In this industry we hear a lot of chatter about assistive or adaptive technologies that aids the individuals that we support, and because of those tittles the technology comes with a premiums price tag.

I want to talk about technologies that already exist that can aid a community that usually have a difficult times purchasing assistive or adaptive tech stuff. I call it “re-purposed technology“; a device that was invented for one thing and can be applied in another way not thought of.

Let me give you an example re-purposing technologies: A person who needs some verbal cueing for his shower routine. (picture cuing has been tried and failed) and verbal cuing requires some type of people presence. Well, in this scenario the re-purposing technology we can use is a waterproof CD player and record the verbal cues on a blank CD (maybe include favorite music in the background if the cues).

The above scenario uses technology that was created for something other than giving someone a sense of independence.

Here is another way we can re-purpose technology. For daily routines that requires picture cues, let’s say Kitchen chores. Why not get a digital photo frame that can stand on a counter or in the line of site of the individual doing the routines. Take some photos of the them or someone preforming the tasks correctly and save them to a flashstick, then label that stick the name of the routine. So you will have several flashsticks with several different routines on them. So now you can plug the flashstick with the routine that needs to be done into the Digital photo frame and use the slide show feature.

These are some examples, but there are alot of technologies that can be re-purposed. I would love to hear some more ideas and get a conversation going. Technology isn’t new but the pairing of it with our community is a growing trend. -D.W. Van Hook