Tappy Guide

Tappy Guide is a free wayfinding app for iOS and Android platforms that assists people with vision impairments, people who are deaf or hearing impaired, wheelchair users, older adults, and veterans with navigation, directions, and accessibility. Similar to the “Be My Eyes” app, Tappy Guide uses trained volunteers who communicate through the app using GPS technology and the cell phone camera. Tappy Guide was created by John Petrous, who has family members who are blind. Tappy Guide is seeking both app users and volunteers. For more information, visit: www.TappyGuide.com

Assistive Technology Funding Source

Tech-Cessibility

Laughing at My Nightmare

www.laughingatmynightmare.com/tech-cessibility

Persons with disabilities can apply to receive an iPad Pro, an Amazon Echo Show, an Obi Robotic Feeder, or any assistive technology device that does not exceed $5,000. Medical certification of disability is required. Submission deadline: October 30, 2021. Devices provided while funding lasts. Monetary donations welcomed. Available only to U.S. residents

This organization also provides grants for various types of equipment (medical supplies, wheelchair modifications, computer or communication devices, or smart devices) to individuals with a neuromuscular disease. Information for that grant can be found here: www.laughingatmynightmare.com/no-more-nightmares-application

Laughing at My Nightmare is a non-profit organization run by Shane Burcaw, who has Spinal Muscular Dystrophy, a type of Muscular Dystrophy. Shane is also an author, a motivational speaker, and stars in a popular YouTube reality series with his wife Hannah called “Squirmy and Grubs”.

National Book Festival

The Library of Congress National Book Festival will be a virtual event that takes place from September 17 – 26, 2021. The theme of this year’s event is “Open a book, open the world.” All sessions will be available as livestreams and videos on demand. For more information about the festival, visit: https://www.loc.gov/events/2021-national-book-festival

You can also view new information by visiting the National Book Festival blog at: https://blogs.loc.gov/national-book-festival/

Workshops from the Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area

The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area will soon offer two workshops of interest to seniors and their caregivers:

  • The Chronic Pain Self-Management workshop is available to seniors age 60 or older. This six-week virtual course is available online or by phone and will run for two and a half hours each Thursday from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. beginning on May 13 and ending on June 17.
  • The Caregiver workshop is for anyone who provides care for a senior who is 60 or older. This six-week virtual course is available online or by phone and will run for two and a half hours each Wednesday from 1:30 – 4:00 p.m. beginning on April 14 and ending on May 19.

Both workshops are free, but registration is required, and class size is limited. Contact Jessica Martone at 512-916-6180, or email jmartone@capcog.org for more information, or to register.

The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area serves the counties of Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis, and Williamson.

Other Area Agencies on Aging in Texas will have these workshops available at various times. To find the office that serves your county, visit https://apps.hhs.texas.gov/contact/aaa.cfm or call 1-800-252-9240.

A Mighty Good Time Programming for Seniors

A Mighty Good Time is a web site for older adults living in the Central Texas area that lists online and in-person programming designed for senior citizens. As most events are virtual for the foreseeable future, this programming can now be accessed from anywhere. These events include a variety of exercise options, virtual tours of museums and world landmarks, cooking demonstrations, book clubs, current event discussions, learning about technology, history lectures, games, and much more. Some of the programs are limited to seniors fifty years and older, but many have no age requirement. And most of the programs are free. Most require Internet access, but some may be accessed by phone or Internet.

During this time of isolation, A Mighty Good Time offers a wealth of social, physical, and intellectual enrichment opportunities. Visit www.amightygoodtime.com and start filling up your calendar.

Senior Planet’s Aging Connected Technology Sessions

Senior Planet is a national organization committed to providing free online programming to older adults. Every week seniors can access a variety of events such as types of exercise, book clubs, and learning opportunities. There are Senior Planet offices in a few cities, including San Antonio.

Recently Senior Planet launched Aging Connected, with the goal of helping seniors learn about technology. Each week Aging Connected highlights the one hour programs that Senior Planet offers about different aspects of current technology, such as getting connected, online shopping, mobile health apps, virtual platforms such as Zoom, transportation apps, and much more. These sessions are interactive, and participants are encouraged to ask questions, and share ideas and resources.

For more information, visit https://seniorplanet.org/aging-connected. You can also call the Aging Connected hotline at 877-745-1930.

Transportation in Travis County

The United Way of Central Texas can provide transportation through the ride share service Lyft for individuals in Travis County who need rides to doctor appointments, job interviews, or for grocery shopping.

United Way sets up the rides, so the individual does not need a smart phone or mobile device. Interested persons can call Connect ATX for more information at 833-512-2289. Connect ATX operates from 9 am – 4 pm Monday – Friday.

Coronavirus Resources

Here are some helpful resources about COVID-19 and the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines:

Combat COVID

https://combatcovid.hhs.gov/

Combat COVID-19 features resources about prevention trials and treatment trials, as well as information on donating plasma if you have recovered from COVID-19.

COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines

https://www.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/whats-new/

This site from the National Institutes of Health contains the most up-to-date information on what treatments are available for people who contract COVID-19.

Coronavirus in Texas

https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus

The Department of State Health Services has established this web site for Texans who need information about the virus and about vaccine distribution. You can also contact your County or City Public Health Department for more details about vaccine distribution.

V-Safe

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/vsafe.html

V-Safe is a smartphone app that helps you track any symptoms you may experience after taking a COVID-19 vaccine. The app will also remind you when a second dose of the vaccine is needed, if applicable.

COVID-19 Accessible Resources

https://cidi.gatech.edu/covid

The Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation at Georgia Tech has set up a microsite for people with disabilities who need resources about COVID-19. Individuals can request information in alternative formats such as braille and accessible PDF’s. The site also features coronavirus-related articles, and the Center is producing a series of webinars for people with disabilities about topics related to COVID-19. Past webinars are archived on the site.

Fall Prevention Checklist

Unfortunately, falls among older people are common, but they don’t have to be a normal part of aging.

Falls can be the result of tripping over objects, falling from stools or ladders, or losing your balance, possibly due to vision or hearing problems, or because of the side effects from some medications.

Click on this link for a free quiz to assess your risk for a fall: https://www.ncoa.org/healthy-aging/falls-prevention/falls-free-checkup/

You have the option to sign up for a free report and follow-up after you take the quiz.

Regular exercise can help reduce your risk for a fall. The National Institute on Aging has a helpful web site on exercise and physical activity: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/exercise-physical-activity

It is advisable to consult with your doctor before you begin an exercise routine.

Prepare for Disasters with Ready.gov

September is Emergency Preparedness month, but being ready for a disaster is a year-round necessity.

Whether it’s a pandemic, fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, or other natural disaster, this national website can help you make a plan to protect your home, family, and business.

The Ready.gov site includes a section for people with disabilities: https://www.ready.gov/disability

You can also download the FEMA app to your Apple or Android mobile device. Content within the app is available in English and in Spanish.