Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Plans for an affordable, therapeutic PVC trike now available

The White family poses with a PVC trike made from the plans
that are now available on Instructables.
Warmer weather is coming! A bike ride is a great way to pass the quarantine. And this year, UATP volunteer Mike Stokes has found a way help young children who are working on their walking skills to join in the fun.

A therapeutic trike can cost thousands of dollars. For those families who are not able to use insurance to purchase one, 
plans for a PVC therapeutic trike are available on Instructables, an open source website. They include directions for cutting and assembling the PVC, plus links to sites that sell the needed materials. They also include Solidworks files for parts that require fabrication.

The PVC trikes are rated for children up to 50 pounds, and they can be built for around $400.

The trikes help children work on skills like walking and crawling in a way that doesn’t feel like work. Graham White is still working on his walking skills, and he loves to use a trike. “We’re trying to train his brain as well as muscle memory, and the bike is the best way to do that,” said his mother, Brandy.

Interested in building a therapeutic trike? Here are your options.

In Utah:

Purchase the items listed in the Instructibles directions. Feel free to reach out to UATP in Logan (Dan O'Crowley) or the Uintah Basin (Cameron Cressall) for assistance in putting it together.  

Outside of Utah:

You can download the instructionsIf you need help with the parts that are more difficult to fabricate, your state assistive technology program may be able to help. There’s a directory of state AT programs on the AT3 website.

UATP thanks volunteer Mike Stokes for helping develop this project, and the JR Stokes Foundation for supporting its development. 

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Resources for people with disabilities learning/working at home

a man stares at his laptop screen

By JoLynne Lyon

Here is a list of resources to help you get through your quarantine. Check back--we'll keep updating!

Accessibility apps and software features

Apple resources:

iOS Apps for accessibility
Apple's accessibility page

Microsoft resources:

Accessibility tools for windows
Microsoft accessibility

Apps for specific disabilities:

List of apps for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (Utah Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing)

Wifi options for people who do not have internet at home

  • Xfinity offers Internet Essentials, a reduced-rate high-speed internet service, to qualifying customers. If you are eligible for certain public assistance programs, you may qualify. Find out more on their website.
  • Xfinity has made its hotspots open, free, to everyone during the Coronavirus quarantine, whether they are customers or not. Read more about it on their website, and find a map of hot spots in Utah (unfortunately hot spots are mostly in northern and north central Utah).
  • Sprint/T Mobile are allowing unlimited data to those with metered data plans during the Coronavirus crisis. In addition to using the service on your phone, you can use your phone as a hotspot to provide data to a laptop or tablet. You can read more on their website (you'll have to scroll down).
  • AT&T is also offering unlimited data for its customers at its public hotspot locations. AT&T does not offer a map of its hotspots but encourages you to find a hotspot locator in your phone's App Store.
  • Check with your library. The library in my small town has a sign taped on the door, letting patrons know they can use the library's wifi from the parking lot. It even has the password.

Resources for families during school closure

Check with your local school. They may be able to help you with devices and connectivity.
Includes information on using school platforms, tips on navigating distance learning, and resources for dealing with curriculum and content.

Online meeting accessibility

Using the Zoom Video Conferencing Platform with Jaws (Freedom Scientific)

Captioning online meetings

Skype offers live captioning. I've tried this, and while the captions are slow, the captioning was decent and the service was free. You can include up to 50 people on a call, but you may want to slow down the communication if you use it--there is a time lag.

 Google Hangouts Meet includes a speech to text option for meetings of up to 250 people. It requires a G Suite subscription. 

Zoom allows for closed-captioning if the captions are entered by the meeting host or participant. The free version can include up to 100 participants for up to 40 minutes; paid plans allow for up to 500 participants. Some third parties integrate with Zoom to provide captioning (More on that below.)

PowerPoint offers live captioning in presenter mode, which can be used over Zoom with screen sharing.

Microsoft Teams allows you to use live captions in meetings of up to 250 people. It requires a subscription.

Verbit (captioning) has announced new integration with Zoom. This paid service allows clients to have real-time captioning that is AI generated and human-verified and edited. 

You can automatically transcribe cloud-recorded Zoom meetings  (Zoom)

Technology for the Blind

Temporary JAWS, ZoomText and Fusion licenses are available to educators and students who are blind or have low vision. 

Special licenses have been created to assist students and workers who much remain home during the COVID-19 crisis. A free short-term Home Annual License of JAWS, ZoomText, or Fusion (expires June 30, 2020) is available to anyone with a personal email address in the United States and Canada. Find out more on their website


For people with print disabilities

In support of enabling students with print disabilities to access native PDF digital math texts, and InftyReaderGroup are making a lite version of their reader available.

On making accessible materials

Creating accessible documents (MacArthur Foundation)

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Thanks to those who helped us ease the face shield shortage!

a nurse models the face shield
Photo courtesy of Logan Regional Hospital
Updated 5.04.20

Thanks to a wonderful response from the community, this project is now directing those who would like to produce face shields to UserveUtah. They have drop boxes in Logan, Salt Lake City, Panguitch, Provo, Fairview, Ogden, Enoch and Delta.

The university and community members have teamed up to produce and distribute more than 1650 face shields to health care workers and first responders, some of whom are in very rural areas where supplies were low and the need was great. 

We thank our volunteer Mike Stokes for his coordination of this effort. If you want to be added to the list of people who can help us produce the shields should the need arise again, please email him at mvstokes[at]

And thanks also to the many partners who have helped produce face shields!

Some history for this project 

The Utah Assistive Technology Program at Utah State University coordinated with the College of Engineering in an effort to produce face shields that can be used by health care workers as personal protective equipment, after receiving requests for at least 1650 of these face shields for health care workers and first responders. The design fits over eyeglasses or safety goggles.

Intermountain Health Care is one of the organizations that accepted donations for these face shields, which are medical grade. "There’s a big difference between homemade and medical grade [face shields]," said Sarah Fitzgerald, public information officer at Logan Regional Hospital. "The difference is the ability to clean it." These face shields can be wiped with a sanitizing agent, which makes them medical grade.

Mike Stokes and his son Jonathan remixed an open source design for face shields to ensure that it would fit over glasses or goggles and it could be sanitized. It consists of a headband and earpieces that can be 3D printed, laser cut or made on a CNC (computer numerical control) router. The face shield portion is made from overhead projector transparency sheets.

The face shield design files are still available to those who need them.

Files are available for the following:

  • 3D printers
  • CNC Router
  • Laser Cutter

If you have any questions, contact Dan O’Crowley.

For more information on other UATP projects, learn about affordable, therapeutic PVC trikes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The 2020 Census is still on!

a mountain town
2020 has thrown us a few surprises, but the 2020 Census is still on. Be counted for your community!
Photo by Lukas Kloeppel from Pexels
This information is from the Disability Law Center and Options for Independence.

We support census activities because Utahns with disabilities matter! Be counted, complete your census survey early. It only happens every 10 years, and it has a powerful impact on our lives.

Why participate in the 2020 Census?

A complete and accurate census count is critical for you and your community. The results of the 2020 Census will affect:
·       Federal Funding used to provide daily services, products and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to resources like Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, CHIP, National School Lunch Program, Title I Grants, Special Ed Grants, Pell Grants, Federal Direct Student Loans and more. The amount each state receives is determined through census information.

Every person not counted in the Utah Census is a loss of $1,866 per year resulting in a loss of $18,660 per person over 10 years! 

·       State Government which determines the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and to draw congressional and state legislative districts. 

·       Local Governments as funding is disbursed to ensure public safety and plan new schools and hospitals. 

·       Businesses as decisions are made where to open new stores, factories, and offices, creating jobs for your community.

·       Nonprofits as census data is used to learn where and how to best serve their constituencies. 

When can I respond to the 2020 Census?

Invitations to respond to the 2020 Census will be delivered between March 12-20. Each household will receive one census with one person being designated as the head of the household. However, information for all residents of the home will be included. Once you receive that invitation, you can respond online, by phone, or by mail. If you do not respond to this invitation, a census taker will visit your household beginning in mid-May to complete the census in person. 

Is Responding Safe?

The Census Bureau is bound by law to keep your information confidential. Your private data is protected and your answers cannot be used against you. You are kept anonymous.
·      The law ensures that no identifiable information about you, your home, your business, or anyone else in your household may be given to law enforcement, government agencies or courts. 
·      The answers you provide are used only to produce statistics. 

What Questions will be on the Census?

·      How many people are living or staying at your home on April 1, 2020
·      Whether the home is owned or rented
·      Gender of each person in the household
·      Age of each person in the household
·      Race of each person living in the household
·      About whether a person in the household is of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin
·      Relationship of each person in the household to one central person

The Census Bureau will NEVER ask you for:

·      Your Social Security Number
·      Money or Donations
·      Anything on Behalf of a Political Party
·      Your Bank or Credit Card Account Numbers
·      Your Citizenship Status

Census Accessibility

·      Interpretation services are available as needed in 12 non-English languages with a dedicated phone number. TDD (844) 467-2020.
·      A support person may be used to help fill out the information if needed.

For more information go to or call (301) 763-4636 or (800) 923-8282. Deaf or hard of hearing can call the Federal Relay Service (800) 877-8339. You may also call us, The Disability Law Center at: 800-662-9080.