A Guide to Simple Communication Products for Daily Living
The aim of this Information Sheet is to provide first stop information on a range of simple communication products designed to make life easier for older and people with disabilities.
The first two sections provide detailed information on equipment used for reading and writing. From simple solutions such as easy-to-hold writing implements or pen and pencil holders to more sophisticated electric page turners and speech-based reading machines. The remaining sections focus on communication aids for speech and speech replacement, equipment suitable for people with hearing loss, and products to assist people who are blind and partially sighted.
Information on telephone products that can help older and disabled people, are described in the Assist Ireland Information Sheet entitled Choosing a Telephone, Textphone and Accessories, which is available on the Assist Ireland website.
Information on accessible computer-based solutions are detailed in depth by factsheets and skill sheets produced by other organisations such as Enable Ireland, the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC), the National Council for the Blind in Ireland (NCBI), DeafHear, and ISAAC Ireland. See 'Useful Addresses'.
For up-to-date information on specific products and suppliers in Ireland, visit the 'Products and Suppliers' section of the Assist Ireland online database (www.assistireland.ie). The information in this resource can also be accessed using the telephone support service on 0761 079 200 during office hours.
The information contained in this document is strictly for information purposes only. There are hazards with all equipment and the suitability of any solution is totally dependent on the individual. It is strongly recommended to seek professional advice and assistance before you consider buying any type of equipment mentioned in this Information Sheet.
WHERE TO GET HELP AND ADVICE
Before making any decisions about buying equipment, or making alterations to your home, it is strongly recommended to contact an occupational therapist (OT). An OT is qualified to assess your daily living needs. The OT will advise on possible solutions and will arrange for the provision of suitable equipment to those who are eligible eg medical card holders. The OT can also advise on home modifications, where appropriate, and on grants that may be available to help with the cost.
You can contact the OT for your area through the Community Care section of your Health Services Executive area. Contact details for your local services are in your local area phone book.
If you decide to buy equipment privately it is strongly recommended to seek the advice of an occupational therapist on the suitability of that equipment to your condition or situation. It is also recommended that you try out the equipment, if possible, before purchase.
There are many different ways to trail equipment before purchasing. Disability specific organisations such as DeafHear and the NCBI may provide you with the opportunity to trial equipment in their centres or shops before you buy. Some organisations and HSE areas may have access, through local therapists, to Try-It.ie, the Assistive Technology Loan Library, where equipment may be borrowed for trials.
Alternatively, you may be able to arrange a trial or demonstration with a supplier, by contacting the company directly. Contact details of suppliers can be found under 'Disabled Persons Products & Services' in the Golden Pages and some may have a website with details of their products and services which you can view online. Another source of information on suppliers of assistive technology, aids and appliances is the Access Directory. This directory is produced commercially each year and copies are widely available (see Useful Publications).
Sometimes suppliers organise exhibitions of different types of equipment in various locations around the country allowing people to see and try equipment. These exhibitions are often advertised in the local paper or on local radio. You can also request to be put on a supplier's mailing list so you will be notified if there is an event being held in your area.
Some companies will give equipment for a try-out period before purchase. Enquiries should also be made about maintenance (if it will be required), maintenance contracts (if relevant) and whether a user manual is provided with the equipment (essential).
When purchasing from any supplier, it is important to remember that it is their business to sell. There may be several suppliers of that particular piece of equipment or different manufacturers of the same type of equipment, so always shop around.
PROVISION OF EQUIPMENT
The supply of equipment depends upon the type and extent of your disability, your age and your circumstances.
At present, most reading and writing aids are not regarded as a daily living need, and are therefore not supplied via a community occupational therapist.
If you have difficulty with verbal communication, you may be eligible for an assessment by a speech and language therapist at a Community Care Clinic or Hospital. A referral is needed which can be made by your GP or hospital consultant. Communication aids, if appropriate, may be supplied to you through the Health Service Executive (HSE). If you are deaf or hard of hearing, equipment may sometimes be provided by your local DeafHear centre under HSE schemes for health and safety.
If you are blind or partially sighted, and have some useable sight, it is worth asking your GP or hospital consultant for an assessment at a low vision clinic. These services can provide advice regarding small reading aids, such as magnifiers or pocket binoculars, aids and appliances for daily living etc.
If you are in paid employment and need equipment to assist you with communication at work, then you may be entitled to help with the cost and provision of equipment under the Workplace Adaptation Grant. This grant is administered by FAS, and is designed to assist an employer with meeting the costs of aids and adaptations required by an employee with a disability. For more information, please contact your local FAS office.
For children at school
If a child has a disability and is under the age of 18 and still at school, access to funding for equipment may be available if he/she has a diagnosed disability or learning difficulty. For further information contact your local Special Education Needs Officer (SENO) through your child's school principal.
For students in further or higher education
If you are a student in higher education, you may be entitled to a disability allowance, as provided by the Department of Social Welfare. Students may also be entitled to Local Authority maintenance grants. For further information, please contact the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability (AHEAD).
READING EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSORIES
A number of products are available to assist people who have difficulty reading. A summary of the products that may be of help are described below:
LINE-FINDERS AND PAGE MARKERS
These are small plastic reading aids that are designed to assist you if text 'jumps' around on a page when you try to read it. This condition may be the result of a visual perceptual difficulty, or a learning disability such as dyslexia.
The line-finder is simply placed on the page to be read and masks out unwanted text. Some styles of line-finder have an aperture to form a 'reading window'; other models are placed beneath the text to act as an underline. All line-finders help to keep your eyes focused on a single row, and an indicator arrow is often featured to help you with left to right orientation. This is particularly useful if you have dyslexia.
These are small clips that are inserted into the spine of a book; they are designed as bookmarks and to keep the pages in an open position when pressing on the centre of the clip using your thumb. The Thumbthing is a particular product available that allows for one-handed reading.
If you find it difficult to hold a newspaper, book, or magazine because you experience pain or have limited dexterity or motor skills, you may find it beneficial to place the reading material on a book rest, music stand or copyholder.
If you are blind or partially sighted using a book rest may enable you to bring reading material physically closer to you, and have the effect of enlarging it. Alternatively, if you also need to use a hand-held magnifier, a book rest will make it unnecessary to hold the book, newspaper, or magazine, and the magnifier at the same time.
In some circumstances, using a cantilever table with a bed or with a chair, can be a suitable alternative to book rests, music stands or newspaper holders, as long as the table has a lip.
Types of book rests
- Free-standing book rests
- Book rests and reading lights on a clamp
- Floor-standing book rests
Free-standing book rests
These products are often portable and rest on a flat surface such as a tabletop. They are sometimes designed to be angle adjustable, enabling you to achieve a more comfortable reading position. If you need a method of holding pages open, some models are fitted with securing cords, other designs may use metal clips. Some holders may be large enough to take magazines and broadsheet newspapers.
Some book rests are designed to be used on your lap. These may be also fitted with a neck cord to provide extra support.
Some models may also be used as writing slopes. Other useful features may include: a carrying handle, a carousel for holding more than one book and, if the book rest can be used for reading and writing, holders for pens and writing materials.
Book rests on a clamp
If you need a book rest to be clamped to a table-top, bed-head or clip over the upper edge of an angled work surface, it is possible to buy a bookstand, mounted on a support arm.
Floor standing book rests, newspaper holders and music stands
If you do not have a convenient tabletop, or clamping surface suitable for a freestanding model or book rest on a clamp, it is possible to buy a stand-alone, floor-standing book rest.
The height and/or angle of the book rests are adjustable to provide you with a more comfortable reading position. Other options may include a fixed round base, or cantilever base on casters for use alongside chairs and beds. Some models may be large enough to accommodate music scores, magazines or newspapers.
MANUAL PAGE TURNERS INCLUDING MOUTHSTICKS
Head pointers and some mouthsticks may be used to turn pages.
ELECTRIC PAGE TURNERS
If you are physically unable to turn pages yourself, it is possible to get electric page turners that can do it for you. Some help may be necessary to fit the book into the machine but, once this has been done, turning the pages is achieved by a simple switch operation.
Electric page turners can be mains-operated or battery powered. Some models may be table-top mounted, others may be floorstanding and stand-alone. They may also be push-button operated or, in some cases, voice-activated.
One of the drawbacks of electric page turners is that they are expensive items to buy, most costing over €2,500.
If you find it difficult to see details on a page clearly, one useful accessory is a reading light that attaches to a book cover, or the spine of a page, shining a bright light onto the page.
Some magnifiers have built-in lamps to offer increased illumination over the reading material. Some lights on a clamp are available for use with book rests.
If you find it difficult to bend your neck, recumbent spectacles fitted with prism mirrors, may enable you to read, or watch TV whilst laying flat. They are sometimes known as prism glasses, and can be worn over ordinary spectacles.
WRITING EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSORIES
If you have difficulty writing there are a number of products available that are designed to help you. For example, if you only have the use of one hand, then you may need equipment to anchor a piece of paper onto a writing surface. If you have limited gripping ability, or have other difficulties in holding a standard pen, then you may need a different writing implement, or some form of holder for a standard pen or pencil.
Details of different types of writing boards and writing slopes are also described.
TYPES OF SPECIALIST WRITING EQUIPMENT:
- Writing slopes
- Magnetic tape, symbols and letters
- Paper holders, clipboards and magnetic boards
- Writing implements
- Pen and pencil holders
- Weighted cuffs and wrist holders
- Geometry instruments
These are table-top rests designed to hold paper at an angle to help you maintain a good writing position, and reduce strain on your neck. The height and angle of some models are adjustable to make them easy to use. They are fitted with a bottom ledge to prevent the page from slipping off. Some metal writing slopes are also available with magnetic paper holders.
Paper holders and magnetic boards
If you have limited dexterity or can only use one hand it may be necessary to use some form of paper securing device to prevent the sheet from moving about as you write. Various kinds of paper holders are available, and the choice depends upon the writing surface you are using. If you have a wooden surface, such as a writing slope, a metal clip may be used. An alternative may be to use a clipboard.
Some metal clips and clipboards may use a spring-mechanism, which could make them difficult to operate, especially if you have limited hand movement or pain. A more suitable solution may be to use magnetic boards or metal writing slopes. These use either metal or magnet holders that are simply placed on top of the paper, securing the page by magnetism.
There is a wide range of writing implements specifically designed for people who have difficulty holding standard pens and pencils. Some require very little pressure; others are moulded to make them easier to handle. If you have a tremor, a weighted pen may help you to reduce involuntary hand movements.
If you find it difficult to bend your hand, there is one model designed to be used with a straight finger. If you are blind or partially sighted and unable to identify colours, a set of scented coloured pens is available.
Pen and pencil holders and grips
These make a standard pen easier to grip. Products include pencil grips to improve or facilitate grip, palm grips, stabilisers to keep a pen upright, and holders for use with a mouth/head pointer.
Magnetic tape, symbols, letters
These products are useful for communicating messages or attaching materials, such as paper, to metal surfaces. They are particularly useful if you are unable to use writing equipment and have speech difficulties.
Weighted cuffs and wrist holders
These are used to reduce involuntary movements of the hands and/or the lower arm, thereby stabilising, for example, the hand for writing and teeth cleaning.
EQUIPMENT FOR SPEECH AND SPEECH REPLACEMENT
Sometimes known as Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), this section provides guidance on simple ways in which you can supplement or replace spoken communication. This includes information on some kinds of communication aids and strategies that may help you if you have difficulty speaking.
The equipment covered in this Information Sheet is listed below:
- Letter, word, picture charts, folders and/or books
- Eye pointer boards
- Rotary pointer boards
- Specialist switches for communication aids
- Scanning communication boards
- Communication strategies
LETTER, WORD, PICTURE CHARTS, FOLDERS AND/OR BOOKS
These items offer a simple solution for basic communication if you have little or no speech. They can also be particularly useful if you are unable to write things down easily. Letters, words, or pictures are shown to you in a folder, book or on a chart. You can then select individual letters, words, pictures or symbols to convey your respective needs to another person.They may also provide an aid to basic two-way communication if you are deaf or hard of hearing. If the product contains a page of alphabet letters and numbers, you can construct words and sentences by pointing at one letter or digit at a time.
Larger systems may contain over 300 picture cards to represent words, food and drink, people or feelings. They may be categorised using colour codes or be arranged in a pocked-sized presentation folder to make them easy to use.
It may also be possible for you to create a folder of your own using a photograph album. This could include pictures of everyday objects such as a clock face or cup of tea with corresponding words or phrases written underneath. This can have the added advantage of being personalised to meet your own specific requirements.
EYE POINTER BOARDS
These boards are communication displays that are designed for access by 'eye gaze'. Your communication partner is positioned facing you on the other side of the board and will be able to see where your eyes are focused. This is because the board is either transparent or made with a square cut-out in the centre.
At a basic level the user indicates/builds up a message by gazing at the appropriate item (letter, word, symbol, picture) on the display. At a more complex level, colour coding allows more items to be displayed.
ROTARY POINTER BOARDS
These products are battery powered pointer boards that can help you to communicate a message. They work by using a switch to rotate a pointer. As it turns, you stop its movement as it points to a chosen picture, word or symbol, to indicate the required message.
If you have difficulty using a standard switch, several alternatives are available to suit your individual requirements.
SCANNING COMMUNICATION BOARDS
These products contain a number of squares which can be lit sequentially or, in some instances, in programmable patterns, to facilitate communication. Symbols, real or miniature objects can be placed on the areas to be illuminated and you can stop the light when the required object or symbol is illuminated. They can be either mains or battery powered and are operated by switches chosen to suit your specific needs.
Some of these products may be further enhanced with sounds or speech selection. Speech based communication boards may have press keys that operate spoken words or phrases.
SPECIALIST SWITCHES FOR COMMUNICATION AIDS
If you have limited dexterity or motor function, and find it difficult to operate conventional switches, you may need an alternative type of switch to enable you to control your communication equipment.
Before buying a device ensure that you can operate any switches easily. If you require an alternative style of switch, check it is compatible with the product you are buying.
ALTERNATIVE TYPES OF SWITCHES
Suck or blow switches
These are simple switches that you operate using your mouth with a suck or blow action. The switch can be mounted on a bed or wheelchair, or to a wall or floor stand.
These devices consist of a large active plate area and a low operating pressure which enables you to easily activate a communication aid using your hand, knee, chin, elbow and head. They can be mounted on a flexible bracket stand for use in a wheelchair, bed or chair. Some models can be fitted with guards to prevent accidental activation.
These are strongly made switches that are operated by moving your foot.
These are easy-to-use, light-to-the-touch switches mounted on a flexible stand, which you can activate by using your hand, head or chin. The flexible stand makes it easy to position and move them on a bed, chair or wheelchair, using a clamp.
This is a single switch mounted on a tube that you can operate using your chin.
These techniques are designed to help you overcome communication difficulties. Some are published resources which are useful for developing alternative or augmentative communication skills, but they are not necessarily tied to any specific equipment. They may include vocabulary selection and sets of signs or symbols.
Lámh Language System
The Lámh language system is a vocabulary of manual signs designed for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and communication difficulties. It is based on Irish Sign Language (ISL). It has approximately 500 signs, which are used to indicate keys words in a sentence, which is also spoken. Training is provided by Lámh tutors, a list of whom can be accessed through Lámh Development Office. Other resources, such as Lámh-a-Song, a DVD containing nursery rhymes with Lámh signs are also available. Makaton, the British equivalent of Lámh, is sometimes used in Language Units and Language Classes.
Multi-fit hook and loop wrist bands
These are a simple, inexpensive solutions designed for basic communication. The bands are in three colours: GREEN for 'Yes', RED for 'No' and BLACK for 'Mixed'. Self-adhesive symbols can also be attached to the bands using a hook so that the basic message is enhanced. They are mainly used in environments where symbol books or VOCA (Voice Output Communication Aids) cannot be used, such as in a swimming pool, or on a bus. One advantage of this system is that it can be easily understood by an unfamiliar communication partner.
Using the Deaf-Blind Manual
Although it is a language designed for people with sight and hearing loss, the Deaf-Blind Manual may also be a useful communication tool for some people with speech difficulties. Communication is made by using one of your hands to touch various parts of your partner's hand, to represent letters of the alphabet to form words. The basic alphabet is quick and easy to learn, and has the advantage that it can be used anywhere with your interpreter. There is a Deafblind manual alphabet page on www.deafblind.com. For further information and an instruction leaflet on the Deaf-Blind Manual alphabet, contact an organisation called Deafblind UK (see 'Useful Addresses').
Using objects of reference
With someone you know it may be possible to devise your own basic communication language or strategy using everyday objects. For example, you could pick up a fork to indicate that you are hungry or that it is time to eat; or perhaps a towel to say that you want to go swimming.
EQUIPMENT FOR PEOPLE WITH HEARING LOSS
If you are deaf or hard of hearing, this section provides some guidance on a number of products that can make life easier for you. This includes equipment to help you with one-to-one or group conversation, and items to enable you to hear TV and audio equipment more easily. More detailed information on these products is available in factsheets and leaflets from DeafHear (see 'Useful Addresses').
PERSONAL SOUND AMPLIFIERS FOR ONE-TO-ONE OR GROUP CONVERSATION
These products are portable amplifiers for use in one-to-one or group conversations. They generally consist of a hand-held microphone, table-top amplifier (placed near the sound source) and headphones. It is usually unnecessary to use a hearing aid with these amplifiers.
If you find it physically difficult to hold the microphone, it may be possible to get a clip-on microphone instead, or use it with a floor-standing or table-top microphone stand.
Styles and sound quality of headsets or headphones may vary. Make sure that the one you choose is comfortable and works well for you. If you normally use a hearing aid and cannot hear the amplified sound clearly using a headphone or headset, you may find a neck loop or ear loop a more useful device.
A neck loop or ear loop are small inductive couplers which should be used with your hearing aid in the 'T' position. The amplified signal is received by your hearing aid directly from the loop by electrical induction.
PERSONAL SOUND AMPLIFIERS FOR AMPLIFICATION OF TV AUDIO EQUIPMENT AND CONVERSATION
These are portable amplifiers designed to amplify TV and audio equipment. They generally consist of a microphone - which is placed near to the loudspeakers of a TV or audio equipment - and amplifier, and an earpiece for the user. They have dials to alter volume and allow high and low tone selection. Some amplifiers are also useful for amplifying conversation. There may be the option of a loop receiver version for people who use hearing aids with 'T' position switch. Some amplifiers connect directly to TV and audio equipment using connecting leads instead of using a microphone.
PERSONAL OR DOMESTIC LOOP SYSTEMS - INCLUDING THOSE FOR USE IN A CAR
If you use a hearing aid, domestic loop systems provide an alternative to listening through a headset or ear-pieces. These systems consist of an induction loop placed around the room or car, and a microphone and amplifier placed near the sound source. Anyone sitting within the loop system with their hearing aid on 'T' will receive amplified sound from the source without background noise. This device eliminates the need for any wires between the user and the apparatus.
PUBLIC LOOP SYSTEMS FOR USE WITH HEARING AID ON 'T' POSITION
These are more powerful versions of the personal loop systems described above, and are used in public buildings, meeting rooms, conference halls, or across the counter in banks and other organisations (they are illustrated by the symbol below). They consist of an induction loop wire which encircles the room. The unit then provides amplified sound to anyone within the loop system who has a hearing aid switched to the 'T' position.
INDUCTION LOOP RECEIVERS FOR PEOPLE WITHOUT 'T' POSITION HEARING AIDS
If you do not use a 'T' position hearing aid, an induction receiver enables you to benefit from a loop system using light, cordless headphones, earphones or behind the ear receivers, instead of a hearing aid. They are battery powered, and can be pocket-sized, with built-in amplification and volume controls.
RADIO MICROPHONE SYSTEMS
These are radio microphone units designed to be used in conjunction with hearing aids or headphones. They consist of a transmitter and microphone worn by the person talking, and a receiver worn by the person who is hard of hearing. Sound is amplified using a neck loop or can be input directly if the user has a direct input hearing aid. The system helps the listener to hear the speaker's voice without unwanted background interference. Since the system uses radio waves to transmit sound, it allows complete freedom of movement and is particularly useful in educational settings. Radio microphones can also be used with amplification systems and public loop systems for group use.
INFRA-RED AMPLIFIERS FOR AMPLIFICATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL SOUNDS AND CONVERSATION
These are cordless systems consisting of a small infra-red transmitter which plugs directly into the headphone socket of the TV, radio or hi-fi or, if fitted with a built-in microphone, placed adjacent to the sound source. Sound is sent through an infra-red signal to a receiver which is hand-held or connected to headphones/earphones or to a hearing aid in the 'T' position. These can be used for group listening with one transmitter and several receivers with headsets.
EQUIPMENT FOR BLIND AND PARTIALLY SIGHTED PEOPLE
This section details some useful products to help you with reading and written communication if you are blind or partially sighted. These items include magnifiers and stand-alone reading machines and some Braille writing equipment and accessories to make reading and writing easier. This section also identifies some alternative ways of accessing information in standard print and the services available.
Magnifiers may be used to either optically or digitally enlarge reading and writing material if you have sight loss. Your ability to read and/or write may also be enhanced by bringing the subject closer to your eye level using suitable stands or holders.
The most common types of magnifiers available are:
- Hand-held magnifiers
- Magnifiers used directly over the subject
- Magnifiers attached to a spectacle or headband
- Magnifiers with neck attachment
- Magnifiers mounted or placed on furniture, floor, or wall
- Magnifiers that fit over screens
- Closed circuit television (CCTV) for the magnification of text.
These devices can be used for most everyday needs and are held directly over the subject to make it appear larger. The strength of magnification may vary between about 1.5 times (x 1.5) to 12 times (x 12). They are available in a range of physical shapes and sizes. How much bigger you see the item will also depend on the distance you and the magnifier are from the object you are looking at. They are not suitable if you have a shaky hand or find a hand-held device difficult to grip.
Some hand-held magnifiers may also be fitted with a built-in battery powered lamp to improve clarity and enhance the text. These devices are held close to the page and are unsuitable for use when writing. You may also find it difficult to use other hand magnifiers for writing without the help of a paper holder.
Magnifiers used directly on or over subject
If you have weak or shaky hands, using a magnifier on a stand may be ideal for reading and, if the stand is tall enough, also for writing. Magnifiers used directly on the page can only be used for reading. Some may be designed as full-sized sheets. Other products may be designed to magnify a single line at a time or a smaller area. Sheet magnifiers are sometimes made of plastic and have a relatively low level of magnification, which is determined by the thickness of the lens.
Magnifiers attached to spectacle or headband
These products are built into a spectacle frame that attach to existing spectacles or are supported on a headband. Some lenses are designed to tilt away from the eyes when not in use. It is advisable to seek the opinion of a qualified ophthalmologist if additional magnification is required to prescription lenses. Alternative magnifiers may be required to meet differing requirements.
Magnifiers with neck attachment
These products have a neck cord or attachment which enables the magnifier to rest on the chest leaving the hands free. Some incorporate a second lens, giving greater magnification.
Magnifiers mounted or placed on furniture, floor or wall
These magnifiers are designed to be wall-mounted, attached to furniture by a clamp, or free standing on a table-top or the floor. They facilitate hands-free use. Many are mounted on an adjustable arm allowing variation of angle and position. Some incorporate a light.
Magnifiers to fit over screens
Magnifying equipment included in this section is designed to be attached externally over a TV or computer screen.
Closed Circuit Televisions for Magnification Of Text
These are portable closed circuit television systems which provide partially sighted people with a magnified image. They consist of a VDU, TV or computer screen and a camera with zoom lens attached. Text is placed under the camera and is viewed, much enlarged, on the screen.
ELECTRONIC READING EQUIPMENT AND BOOKS
These are reading machines which convert printed material into synthesised speech. The scanner may be able to read from books, newspapers, magazines and A4 sheets. Other equipment available includes portable talking dictionaries and thesauruses.
MANUAL BRAILLE EQUIPMENT
A number of hand-held products are available to enable you to write using Braille, including frames and styles, alphabet blocks and small items bearing identification in Braille.
These include equipment for printing Braille and binding documents. Output options include Braille typed on paper, tape, Dymo Tape or plastic sheet and two or three dimensional Braille displays.
EQUIPMENT FOR TRANSLATION INTO BRAILLE OR TACTILE DISPLAY
There are a number of services and items of equipment available that provide translation of visually presented material (text, maps, diagrams, pictures) into tactile, Braille, or Moon formats.
AUDIBLE AND TACTILE MARKINGS, LABELLING AND DISPLAYS
There is a range of labels available with tactile or audio output to facilitate the identification of individual items, such as tins of food.
READING AND WRITING ACCESSORIES
These are placed on the page to identify/isolate areas of text. They may also be designed to magnify text and/or reduce glare. In some cases an arrow indicator on the left side promotes left to right tracking.
Products include exercise books, notepaper, grid paper or music manuscript with raised lines. They are available in a range of sizes and/or line widths, postal bags and boxes used to send Braille manuscripts through the post.
Signature, paper and envelope guides
These products are templates designed to help you maintain the correct writing position when using a pen or pencil. These include guides to assist you to write a letter, sign your name, or address an envelope correctly. Some banks will supply you with a guide template to assist you when writing a cheque.
- The Access Directory
A directory of assistive technology, aids and appliances suppliers and services published annually. Available from:
Access and Mobility Ltd
6 Ticknock Dale
Tel: 01-206 3387
PO Box 94
Tel/Text: 0044 800 269 545
Fax: 0044 1926 407425
AHEAD (Association for Higher Education Access & Disability)
Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland (AOTI)
Ground Floor Office
Bow Bridge House
Tel: 01-633 7222
Central Remedial Clinic (CRC)
Tel: 01-805 7400
Fax: 01-833 6633
National Centre for Deafblindness
John and Lucille van Gesst Place
Tel: 0044 173 335 8100
Fax: 0044 173 335 8356
DeafHear (formerly the National Association for Deaf People in Ireland)
35 North Frederick Street
Tel: 01-872 3800
Minicom: 01-817 5777
Text: 01-878 3629
Videophone: 01-817 1400
Fax: 01-872 3816
Disabled Living Foundation (DLF)(UK charity providing advice and information and a comprehensive up-to-date database of disability equipment available in the UK)
380-384 Harrow Road
Tel: 0044 207 289 6111
Electronic Assistive Technology Library
National Rehabilitation Hospital
Tel: 01-235 5339
Fax: 01-235 5128
National High Tech Assistive Technology Training Service
1 Grand Canal Quay
Tel: 01-899 2080
Irish Deaf Society – The National Association of the Deaf (IDS)
30 Blessington Street
Tel: 01-860 1878
Minicom: 01-860 1910
ISAAC Ireland (the International Society for AAC)
National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI)
Tel: 01-830 7033
LoCall: 1850 334 353
Fax: 01-830 7787
Lámh Development Office
Tel: 059-913 9657
Ricability(independent research body in UK which produces guides for older and disabled consumersbasedon professional research)
30 Angel Gate
326 City Road
Tel: 0044 207 427 2460
Fax: 0044 207 427 2468
VAT (Unregistered) Repayments Section
Tel: 065-684 9000
LoCall: 1890 202 033
Fax: 065-684 9248