Know-how can assist individuals with disabilities enhance their independence. Rachel Owen, who’s blind, will show how the PENfriend 3 has assisted her on the month-to-month story time at midday, Jan. 26 on the Chapman Senior Heart.
PENfriend 3 is a voice labeling system. An individual can use the machine, which seems to be much like a digital thermometer, to report brief descriptions onto a particular label. The label is then hooked up to an merchandise and, when scanned, the machine performs the recording.
A good friend of Owen, Mary Monasmith, has helped Owen label a number of objects round her home.
“Once we go get Rachel’s groceries, we’ll come dwelling and put the labels on … and provides her instructions on the best way to prepare dinner it,” Monasmith mentioned. “It was she’d name me and he or she’d say, ‘I do not keep in mind how lengthy I am speculated to prepare dinner hen nuggets,’ or no matter she was cooking.”
Now Owen can pull an merchandise out of the freezer, or a can off a shelf, scan the label with the PENfriend 3 and listen to the recording giving her cooking instruction.
Monasmith additionally helped her put collectively a pocket book with plastic sleeves that comprises all of her essential paperwork and paperwork. If she must convey one thing along with her to an appointment, she will be able to discover it simply.
Owen has labels on clothes objects as nicely to assist her select objects that match. She will inform by really feel what a few of the objects are and what the material is, however contact can’t inform her the colour or sample.
“She used to must ask me what coloration have been her denims as a result of all of them really feel the identical,” mentioned Linda Jark-Stoffer, a good friend. “It actually helps her in coordinating her outfit for the day.”
The PENfriend 3 labels are small and simply affix to the producer’s label on the clothes. For clothes, the corporate makes labels totally different than these used for meals and different objects.
“After I heard about them, I assumed, ‘Yeah certain. How are they going to undergo the wash?’” Owen mentioned. “I inform you what, they do face up to a number of washings they usually face up to the dryer.”
Owen acquired the voice labeling machine from OCCK’s Resolution Outreach Heart after studying about it and researching it on an iPad, which is provided with voiceover expertise.
“Rachel truly did the entire analysis on her iPad, which implies that she needed to hearken to it and located all of this data,” Jark-Stoffer mentioned. “When she advised me about it, I used to be going to Salina, so I ended on the Resolution Heart and I discussed it to them. They mentioned, ‘We do not actually know something about it, however we’ll must look into it.
They held to their phrase and was capable of get one for Owen. Michael Daniels, assisted expertise director at Resolution Outreach, mentioned their mission is to assist individuals with disabilities discover options for his or her wants, whether or not it’s a wheelchair or piece of expertise.
“What she wanted was assist with identification,” he mentioned. “The PENfriend might be the very best factor in the marketplace, there are a few different issues in the marketplace however that is most likely the very best… and it is probably the most economical one in the marketplace.”
Owen began with a loaner machine to try it out and see if it actually was all she thought it could be. When she realized simply how a lot it improved her independence from her, OCCK helped her get her personal from her.
“I now do not must be involved — do I match?” she mentioned. “With the meals, I am unable to keep in mind all of the oven settings and the way lengthy one thing must be within the oven. It has enhanced both cooking meals lengthy sufficient or not burning meals.”
Cooking is one thing Owen enjoys and has a range arrange so she will be able to handle the settings. Nonetheless, she must understand how lengthy and on what temperature one thing goes into the oven for. OCCK additionally gave her extra-long oven mitts.
“Their entire thought is to make individuals extra snug and independently residing,” Jark-Stoffer mentioned. “Even the little objects equivalent to an oven mitt that you simply and I take with no consideration… I used to search out Rachel with burns on her wrists on a regular basis. She wished to proceed to prepare dinner however you contact that oven rack, you get burned.”
The security facet of the PENfriend 3 additionally spills over to issues like medicine. They’ll put a label on prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
Owen mentioned this machine has modified her life and he or she hopes individuals will attend her presentation to find out about it and see the way it can assist others, and never simply the visually impaired. She mentioned individuals who have studying difficulties, like dyslexia; or a cognitive impairment can profit from the machine as nicely.
“My purpose for doing that is to get anyone that both has different issues or blindness or a member of the family or a good friend data,” she mentioned. “Simply to get the phrase out in regards to the PENfriend 3 and the way helpful it’s.”
To study extra about assisted expertise and the way the PENfriend 3 can assist individuals, plan on attending the January story time.
Location: Chapman Senior Heart, 439 N. Marshall St.
Time: Lunch is at midday, presentation is after lunch and can begin roughly at 12:30
Value: $7 for individuals underneath 60 years previous, and $4 for older than 60.
Lunch reservations: Name (785) 922-6958