Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Three videos on hearing technology now available

UATP's YouTube channel now has three new videos to help Utahns better understand hearing technology: specifically how they compare to/work with hearing aids, what situations they are most helpful in, and how Utahns can try them out and find ways to finance them (more on that below).

They focus on the PockeTalker:




The Contego:



...and neck loops of various types.



For help with financing, visit UATP's financing page. Many of UATP's reduced-interest loans are for hearing aids, and loans and small grants can also help with the purchase of other hearing technology.

UATP has a PockeTalker available for demonstration and loan at the Logan and Uintah Basin locations. For more information in Logan, contact Dan O'Crowley. For more information in the Uintah Basin, contact Cameron Cressall.

The videos were made with the help of the Division of Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. They also have lending libraries in these two locations:

The Sanderson Community Center
5709 South 1500 West
Taylorsville, UT 84123
801-313-6813

Southern Utah Program
1067 E. Tabernacle, Suite 10
St. George, UT 84770
435-652-2452

They also have hard of hearing assistants in these counties:

San Juan & Moab
Jamy Bailey  928-369-6952 

Daggett, Duchesne and Uintah
Francy Davis 435-790-1956

Box Elder, Cache and Weber 
Virginia Parker 435-730-5723

Utah County
Andrina Fuller 435-260-9961




Thursday, February 6, 2020

UATP volunteer makes affordable therapeutic trikes a reality

UATP is poised to offer custom-built trikes from the Logan and Uintah Basin locations to Utah families who need them.


UATP thanks the JR Stokes Foundation for supporting the development of this project.

action photo
Crew tries out his bike with UATP Logan coordinator
Dan O'Crowley (behind) and volunteer Mike Stokes (right).
Biking is Crew’s favorite part of physical therapy. “He loves it,” said his mother, Melissa. “For him, it’s playtime.”

But a standard bike—even one with training wheels—wasn’t appropriate for him. Bikes with training wheels teeter, and six-year-old Crew needs more stability. When he rode a bike in therapy sessions, it was on a specialized piece of therapy equipment. 

Melissa looked into getting him one of his own, but sticker shock set in.

“They’re so expensive. That’s not in our budget,” she said.

“For kids that really need support, I don’t know of a trike that costs less than $3000, by the time you get all the parts,” said Shaun Dahle, a physical therapist in Cache County. It’s discouraging for families to spend so much on equipment a child will outgrow all too soon.

He approached Utah Assistive Technology Program volunteer Mike Stokes with the problem more than a year and a half ago. “Shaun mentioned that he’d love to have a less expensive trike made out of PVC. He asked if we thought it was possible,” Stokes said.

“The real drive for me was to create a product that was available to families at a lower cost,” said Dahle. “There are a lot of other costs that these families already have.”

a boy grins from a green PVC bike
Graham tries out a bike that will help him
learn to walk and crawl.
The therapeutic benefits of cycling are significant. It teaches reciprocal movement, Dahle said, which can help children learn to crawl and walk. For some, biking is the only way they can get exercise, and it bothered Dahle that biking activities were limited to physical therapy sessions. “How much more would a child thrive if they could do it at home?” 

Stokes took the project on, working at the UATP lab and in his own garage. “One of the major goals that we set out to do was, we wanted it to be able to be assembled by anyone in the world.” After several months and many prototypes, he settled on a furniture-grade PVC design that UATP can build for $350 ($325 if the bike is black or white).

When the design was final, Stokes and UATP staff made the first two PVC trikes, and they are now with families in Northern Utah. One of them was Crew’s.

“It was amazing to find this,” Melissa said. “I’ve been so excited about it, and he’s been so excited.” Now he can ride bikes with his sister and friends.

“How is it, Crew?” she asked.

His speech is limited, but he gave it two thumbs up. 

Brandy White, who is from Cache County, is looking forward to the difference the bike will make for her son, Graham. “It’s going to help train his brain on muscle memory, how to work his muscles and how to use them,” she said.

She expects the equipment will help the two-and-a-half-year-old boy learn to walk and crawl. “He loves riding his bike,” she said.

Does your family's tot (50 lbs and under) need a therapeutic trike? UATP is now ready to build more of them for other families who need them. They are offered for the cost of materials ($325 for white or black, $350 for color). The time to build them is provided by UATP staff, volunteers and students at no cost. For more information, contact Dan O’Crowley in Logan and Cameron Cressall in the Uintah Basin.



Friday, January 10, 2020

Winter’s here! Let's prevent the fall.


trees covered in snow
We hear it again and again—snow and ice complicate the lives of people with limited mobility. If you worry about falling in Utah, here are options to help.

In the home

If you need ideas for creating a safe environment, consider visiting the Smart Apartment in the Sorenson Legacy Foundation Center for Clinical Excellence on Utah State University’s Logan campus. This space features high- and low-tech solutions that can work together, but that do not require a remodel or rewiring of the home.

adjustable shower head
Items in the Smart Apartment that could help with fall prevention include a roll-in shower with a shower chair, a shower head that can be fixed and adjusted for height, grab bars, a lift chair and pull-down shelving. A complete list of smart apartment items on display is available on the Utah Assistive Technology Program website. For a tour, contact Dan O’Crowley.

Dan can also show you the MyNotifi device, available in our demonstration and loan library. This wearable technology detects falls and recommends exercises that help prevent falling.

Other resources in Utah include the state’s independent living centers, which are non-residential programs that offer services to people with disabilities. To find the one nearest you, visit their network website.

Need help affording an assistive device? 

UATP offers small grants up to $400 to people at 150 percent of the US poverty guidelines and below. We also offer reduced-interest loans without income restrictions for the purchase of AT. More information is on our website.

Home modifications

Sometimes a more permanent change is needed to make a home safer. UATP has aided in the purchase of outdoor stair rails and has financed many other home modifications. More information is on our website.

Neighborhood Housing Solutions also offers financing options to help with modifications to homes in Cache, Box Elder and Rich counties. Options vary by location and the type of modification. Find out more on their website.

We transferred a power chair to Sandy Johnson from our
Salt Lake City location. Now she volunteers there to help
with the refurbishing of chairs for other UATP clients.

Mobility aids

Our demonstration and loan libraries in Logan and the Uintah Basin have a variety of canes, crutches, wheelchairs and scooters. These can be demonstrated or loaned for a short-term need. 

In addition, UATP has an inventory of donated wheelchairs and scooters that can be refurbished and transferred to people who need them. Fees may apply, but they are nearly always lower than an insurance deductible. This service is offered in our Salt Lake City, Logan and Uintah Basin locations.

Know of other options in Utah? Leave us a comment. 

Be safe and stay warm!