The winds of winter are blowing here in North Dakota. With them, assistive technology (AT) for staying independent and active through the winter is a hot topic during the cold weather! Grab a hot beverage and curl up to the computer screen with me as I discuss five important considerations for the upcoming months.
- Stay warm!
If your furnace has not kicked yet, it will soon. Maintaining that perfect temperature in your home is important for so many reasons. For individuals with low vision or blindness, be sure you know the temperature you are setting your furnace to with talking thermostats. For those who have a hard time seeing the small print on standard thermostats, try one with large print.
- Stay communicating!
If you are like me, you use your cell phone to make calls or text in most climates – including the freezing cold! Sometimes, people with disabilities need to use digital devices in the cold for more reasons than just a phone call or text. In one of many instances, touchscreens devices may provide a gateway to an individual’s preferred mode of augmentative and alternative communication. For those individuals, keeping their hands warm and operational in the cold a necessity and a safety measure. For that reason, winter gloves for touchscreens may be a vital piece of AT.
- Stay mobile!
There are many AT devices available that help individuals stay mobile during the cold winter months. These devices may include a walker, Rollator, or ice grips for shoes. The five prong ice grip is one of my favorite AT devices for snowy terrain. It easily attaches to the end of most canes or crutches, and adds that extra grip needed to navigate slippery ground.
- Stay upright!
Sometimes entering and exiting from a building or home is the most dangerous part of winter. Installing simple grab bars or handrails, paired with snow gravel or ice melt, may be one way to beat slippery entrances and exits.
- Stay safe!
Living in North Dakota chances are we will be snowed in at least once this winter season. Having an emergency plan in place for dangerous winter weather is crucial, especially for the safety of those with disabilities. Check out fellow IPAT blogger, Peggy Shireley’s blog, AT as Part of Emergency Prepardness.
Listed are just a few of many different types of AT for winter. If you have any questions on how you could better stay independent during the winter months, give IPAT a call or send us an email!