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Apr 29, 2008

KNFB Reader Mobile

KNFB Reader - Home

This was one of the items that got my attention at the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference in March. It is a cell phone with the ability to take a picture of a book, magazine, or other printed text, run the picture through the Kurzweil software and speak the words aloud. It is targeted for people who have difficulty reading due to learning disabilities or people that are blind or with low vision.
One thing I especially like about this device is that it is unobtrusive. People do not have to carry an awkward or additional piece of equipment with them.
This was developed as a joint venture between Kurzweil Technologies and the National Federation of the Blind.

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Apr 16, 2008

Environmental Commitment

As part of Believe Ability's commitment to the environment, we donated 1% of our gross sales to Tierra Miguel Foundation, an organic farm based on sustainable farming practices. Here is Jason Hilkey presenting Farmer Mil with the check. 
The farm is also a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm, where members purchase a "share" of the farm at the beginning of each season and then receive a box of produce each week (or every other week) based on the production of
 the farm. 
As a member of 1% For The Planet, Believe Ability has pledged to give 1% of the company's gross receipts each year to an environmental organization. 1%FTP was started by Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia, as a means for businesses to succeed in the marketplace while also causing environmental change.
We encourage other business to consider taking on this commitment.

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Apr 15, 2008

AbleNet Acquires Tash International

AbleNet Inc. Acquires Tash International
Looks like another acquisition of assistive technology companies. It will be interesting to see what will come of all the switches that the two companies will now have.
Looks like all the products will be available from

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Apr 11, 2008

Parent/Family Financial Training Seminar

Info from the AT Network on an upcoming seminar on financial planning for a family member with a developmental disability.


Here’s some information that AT Network Member Patricia Herrera would like to share with any families living in the Greater Los Angeles Area who might benefit from some advocacy and financial planning for a family member with a developmental disability. While this seminar does not directly address assistive technology, it is very much about financial planning which ultimately touches upon everything else, including access to assistive technology.


Foundation for Advocacy, Conservatorship and Trust, Inc., 

in partnership with
Community Integration Services, Inc. present:

A Parent / Family Training Seminar

April 12, 2008

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Community Integration Services, Inc.

10100 Balboa Boulevard

Granada Hills, CA 91344

Telephone 818-772-1155

This workshop is designed to empower parents, siblings and other  family members of children and adults with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injury and severe learning disabilities to become effective advocates and to offer the tools and support to ensure peace of mind by providing the promise of future safety and security.


Topics to be discussed:

·         Conservatorship

·         Living Trusts / POA's

·         Special Needs Trusts

·         Funding the Trust

·         Effective Advocacy/ IPP’s, SSA,SSI,IHSS and more

·         Good ITP’s = Successful


$ 75.00 per Individual • $ 115.00 per Couple

Fee covers all materials, Continental breakfast and catered luncheon.

For more workshop details and registration information Contact:

Janet Chisnell @ FACT, Inc.

(818) 225-7393


 From 118 Fwy

Exit at Balboa Avenue. Head south past

Devonshire to CIS (east side of the street)

From 101

Exit at Balboa Avenue. Head North past Lassen

to CIS (east side of the street)

From 405 south

Exit at Devonshire. Head west to Balboa.

Turn south to CIS (east side of the street)

From 405 North

Exit at Nordhoff. Head west to Balboa.

Head North past Lassen to CIS (east side of the street)

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Apr 4, 2008

Disabled students required to pass California exit exam

Disabled students required to pass CA exit exam

Looks like this is pretty final. No longer will there be exemptions for students in special education to pass the CASHEE (CA High School Exit Exam). It would be helpful to make the exam more accessible for students with disabilities, especially physical and learning disabilities.

The settlement will provide tutoring for 2 years after graduation to help the student pass the exam.

CA Dept. of Ed. most recent (10/2007) guidelines on accommodations and modifications for the CASHEE is here.