Tag Archives: special needs

Distributors in the Land Down Under

Last week, I introduced you to some of our Canadian Distributors.  This week ,we’re going to take our imaginary jet plane all the way to the other side of the globe: Australia.  In a land often portrayed as home to rugged cowboy-types, crocodiles, adventurers, and lost but likable fish, keep in mind that there are real people with real lives just like those of us in the US.  Over half of Australians use the internet at work or school.  About 70% have access to the internet in their home.  That’s a lot of Aussies surfing the web.  And with roughly half of seniors using the internet at home, there is certainly a need to assistive technologies in computer use.  That’s where Chester Creek and our resellers come into the picture.  (Stats from wikipedia)

Effective Ergonomics started out with one person, Natalie, a director and occupational therapist.  Occupational therapists work with organizations and individuals to help people do what they need to do.  They work on ergonomics and rehabilitation to get their clients back to work or to help them continue to work.  Effective Ergonomics supplies everything an Occupational Therapist might need for his/her clients, but also offers products to individuals or companies that are looking to make their workplace more usable.

Spectronics, on the other end of the spectrum (haha) from Effective Ergonomics, is Australia and New Zealand’s largest supplier of assistive technology and software.  It was founded in 1985, much like Effective Ergonomics – by an OT who had a hard time finding the products he needed.  To solve this issue, he slipped into the role of a supplier, founding Spectronics. Their staff encompasses a wide array of professions and they work closesly with assistive-tech and special-ed professionals to offer a great selection of products.  

NovitaTech works to help individuals and organizations find solutions to the challenges that differently-abled individuals face, both at work and at home.   Like Spectronics, they maintain a staff with a wide variety of skills and work with professionals to continually adapt their product line for the consumer.  The staff work closely with customers to get them the perfect fit in assistive technology.  NovitaTech’s products range from computer accessories to wheelchairs and back again, with an easy to navigate website.

Introducing TextSpeak!

“As technology has come to play an increasingly important role in the lives of all persons in the United States, in the conduct of business, in the functioning of government, in the fostering of communication, in the conduct of commerce, and in the provision of education, its impact upon the lives of the more than 50,000,000 individuals with disabilities in the United States has been comparable to its impact upon the remainder of the citizens of the United States. Any development in mainstream technology would have profound implications for individuals with disabilities in the United States.”

(Findings and Purposes, Assistive Technology Act of 1998, Finding 3)

We are so happy to be introducing our newest assistive technology product to you today!  This is a collaborative effort that we have been working on for a while, to bring you TextSpeak through Chester Creek.

TextSpeak is a perfect on-the-go AAC (AlternativeAugmentative Communication) solution.  This intelligent text generating speaker and keyboard combo creates speech anywhere, right at your fingertips, and paired with any of our Chester Creek keyboards, including our large-print and large-key keyboards, allows individuals with speech impairment to be heard.  Great for students who need unlimited vocabulary, TextSpeak works right out of the box, can be programmed to male or female voices, and has 30 programmable phrases.  Small, light, and portable, TextSpeak is also an item you can throw in a backpack or purse for use as needed in social or work situations, and works from both battery and AC power sources.

A perfect on-the-go AAC (AlternativeAugmentative Communication) solution.
Instant on, no setup, low cost and simple to use
Light and portable. AC and battery powered
Available with Male and Female voices
Unlimited vocabulary
Talks as you type
No PC required
Speech generating using DSP based Text to Speech
Works right out of the box
30 programmable phrases

Use with your choice of Chester Creek keyboards to better suit your needs.
• VisionBoard Black (pictured)
• Wireless VB’s
• MyBoard-lc
• MyBoard-UC
• LearningBoard (Black or white)
• LessonBoard
• ReaderBoard
• Size: 5.3” L x 4” W x 1.5” H
• 9 volt AC Adapter
• Battery, 9V Alkaline
• Battery life (est.) 100+ hours based on 10 minutes/hour use
• Instruction manual
• Text Speak one (1) year warranty
• VisionBoard six (6) year warranty

As always,

Your Thoughts?

What sort of things would YOU like to see on the market for keyboards and mice?