calendar on your mobile device, which is available in both the iTunes and Google Play. You can set the images so that they are specific to the user and meaningful to the user. The calendar can also speak the events, so say if it's an alarm and it's time to wake up, instead of it just vibrating or ringing, it would say "wake up, wake up." It gives cuing so that if it's grayed out, that means it's a past event. If it's bright, it's an event to come. And then if it's current, there would be a red square around it. Within the individual event screens, you can have an image. You can have a message or a direction for instructions, the date and time, and then at the bottom of the screen, there are a series of small squares that are empty when -- to indicate the periods of time, and you can set those increments of time from anywhere from 30 seconds up to 30 minutes so that it's cuing on how much time is left until the event occurs. Once they are all completely solid, then that means the event is current. So you might have, if you are looking at two of the screens and you have on those screens, like, Eat dinner. Excuse the spelling there. It's in Dutch because it started in Belgium. So you have a picture of a family eating dinner. And it shows that there are four squares full and four squares empty. With that indicating that with those being in 15-minute increments that you're an hour out from dinner versus the next screenshot is of the dog with a message of let the dog out is fully lit, meaning it's current, and there's a red checkbox there because on events, you can either set the event so that the individual user has to confirm the event or not. So if you want to provide them support remotely, if an event comes up and they haven't confirmed it, then you can contact them and give them a reminder. So again, it allows for that remote support without having to be there.
An example of that is if someone doesn't get up or they don't do their job or they don't take their medication, it may be important for you to know. If they don't brush their teeth, you probably care, but unless it's a specific thing you’re trying to work on, you know, it's an individual choice. It allows you to still set reminders or things in place on cue for things that you need to cue for. So as you can see on this slide, it's the picture of the dog and let the dog out with all four of the cuing squares lit.In the calendar lineup, it would show the past events are grayed out, the current event is in case there's a red square around it, and then the future events are bright, indicating they are still to come.
So on the next app, it's a telephone app, and with the Telephone app, it makes it very easy to contact others. You can send GPS coordinates to a contact person, and if a person is granted permission, they can locate the user in case of emergency. So with the telephone app, by selecting the app icon, you can go to your list of contacts, and the list of contacts can be in a grid where there's a series of contacts, it can be images, or it can just be words. The images themselves, if you are using Voiceover, or have it set to speak the names, it will speak, so it helps individuals with visual impairments as well. You can also set time periods where people are available or unavailable. So if someone is unavailable, it's going to X them out or gray them out and make them unavailable at the time. You can also set it up so that only one contact at a time is visible, and you can arrow over in the settings or you can touch the arrow to go forward and back between your contacts. You can have it where it has the picture and the name and the button for the phone number to call them with the number showing or without the number showing. Depending on what privacy settings that you desire.
Also, you will see at the bottom of the telephone button is a picture of a globe, and for individuals with visual impairment, they can find it just above their reset button in the center of the screen at the bottom. By pushing the globe button, the individual user can send an SOS with GPS coordinates to the designated coach or care provider. That enables the coach to know where they are and that they need help at that location. And again, if a coach is granted permission, they can also send a text to get location and get the GPS coordinates of an individual. So it allows someone to be independent in the community. So we have users with intellectual disabilities who are using this application, and if they are not where they are supposed to be on time or you haven't heard from them, they haven't checked in in a while or whatever, you are able then to locate them and then give them a call and, you know, provide whatever assistance may be necessary to keep them on track.
With the BlueAssist app, the BlueAssist actually is an app that was built out of the development of the BlueAssist icon, which is the question mark over the man with the blue background. This icon encourages the user to contact others. It's not necessary to carry multiple cards. When we started with BlueAssist, we started with just business cards, with different locations on them and messages, but now with the app, you can customize it and it makes it much easier to use.
And it also enables a user to use their own phone and not to rely on others' individual phones to make it work. With the BlueAssist app, just like the others, you would select the BlueAssist icon, and then you would -- in the management system, you would add in whatever the messages are specific to the user. So you have typed in a message like "I need to get off the train at Union Square. Could you please give me a sign when I get there?" Or there's also, then, a picture of that is familiar to the individual or meaningful to the individual, and then a green bar with CALL on it, which enables the user or the person to be able to call the coach for help. So if I show my message to someone on the street and they are able to help me, my problem is solved. If they are not able to help me, then they can call my coach, and my coach can explain to this individual how to help me or, worst-case scenario, they can come get me. So again, the messages can be totally customized depending on where you are, and it could be you are trying to go -- you are in Washington and want to see the Lincoln Memorial, and you want to know if this is the right bus stop. If not, they can call the coach. We generally have a general HELP button so that when in doubt, you can't prepare for everything, you have the HELP button, and it basically says hi, my name is Jenny and I am confused. And I don't know what to do. Please call my husband by tapping the green button. Thank you. And then they are able to get that assistance. So it builds a lot of confidence. And independence.
Hey Sandy -- sorry to interrupt you real quick. Could you just help orient folks by letting them know what slide you are on?
I sure will, sorry about that Peter.
Nope, thank you.
Okay. So I am on slide 32, and this is a picture of a BlueAssist user on the train showing the engineer, the driver, a message. And that says "I need to get off the metro at Waterloo station. Could you give me a sign when I get there, please? Thank you." So that enables a user to independently use transportation with the assistance of the device and the other individual. So, and I will go into BlueAssist a little bit more so you can kind of see how it works later in the presentation.
Also with the Cloudina app -- I am on slide number 33 -- is the Photo album, and the Photo album is an app that kind of really evolved to do a lot more than we had originally thought. So it enables someone to communicate about his or her family, their hobbies, etcetera, with just regular storyboards or basic communications. But it can also be used for cuing or as a shopping list, and also as a built-in job coach that shows step by step how things can be done. So in slide 34, we have a Photo album that shows how you would select that icon, and it would open your screen of albums. And so with three different pictures of, like, a person tying a shoe, a horse, and a tomato, those would be the images of different albums that can be selected.
In slide 35, it shows how using it as a step-by-step tool or a job coach, if you will. It shows step by step how to tie your shoes. With step 1 in the picture, step 2 of a picture of the next step in creating a bow on your shoe, etcetera. Well, just like you can use it for step-by-step for a task like tying your shoe, it might be used as this is how you do your job, and this is step 1, step 2, step 3. So again, the words that you type can be read as well as having the image and the ability to go back and forth. So you would have a visual and an audible cuing and the ability to go back and forth with the steps as needed to complete a task.
On slide 36, we have the screen again with the selection of folders. So if you were to select the folder that has a picture of the horse on it, if you have also tagged it with words, it would read it. So this is an example of just being able to show you can use it to show things that someone is interested in or maybe someplace they have been or an activity they've done, and then they can select between the different images in that folder in order to communicate with individuals. On slide 37, we have the folder screen again, where if you were to select the folder with the tomato on it indicating that was your shopping list, it could be used for cuing or also communication. So with the shopping list, this depicts the shopping list, it has a carrot on there and says you need 10 pieces. There's also pictures of other fruit and vegetables at the bottom to continue to scroll through so that you can both remember your list or be able to communicate to someone if you're nonverbal on what items you need and in what quantities.
So moving out of the applications and into some of the other home and community supports is on slide 38 is for monitoring. It's our Kunectu camera. With the Kunectu camera, it is a very small Wi-Fi and Bluetooth installation that the camera is smaller than the palm of your hands. With this picture here, there's actually somebody's index finger on top to kind of give you a perspective on the size. With it, you can monitor things remotely. You can control the tilt and angle and 360 degrees. It does allow for two-way talking, so you can both monitor visually and verbally. You can -- it monitors motion both in normal light and with night vision, has humidity and temperature control, and so it can be used also with -- it also has 3G capability, so if you don't have Internet access, you can still communicate through 3G. With this device, it's been very interesting the different applications that individuals are using it, everywhere from just a personal alarm system to monitoring -- providing care for their parents from -- who may be starting to have some cognitive deficits to support to individuals with cognitive and intellectual disabilities who are living independently.
Again, with the Bluetooth monitoring motion detection, it can awake you if someone wakes up at night and starts to leave that may be confused or just providing that added security to make sure that someone you are providing remote support to is safe and no one has entered their house or area that shouldn't be. You can also set the sensitivity and program it for noise detection and sensitivity. So if there's a window break or things like that. And it will alert you to your phone or to your computer. So this has been a fun product to develop and see -- and those of you who are dog owners, in the dog community, dog owners are loving this for dog shows because it lets them know if their dog gets out of the crate when they’re at competitions or at the hotel or if their vehicle is getting too hot and unsafe for their animals. So lots of universal applications.
On slide 39, it's our Kunectu watch, which looks just like a sports watch, and we have both adult and children sizes, and it is actually a mobile phone, monitoring-type phone. It enables you to do two-way communication. It has an SOS button so the user can -- that can be enabled or disabled. The user is able to push the button, and it calls the three people that it's programmed to call so that they can get assistance. It allows for remote monitoring as both GPS tracking or through listening. You can set a geo-fence with this device, meaning you can set a safe zone, so maybe you have a child with autism that is out playing in the yard, which is perfectly fine. But if they start to get to the edge of the yard, you would get an alert before they are in an unsafe situation. If the individual is missing or in an unsafe situation, you'd be able to use the GPS feature to track them. A newer version that is being tested right now which also has fall detection, so it provides great benefit to individuals that are at risk for falling, for seniors, for individuals with epilepsy, etcetera.
On slide 40, we have the monitoring device, which is we call our Kunectu School ID Phone. With this School ID Phone, it again has a geo-fencing and GPS signal. It is a mobile phone. It allows you to voice monitor. It has an SOS button and allows family members -- a limited number of additional numbers that can call in. And the calling can be controlled so you can set -- limit the outgoing calls that can be made, say, during school hours, etcetera. With this device, it does have an SOS button that you can see on the back of the device. On the front might be the school ID and their information with a picture. On the back are three buttons where you can make calls. And then at the very bottom button is the SOS button. You can also add pictures or words next to these buttons that enable it to be easier to use by the individual.
With monitoring, again, we have on slide 41 a Senior Phone that shows a basic phone. It has bigger buttons and a larger screen. It has a larger loudspeaker, a little bit larger battery so it lasts a little longer. It also has a little FM radio and a flashlight. On the back, under the camera, is a SOS button that, again, you can push one button and call the three programmed numbers. Whoever answers first is who would be able to talk to. This particular phone is also unlocked so that it can be used with multiple service providers, and the SIM card that we provide is borderless, meaning it can be used internationally. So if someone goes on a cruise or travels abroad, the device will work in most countries so they don't lose the technology. Again, you can -- it has the GPS location feature built into it so you can provide support to that individual. So with the devices that I've gone over so far, are there any questions or stuff before I start moving into more of the community access devices?
All right. Thank you, Sandy. Folks, if you have any questions at this time on the apps and devices that Sandy has already discussed, please go ahead and submit those questions into the Chat area in the webinar room. Again, control-M puts focus -- puts the cursor focus into the Chat area. Command-M for Mac users. Again, when you submit your question, you will not see that, but you can -- the question will be viewable by moderators and the speaker.
And we have one question here, Sandy. Someone is asking are the Cloudina apps screen reader accessible, voiceover, talk back and do you make the apps available for a trial/demo period or do people have to purchase the yearly subscription –- yearly plan in order to try them out?
Yes, all the apps you can set the -- to speak the messages and speak when they are touched. The -- as far as trial, yes, there's always a 30-day free trial period, and then the apps can be purchased on a monthly or an annual subscription. And you can purchase them as a bundle or individually. So you can pick and choose what -- whichever apps are necessary for you.
And I am sorry, Colleen, if you could come on and give our telephone participants instructions on how they can ask questions at this time. I would appreciate that. Thank you.
All right. Ladies and gentlemen, if you have a question at this time, please press star (*) and 1 key on your telephone keypad. If your question has been answered or you wish to remove yourself from the queue, press the pound (#) key. Once again, to queue in your questions, press star (*) then 1.
Sandy, while we are waiting for that we have a question that came in via email, while we wait to see if there are any telephone questions. This individual wants to know -- has a comment, are you aware -- is BlueAssist being used by travel trainers that work for transit agencies? And the individual's comment after the question is, you know, this seems like using the BlueAssist would be a great way to possibly work with individuals with intellectual disabilities and allow them to be able to travel independently on transit systems using, you know, this type of app on a smart device. And they were wondering if you are aware of any agencies that are using something along this or have developed programs.
Yes, it is, and I am going to go into some more on the BlueAssist and actually show a video on how it's being used, but one of the primary reasons for the development of BlueAssist was for community mobility and independence of individuals with cognitive/intellectual disabilities.
Fantastic. All right. So you will address that more in just a little bit. Colleen, do we have any questions on the telephone at this time before we proceed with Sandy's presentation?
I am showing no questions in queue at this time.
Alright, excellent. Sandy, why don’t we go ahead – And there will be another opportunity for folks to ask questions, so why don't we proceed.
Okay. Great. Thank you. So with looking at community mobility, one of our partners is Signaids, and Signaids is a company out of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. And the evolution of Signaids is utilizes proprietary software that we developed with chips, NFC chips and QR coding that basically makes community access and areas -- to provide better access pretty much unlimited both internationally in over 60 different languages with screen reader capabilities in 16 languages, as well as the ability to use pictograms and other universal images to communicate information individuals need.
So on slide 42, the Signaids diagram shows many of the areas that the Signaids technology is currently being used with tourism, for culture reasons, parks and trails, recreation, healthcare, facilities with transit, and education. So some of the examples of how we're utilizing Signaids is we have a contact point that can be added, and Signaids is kind of this little dot with kind of sound wave symbols coming off or frequency lines coming off of it. By adding simple contact points, it creates a gateway...
Oh, Sandy, are you still there? We have apparently lost our presenter at this time. So let's -- we will pause here for a second while we get Sandy reconnected. Sounded like she lost her phone connection. While we have a moment here and wait for Sandy to rejoin us, just want to remind folks that our next ADA audio conference session will be taking place on July the 21st. This is -- typically has been the most popular session of the ADA Audio Conference Series. This is the annual ADA update. As we approach the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we will hear from representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of civil rights, Disability Rights Section, and we will also hear from a representative from the U.S. equal employment opportunity Commission within the ADA division at the EEOC.
Colleen, do we have Sandy back on the line?
Not yet. She hasn't dialed in yet.
She has not dialed in yet. Okay. We will continue to wait for her.You can get information about that upcoming session and registration for that session by visiting www.ADA-audio.org. And again, thank you for your patience as we attempt to reconnect with our speaker, Sandy. Colleen?
Yes, I am here.
Okay. Still no Sandy?
Okay. Hopefully she is not still presenting and talking to herself while she thinks she is connected to the session. Want to give participants a heads-up on what's going to happen. I will go through this briefly again when we get to that point. We will be showing a video in just a few more slides. I apologize, but we have a technical issue on our end, so for folks who are connected via telephone, you will not be able to hear the video as it is played in the webinar room. What we have done is we have sent telephone participants, for those of you connected by telephone, you can check your email. We have sent you the video file that we are going to play so that you can access that when we get to that point. I apologize for that technical issue. For those of you that are in the webinar room -- yes?
I see someone calling now.
Okay. Thank you. For those of you in the webinar room, we will launch the video on our end. You do not need to do anything. The speed at which the video launches is going to be dependent on the video player on your individual computer. And also dependent on your Internet connection. But that will launch in the video player on your own individual computer. You do not need to do anything for that video to play. The video is captioned. When the video ends, you will need to exit out of your video player in order to return focus back into the webinar room. So that will be taking place in just a few more slides, I believe it's slide 51 when we get to the video that will play. And it's approximately five pa... —- I’m sorry five minutes in length.
Still waiting for her to dial in.
Okay. That was not her dialing in?
No, it was not her.
Okay. And again, apologize for the technical difficulty that we are having here. Obviously, something occurred on Sandy's end. We lost her -- she lost her telephone connection to the audio conference, so we appreciate your patience as we wait for her to reconnect. We are making efforts on our end to attempt to reach Sandy so that she can get back into the audio conference. She's calling in now?
Yes, I think this is here.
All right. We are almost back there. One other quick thing. I would encourage folks to visit the ADAanniversary.org webpage, and if you have not done so as an individual, we are asking – we are attempting to get 25,000 signatures across the country. Those signatures will be delivered around the anniversary to the White House to show commitment to the Americans with Disabilities Act. There is also a place on ADAanniversary.org for state and local governments to sign proclamations.
All right. Sandy has rejoined.
Sorry. Where did I leave you guys?
I was hoping you weren't talking that whole time thinking that you were still connected. But we were on slide 44 when we last heard from you.
Okay. So with slide 44, it's an example of the Signaids signs where you've got the Hill Top Trail with a Signaids contact. And so with that sign, not only do you have just the, you know, direction of where to go, but now when you tap it, you have more information, like maybe the level or severity of the trail, where you are. You could register that you are on the trail. You could find your location from that trail head to the next location. Or even contact for emergency support. In the second image, it's an image and a museum of the –- of a dinosaur bone display, where you would traditionally just have a regular sign with a caption on it, like for the stegosaurus. By adding the Signaids contact point, not only can you give the visual description of the display and the caption that's on the sign, but you can add interactive features like games that are age appropriate for use or maybe a video or more information from the period or even merchandise. So it pretty much is unlimited on the information that can be provided.
An expansion of utilization of the Signaids technology is we created this all access for conferences and events, which enables a universally accessible conference and event service that can be in multiple languages. It's screen reader capable. The -- it has kiosks that are accessible to someone who is sitting to standing. It allows for voice recognition and screen reader and touchscreen, so it's more than ADA compliant. Through the interactive service. So you are able, through all access, to have an accessible registration process, an accessible expo, to your name badge by tapping the Signaids contact point, your name badge becomes your conference guide. It can be your handouts in an accessible format. For exhibitors, it may be their brochures and literature, or order forms. For exhibitors, it can also be lead retrieval, so you can secure contact information. It's just a very dynamic way to make your conferences and events more accessible in multiple languages and for a variety of disability applications.
Now, going into BlueAssist on slide 46, looking at community mobility. BlueAssist is an icon, a symbol – a universal symbol with a blue square with a question mark over the man in white. So a high-contrast icon. The BlueAssist symbol started in Belgium at Ithaka at a training center where individuals with intellectual disabilities get support for daily activities. The thing started in 1993, and as a new movement with a strong vision and mission, and this Ithaka Center was pretty much like many adult day program centers in the U.S., where adults came and they moved from activity to activity. So on slide 48 would be kind of an example of a typical schedule where you have crafts and cooking and going to the market and gardening. Then under each of those categories, you have a list of participants who would move from each event with a particular supervisor working with them. And so what BlueAssist wanted to do, what Ithaka wanted to do with BlueAssist was to change that and change it so that it is client centered. So it's based on the needs and wants of the client.
So on slide 49, you will see that there's a chart that shows a little bit different focus. So now instead of it being by activity, it's by individual. So Peter, Ann, Patrick, and Sabine all have events listed under them that are specific to what they would like to do. Some of them may be at Ithaka, at the Center, like they were traditionally, but more importantly, now they are moving into the community. So instead of an individual being -- who wants to do art or crafts doing something at the Center with their peers directed by the Center staff, they are actually participating in the community, in a community art program that's integrated. So again, BlueAssist started with an icon, with a message, so that as an individual, I can show you my question and then you can help. So as indicated on slide 50. We started with business cards and index cards with the BlueAssist symbol on it and messages and pictures that we just Photoshop, you know, on the computer and just made the cards and printed them each day, and required the individual to carry this stack of cards. Just like the same thing happened in the city in gent, as happened, say, if you are in Chicago or New York or whatever. Someone walks up to you with a card, like a business card, people say no thank you. And keep going. But by changing it to the app -- are you guys still there? Okay.
Yep, we're still here.
Okay. By changing it to an app, when you go to show someone your mobile phone, people intuitively look like you are trying to show them a picture. So it just made it easier. So on slide 51, you'll see the first picture is an individual holding their mobile phone, showing their BlueAssist message. And the second picture is the campaign where the Flemish government has actually acknowledged this as a social innovation, and transit in the community has really gotten behind it. So there's actually a picture on the back of one of the transit buses of the BlueAssist logo and campaign with BlueAssist users showing their messages. And it's quite a diverse group of individuals from everywhere from a senior who has had a stroke and has trouble communicating, an individual with Down Syndrome, and then another gentleman who happens to be autistic. So I am going to let Peter show you a video so that you can kind of really get a better feel for BlueAssist and how it works, and the video is captioned, and it's about five minutes long.
All right. Thanks, Sandy. Again, apologize, technical issue on our end, so those of you that are joining us on the telephone only, if you are not in the webinar room, you will not be able to hear the video. We have emailed the video to telephone participants so you can launch that video and listen while the folks in the webinar room are listening.
For those of you in the webinar room, the video is being pushed to your individual computer, and the speed at which it plays, it launches, will be dependent on your video player on your computer and your Internet access speed. You do not need to do anything. The video will begin playing on its self – on its own rather, and again, once the video is done, you will need to exit out of your own video player in order to return focus back to the webinar room. So at this time, we are going to launch the video. (Please view the captioned video now)
Again, the video concludes. You need to exit out of your video player in order to return the computer's focus back into the webinar room. So Sandy, you can go ahead and continue at this time.
All right. Thank you. So that kind of gives you a better feel for how the BlueAssist and the Cloudina apps can be utilized and are being utilized globally. The beauty of the BlueAssist is that -- and the Cloudina apps is that you can customize it for the individual and meet their needs. And the benefits that we've found through the projects in Belgium has been, one, at that particular center, instead of that center being able to serve 15 clients with X number of staff, now they are able to serve 27 clients with the same amount of staff because the clients are more independent and out in the community doing their thing. The other is the cost savings for -- in the past when they would go -- say someone needed to go to the market or to the post office. Their whole group would have to go. And the assistants that would go with them just for a just in case. Now the individuals are independently going with support of their Cloudina, as well as remote support when necessary. So now that assistant is able to be back at the center, either assisting those who need more direct assistance or they have been able to actually establish new programs and grow their programs and opportunities because now the staff has time.
The other benefit is some individuals who, through various techniques, were trying to learn how to use public transit, and be independent with mobility in the community with multiple training techniques, with a shadow, etcetera, weren't successful. But after utilizing the BlueAssist alone just with the cards, the individual was able to, within two weeks, start getting to locations that were routine and typical for the individual. And then within three months, no longer even needed, for those routine locations, to even use the BlueAssist cards at all. The confidence grew, and as the individual's skills got better, within the next year, if they wanted to go to another location, they could work on some practice sessions and then eventually now are independent and being able to utilize their Cloudina BlueAssist app to go to new first-time locations successfully because they have the skills to navigate now utilizing the technology. And they know they have the backup to be able to call their coach or to send their GPS signal to their coach if they need assistance.
The next step in the BlueAssist movement was the integration of the BlueAssistant and BlueAssist communities, and BlueAssistant is basically a campaign where individual citizens can go in and register to be a BlueAssistant, meaning that they recognize the symbol and that they are willing to assist individuals to utilize -- to be independent in the community utilizing their technologies. If you are interested in participating, you can go to the touchthefuture.us/blue assist/blueassistantregistration, or just click on the BlueAssist tab on the website, which will take you to that, and you can register to become a BlueAssistant. So that is the bulk of the information that I have. I would like to open it up for any questions or I can go into more detail on any of the individual technologies that we presented.
In addition to the information that's been provided on the slides, we have expanded the same signage and connect to options to include wristbands that are like a road ID bracelet or a medical alert bracelet, which enables you to have basic information on there, like your basic contact information, or you can do an upgraded version where there is a chip, and you can tap it and take you to your medical information or maybe your location because you're, you know, on vacation somewhere and you have a child with autism and, you know, you are at a theme park and you get separated, and in real-time, you might put -- say you are at Disney World -- that you are at the Dumbo ride and you don't want to leave because you feel your child will come back to that location once they realize they are separated. That information can go in there, so if it's a first responder taps the wrist band, then they know they can find you there. So you can totally customize it, or if you are going for a medical appointment, we have one gentleman that we are testing things with that is nonverbal, and he has his medical information in there, and he goes in and types all of his questions that he has for his physician in advance so that then he can just use that to tap his phone and show the information to his physician. So it's very dynamic and can be customized and added to and deleted as the individual wants to do it.
On the ID bracelet, though, it does have a secure option to where you can have basic information that you would make available to anyone who might access it. Otherwise, there's a pin engraved on the back where someone would have to actually see the back of it and have the code to be able to access the private information that you would like to secure. So at this time, I'll open it up for questions.
All right. Great, Sandy. Thank you very much. Colleen, if you could rejoin us and give our telephone participants instructions on how they can ask questions at this time, please.
Now the operator has vanished. Well, while we are waiting for Colleen to rejoin us, I will remind participants in the webinar room if you can submit your questions in the Chat area, control-M will put cursor focus in the Chat area. Command-M for Mac users. And even though you cannot see your question once it has been submitted, it is viewable by moderators and our speaker. Colleen, have you rejoined us?
Yes, I am here.
If you can give our telephone participants instructions on how they can ask questions at this time.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you have a question at this time, please press the star (*) key and then the number 1 on your telephone keypad. If your question has been answered or you wish to remove yourself from the queue, please press the pound (#) key. Once again, for questions, star (*) then 1. One moment for questions.
While we wait for that, Sandy, this is a question, just my own curiosity. Can the BlueAssist or any of these apps be used in reverse; i.e., could someone monitor someone's location via GPS versus someone having to alert their contact that, you know, they need some type of assistance? Can someone be monitored from the other end?
Yes, they can, only if they have permission. So to ensure the integrity and security and the wishes of the individual or of the legal guardians, and multiple coaches can be assigned to an individual user, but only coaches who have permission to track can track the individual.
Okay. Just a follow-up along those same lines. You talked about someone having, you know, certain information that's available, you know, publicly, anyone could view it on their device and some of it having a code on it. Is that something -- so for instance, someone that's going to travel independently to their doctor and they have some questions that they want to ask but they want that protected, is that something that a password could be provided to the medical folks in advance so that they would have the code to, you know, unlock those questions for the doctor or for the medical professional?
Yes, that's exactly correct. So there would be a PIN that is assigned to that user, and it would be -- that user could either, in advance, share and have it as part of the medical record or not. The user can also grant permission to multiple people to access their portal. So if you have the user name and password, you can log in and change information or add information. The same would hold true for the physician could provide the information, and the user could have their tablet there and opened in their portal, and the physician could type in the instructions, and the medication changes or the diagnosis or any information that they wanted to, and then that user would be able to then access it securely.
Right. And that's excellent, being able to just -- for anyone, you know, there's so much information exchanged regardless of, you know, ability, exchanged in a medical setting, for example, that having that information, you know, provided prescription change of medication changes, dosage changes, I think would be helpful for anyone.
Right. The other benefit is especially with different languages, it enables you -- one, it can do screen reader functionality, but also you can change the language, so if English isn't your primary language, it can be input, and then when you select Spanish, it's going to translate it for you. So it adds to that functionality for individuals.
Excellent. All right. Colleen, do we have any questions on the telephone at this time?
Once again, ladies and gentlemen, if you have a question, please press the star (*) key and the number 1. I am showing no questions in the queue at this time.
Okay. We will go to a question that was submitted in the webinar room. Again, you can submit your questions in the Chat area, control-M/command-M to put the cursor focus in there.
This participant wants to know if the monitoring devices are available to purchase at this time, for instance, the senior phone specifically they are talking about.
Yes. The mobile devices are still in the testing phase, and we anticipate them being available either late summer or early fall. For shipment. We are trying to make sure all the glitches and usability, workability are working across the country so that no matter where you live, there's not a problem with any of the carriers. So look for the mobile devices to be available late summer/early fall. The -- some of the asset trackers, some of the companies like -- some of the wheelchair companies to be able to track their demo fleet or to be able to communicate where the serial number is, not just the serial number that you can’t access easily, now you can tap it, and it becomes both a marketing portal and a customer service portal, so the customer can get to their warranty information, handbooks, etcetera. Those type things, all the Signaids technology are available, the IDs, bracelets, and things like that are available now.
Okay. Very good. Another question that was submitted via email, this questioner wants to know are most of these apps dependent on having Internet access at all times in order to be functional or usable? Or be usable for the individual?
No. The apps can all be used on either Wi-Fi or their 3G. Their messages and the stuff that's already on their phone, so their Calendar, their Photo album, and things like that, in order for them to communicate to their coach, you would have to have either a mobile signal or a Wi-Fi signal. But the actual things on the phone would function on the phone. So if their -- whatever messages are already there for BlueAssist, they could use them. Whatever Folders in the Photo album are there, you can use them.
Okay. Very good. Another question via email. I was just curious about the BlueAssist and other apps as far as the standard or guideline. Are they using the WCAG, the Worldwide Accessibility Guidelines as their standards or some or guideline or standard to ensure that these applications are accessible to persons with disabilities?
Yes. They actually were developed in Belgium, so they are using -- they have more stringent application, so they are specifically designed for use by individuals with disabilities, whether it's cognitive, intellectual communication, or visual is the whole intent, so before they are launched, they are actually tested with users as well. So not just making sure that they meet the standards but that they're usable.
Okay. Excellent. We have another question from the Chat area, clarification from this individual wanting to know where the -- where one can purchase the devices, for example, the watch device and the senior phones.
Once they are available for shipping on retail market, they can come to Touch the Future, and they will be available through the website or in our office. But they will be -- there's a new e-commerce site going out called the A-link store, where they will be able to find these devices and many others.
Okay. And this is someone seeking clarification on security so that the user's information is not compromised on their device.
Security for the Cloudina apps or...
This one -- BlueAssist.
Okay. So with BlueAssist, it's in a password-protected management system, so it's cloud based, so only the coach and the user or whoever the user grants permission to has access to that information. So their information is secure that way. So the only person who can change things on the site is the user. You can actually have multiple levels of people who provide assistance, so say you might have an assistant who they can see the information for certain events if they are added to those events, but any other event they can't see it. So for instance, if you have a center where an assistant works with multiple clients, only the events for Johnny that they should know about or have access to can they be given permission to versus Lisa is not their client, so they can't access their information and don't know anything unless Lisa shows them her phone. For the coach, you can have a coach who has permission to go in and change calendar events and provide information and assist the individual, or you can have an administrator. An administrator can grant privileges to different assistants or coaches for an individual. But a coach can only work with the person they are assigned to. So there's multiple levels of security put in to ensure that only those individuals who should have access have access.
All right. And someone was seeking clarification. They wanted to know if you had mentioned something about either the -- early on, talking about something that would be -- that would assist with the accessing information on a thermostat at home?
Yes. So the Z-wave, the Bluelite and the Z-wave modules, whether it's the Bluelite or just Z-wave with a remote control, has a remote access thermostat, and that is -- those are readily available at Lowe's, Home Depot, through some online portals, where you can access it both through the Bluelite device for someone who needs to do it with voice recognition or touch, but if someone has the capability of using a remote, that is a readily available home access element. There’s -- in Z-wave, you have everything from light switches, regular outlets, plug-in modules, door openers, thermostats, and blind controls.
Okay. Excellent. Let's see. The -- where did that question go? The Cloudina talked about, you know, data management. And this questioner wants to know if they can be used at all real-time, you know, or could BlueAssist be used real-time, whereby let's say a coach could provide updated information, instructions, directions to someone who is out in the community and let's say the plans have changed, pickup location has changed, or you know, the pickup time has been altered?
Yes. So with BlueAssist, say I am not feeling well in the morning and my roommate is going to call for me and schedule an appointment for me. Once she gets that information, she can input it and then it will show up in my calendar. So if something changes, you can submit it to the calendar, and it's there. So you can do that. The other thing is, depending on the phone, you can simplify things so that only those apps come up, and you can lock the apps and programing. So if you have an individual with an intellectual disability that likes to play with buttons and go in and change things, they can't do it without a password. So it makes it so that they can't disable what you are trying to do to keep them independent.
Okay. And I've got another question here that came in at webinars@ADA-audio.org. Just to remind folks that you can submit your questions in the chat area at this time. But this email question, wants to know if any of the apps that you've talked about today can be used, for instance, to map out -- you mentioned Disney world -- where that can be used to allow let’s say someone, with a communication disability and using an iPad, for example, be able to allow that individual to indicate, you know, what attraction, what feature they wanted to visit next? Could it be used in that sort of manner?
Right. So with the BlueAssist, you could go in and put -- make a message for each of the different attractions that were available so that they can say how do I get to this or I'd like to go to this. That's one way. If a facility were to incorporate the Signaids technology into their facility, then that would provide the ability to do way finding because as you tap “find” you can find proximity of where the next one is and find out where your location is. And then map the next stop. So say like with the bus stop, if the bus stop sign had the Signaids technology on it, it would tell you what bus stop you were at, when the bus is coming, and then if you are trying to get to another bus stop or to a different location, it would show you how to get there from that point.
With an app that's coming soon –- that’s in testing now, which is the Viamigo, the Viamigo app will enable you to set a course of travel by walking, by bike, or by vehicle. If the individual deviates in time or distance, you would get an alert and be able to provide assistance. For example, if they should be walking and are going rapidly, that means they probably forgot to get off the bus and they’re progressing too fast along the route, and you would get an alert so that you can call them or contact them some way to help them get back on track. If they stop progressing, maybe they've gotten distracted and are watching something and not moving along, you would get an alert so that you could provide that assistance. Or if they go east instead of west, they maybe got on the wrong bus, you would get an alert. So that is coming. It's a little bit more dynamic because it requires signals, and in cities where someone goes into a subway that doesn't have Wi-Fi, then we lose them until they resurface. So we're trying to figure out if there's work-arounds with that and some different beacon technologies that continue the signal broadcast in facilities that users and their coaches would be able to install with the support of the facilities. But that's still in development.
Right. And a follow-up for you, Sandy, on that. Can the Amiga or any of the apps that you've discussed thus far, can it be used where, let's say that someone is going to be working or participating in some training in a brand-new building. Can that building be mapped using one of the apps and global positioning so that whether it's someone that's blind or someone with an intellectual/cognitive disability, so that they first go in there with a mobility instructor or, you know, their coach, and they map out their route that they know when to get off the -- you know, from the bus stop, the entrance is over here, that they need to go to this elevator and to this floor, is there a way to map -- you know, map out a building so that it's -- you know, it's programmed on the individual's smart device?
That actually -- well, that's a little more complicated. Interior wayfinding is more complicated. We do have a system we are testing. It probably will not be available till first of the year would be quick, probably more like next summer, where it utilizes internal wayfinding -- internal Wi-Fi system, which would enable you to provide internal wayfinding, whether it's at an event or for a specific building. But then that building would need that technology to do it. Now, with the Signaids signs, it would provide some limited capacity because it would give you the information of where you are. With the -- it's definitely designed for hotels, where it shows your emergency egress and things like that. It has some limited capabilities right now, but to be that specific to say you are in room 100A, and you are trying to get to room 300C, are something -- is a little bit more complicated, and we are working on it, but it's not quite there.
Right, as you say, that would probably take, you know, collaboration between private, you know, facilities and potentially installing either beacons or Wi-Fi capability throughout the building that would be available to the public coming and going.
Right. There is a way to give some feedback as far as, like, if we have the Signaids contact points and we have the map of the facility, we can help someone on a kind of a -- not a dynamic map, but a flat map, be able to see this is where you are on the contact, and then the map come up and you can see other locations. But cognitively, that's a pretty high, you know, we haven't had a lot of luck with some of our folks with cognitive or intellectual disabilities to figure out a map versus real-time looking at where they are.
Right. But you, like you said -- with the Signaids, you know, the possibilities are tremendous for anyone, especially persons with sensory disabilities. You know, transit systems that you know, temporarily move a bus stop because of construction and, you know, allowing the individual --
To be able to get real-time feedback, right. So like with paratransit, we’re testing in a market right now where we’re using it with paratransit and the driver is delayed because of a medical emergency, or accident, or just delay at -- with another consumer. So someone else is being dispatched. Well, for many of the users, if it's not their driver, they won't get on the bus. So we are able to then push from the dispatcher a notification to the user that, one, the bus is delayed and what time it should be there, or two, someone else is coming and provide the picture so then both the care provider and the user know that this is the person that is picking them up to take them to their appointment.
Excellent. Excellent. All right. And one -- we are almost at the bottom of the hour. Just one final question that someone had. You know, where can folks get information, you know, regarding the different -- you know, the different assistive technologies, the different products out there that can assist them and just activities of daily living for someone that may not be connected with the state, county, or local government agency or, you know, a disability organization in their area. What's the best place to get information?
So they can contact -- go to our website at touchthefuture.us. Many of these technologies in the next week or two you'll see a whole new website coming up. The -- or they can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call and I will be happy to hook them up with this or any technologies. We are a technology assistive technology center for multiple providers, for multiple manufacturers. I am also an occupational therapist, so if you want to troubleshoot on trying to find a solution for this, I am happy to assist.
Excellent. Well, Sandy, want to thank you for all of the tremendous information that you provided and resources that you made available to us. We appreciate not only the time that you spent with us today presenting, but the time that you spent preparing your presentation for today.
For all of you that participated, as a reminder, today's session has been and continues to be recorded. The audio archive will be available within 24 hours at www.ADA-audio.org. We should have an edited transcript posted within 10 to 14 business days, again, at www.ada-audio.org. Just again as a reminder, July 21st is our next ADA Audio Conference session. That is ADA update, where we will hear from representatives from the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as we rapidly approach the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
For anyone that wants to reach out to their regional ADA Center, any questions that you have regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, you can contact your Center by calling 800-949-4232, or visiting www.adata.org. For questions about the upcoming ADA audio conferences, you can visit www.ADA-audio.org. Or you can call us at 877-232-1990.
Once again, thank you, Sandy, for her wonderful presentation today, and thank you to all of you for participating today. Thanks for your patience while we had our technical issues. And we look forward to having you join us in July when we have our next ADA audio conference session. Good day, everyone.
Thank you for participating in today's conference. This concludes the program. You may all disconnect. Have a wonderful day.