Assistive technology

According to the United States Assistive Technology Act of 1998, assistive technology (also called adaptive technology ) refers to any “product, device, or equipment, whether acquired commercially, modified or customized, that is used to maintain, increase, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.”

(Digression/Note: spell check prefers adaptive.)

We’ve mentioned too many times to count that our son with autism, Joey, likes to watch movies old school, on VHS.  He also likes to push buttons for rapid replay and change, and thus breaks machines which are increasingly hard to acquire.

After his latest VCR destruction, we went in search of another machine (devouring Tim’s day off, of course) AND some kind of assistive technology to keep Joey from pushing buttons.

We almost murdered the salesman at one store.  When we asked if there were any contraptions to cover off the VCR buttons, he said, “It’s called parental oversight.”  Ah, yes, the old “bad parenting” meme explains it all.  Almost had to go all assistive on his a** attitude.

On a whim (or bit of divine guidance), we checked out a local store that sells “retired” hotel furniture.  And there we found a piece of assistive technology… from some 70s motel… the only one of its kind in the whole store… maybe the last one on the planet…


It’s almost perfect.  The cabinet space is wide enough for the VCR.  The plywood back has a big ragged hole in it for wires to run through.  The bottom drawers can hold plenty of videos.

Friends came over to help us tote it in and set it up.  The only downside is that the hasps on the cabinet doors are too far apart for the lock I envisioned.  So we had to improvise.  Joey defeated a wire hanger thingy that we fashioned.  Shoelaces didn’t work at first but we doubled them and tied some hellish knots.

He’s grumpy and protesting but we just smile and say, “What movie do you want to watch?   You can watch a movie, just no pushing buttons!”

So he can watch whole features just like the rest of humanity.  If he wants snippets or previews, he can use his old computer and YouTube.

The assistive technology seems to work… for US.  WE feel much better.

Heh heh heh heh heh.

1 thought on “Assistive technology

  1. Pingback: Sometimes Care Giving Stinks

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