Updated Notice (October 30, 2020): WATAP is moving offices over the next month! Beginning October 30, our short-term device lending program will be on hold and we will place all requests on a wait list. We hope to begin fulfilling requests after December 4th. Device demonstrations will not be available during this time frame as well. 

Due to COVID-19, we continue to evaluate the extent we are able to provide all of our services while maintaining the health and safety of our staff and of those receiving our services. In-person trainings and public outreach events will continue to be suspended for the foreseeable future. We are offering a variety of assistive technology webinars in the upcoming weeks, so follow us on FaceBook and Twitter for the latest updates and announcements.

Please check back for future updates and do not hesitate to contact us via 800-214-8731 or watap@uw.edu.

Everyday Tools - Managing Information

There are many conditions that affect an individual's ability to learn, remember, plan, navigate, and interact socially with others. These conditions include learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, degenerative conditions, and conditions that result from external or internal trauma to the brain. People with these conditions will have different levels of disability, different patterns of cognitive challenges, and different trajectories of cognition over time. Activities of daily living can be effected by these challenges and technology is used to supplement their abilities.

These dedicated devices or apps for mobile technology help organize tasks and daily schedules. Some products provide auditory or vibration alerts for people who will not remember to check their schedule.

Borrow devices for memory & organization

Sleep Aids - a good night sleep can help increase an individual's concentration and cognitive abilities throughout the day. Apps, dedicated devices, and combinations of hardware and apps help monitor sleep and some provide feedback for changing the sleep environment.

Anxiety Reduction - There is wearable technologies that provide weight and pressure to help reduce anxiety. There are also games and apps that train individuals on anxiety reduction techniques such as deep breathing and positive thinking strategies. 

Relaxation - Apps and devices to help with monitoring stress levels and teaching techniques for relaxation. Apps and devices that provide auditory and visual feedback provide interactive space to calm individual's nerves during stressful moments. 

Literacy software and mobile apps - Provide features to assist individual who have learning disabilities to improve their reading and writing. Software products vary in features and how they interact with web browsers and other software on the computer. Some typical features of literacy software and apps include:

For Reading

  • Text-to-speech: The product uses a digitized voice to read a document out loud by word, sentence or paragraph. Printed documents which have been scanned can also be read by some products with scanning capabilities.
  • Text highlighting: Most products have the ability to highlight the sentence or paragraph as it is being read out loud. Some products also have the ability to highlight, in a different color, the word being spoken within the highlighted sentence.

For Writing

  • Word Prediction: Most products have a feature that displays the most commonly used words based on the letters being typed. These words are displayed in a window in a numbered list. The user can type the number which corresponds to the word they are trying to write. In some products users can also have the words read out loud or look up the meaning prior to choosing them. Most prediction programs learn the user's vocabulary and become more accurate over time in displaying user's preferred words.
  • Homophone support: Products assist with making a distinction between words that sound the same but are spelled differently (i.e., see and sea). When user's select this feature, the product highlight homophones in a document and definitions are given for each word to aid users in choosing the right one

Borrow software for reading and writing support

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)- These devices use a camera to capture an image of printed documents then use a computer generated voice to read the print out loud. Some products are standalone devices with limited, tactile, and simple to use controls. Other OCR products use a camera in conjunction with computer software which allows the user to take the picture of printed material using keyboard commands then listen to and edit the document on the computer.

Borrow technology that scans and reads