​Top 10 Easy and Affordable AT Recommendations from Rehab Without Walls and Pate Rehabilitation

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on September 26, 2022 # Assistive Technology

At Rehab Without Walls and Pate Rehabilitation, we have the honor of working alongside those living with paralysis to maximize independence wherever life happens. Therapy can happen at home, in a clinic, and out in the community. Maximizing independence can take a lot of creativity, and luckily there are many options for assistive technology that can help with everyday activities of daily living and more complex tasks like running a household, going to school or work, and recreating. Many of these tools are easy to find and relatively inexpensive. We connected with our assistive technology specialists from across the country to compile a list of the top 10 favorites:

Amazon Echo Show

  • The Echo Show has a display and supports both audio and touchscreen input for Amazon’s AI assistant service. (This is unlike most smart speaker designs, which are audio-only and driven by speech recognition). The touchscreen makes the speaker more of a general-purpose computing device with advanced speech-recognition capabilities. The device ties into the Amazon marketplace to make your purchases more seamless.

Sengled Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

  • The Sengled Smart bulb connects directly to your Wi-Fi network (an extra connection hub is not required.) It is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant and makes it simple to add smart lighting to any room. You can direct colors, dim or brighten and set schedules from the Sengled Home app (iOS/Android).

Wyze Camera

  • The Wyze Cam V3 is an inexpensive indoor/outdoor camera (originally intended as a home security camera). It is small but mighty! Features include color night vision, intelligent motion detection, voice control, a built-in siren, and local video storage.

Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini

  • Like other smart plugs, the Kasa can help enable devices for home automation. The benefit of the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini is that it is smaller than other smart plugs and can be stacked in the same outlet. You can also use grouping to combine your smart plug with other Kasa Smart devices for more coordinated control from just one tap on your smartphone.

Tilt by SmarterHome: My Smart Blinds

  • MySmart shades by Tilt have a solar charging panel to keep the batteries charged. They come in multiple colors and light filtering choices, unlike other solar shades that offer one or two options. My Smart Blinds can also connect to Alexa using the Tilt Bridge, which allows for voice control.

Fire TV Cube

  • The fire cube uses Alexa to allow you to control your TV using your voice. The pros of the Fire TV Cube are that it is completely hands-free with no need for touching anything to be able to change channels, volume, HDMI port or scan through streaming services. The con of this tool is that you have to learn specific commands to be successful.

StylusFarady Stylus

  • This stylus uses conductive fabric for the tip of the stylus that is very responsive and accommodates for limited ability to tap. The fabric also wraps around the tip, which allows the user to touch the screen from any angle. These are very lightweight and have multiple options, including extra long for a mouth stick or flexible that can be wrapped around the hand or wrist to accommodate lack of grip strength.

Ergo Rest Arm

  • Ergo Rest ArmThe ErgoRest armrest is an articulating ergonomic support for elbows and forearms while performing tabletop activities. The height is adjustable, which allows them to be positioned best for each user. These allow arms to be supported while reaching across a keyboard or a table to items normally out of reach due to arm weakness.

iPhone or iPad Voice Control

  • With iOS 13 or later devices have a Voice Control feature. You can navigate and interact with your device using your voice to tap, swipe, type, and more. With Voice Control, you can speak commands just like you would perform an action by touch. For example, to access Spotlight Search on the Home screen, say “Swipe down.” Or, to access long-press menus for certain apps, say “Long press [app name].” Voice Control doesn’t change how your device responds to touch. To turn on Voice Control, go to Settings, select Accessibility, select Voice Control, then select Set up Voice Control. A download will begin in the background. When the download is complete, a microphone will appear in your device’s status bar that indicates that Voice Control is listening or not listening. It will take some time to learn the commands, but the Voice Control program will make suggestions on how to word the command to increase your success.

Modular Hose PhoneModular Hose Phone or Tablet Mounts

  • Modular hose mounts work great with a variety of tablets or phones. There are multiple types of mounts that can hold your tablet on a desk, table, tray, wheelchair, counter, or bed. The versatility is beneficial when transferring your mount from your wheelchair to your bedside table. The flexible hose can be adjusted easily for people who have limited reach or view. The downside is that it might not be sturdy enough for heavy items or vigorous tapping.

Rehab Without Walls and Pate Rehabilitation are CARF-accredited neurorehabilitation programs that provide comprehensive, interdisciplinary and individualized services for those with brain and spinal cord injuries. Our continuum of care includes home and community neurorehabilitation, as well as residential and outpatient programs. We blend scientifically backed rehabilitation protocols with real-life activities in the home, community and clinical environments to maximize functional gains and independence.

As part of our comprehensive approach to neurorehabilitation, many Rehab Without Walls and Pate Rehabilitation locations offer assistive technology assessments and real-time trials to help find the right tools and pieces of assistive technology to best meet your needs. We know that the right technology can make a huge difference in being more independent. Please check out www.rehabwithoutwalls.com and www.paterehab.com for more information.

Written by Trina D. Terrion, MS CCC-SLP, Executive Director of Rehab Without Walls in Utah. A special thank you to the assistive technology specialists at Rehab Without Walls and Pate Rehabilitation for their contributions: Justin Tucker, BBA-MIS, MS, CCC/SLP, ATP; Melissa Braucht PT, DPT, NCS, ATP, and Mark Gardner OTR/L.

This blog is sponsored by Rehab Without Walls.

This post is purely educational for our community readers. The Reeve Foundation does not endorse this product.

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The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.