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User Accessibility Case Study: ProFlowers

My sister recently sent me flowers.  Due to Hurricane Harvey and the fact that I live in a flooded neighborhood in Houston, they took a while to get to me. The flowers didn’t last long but the packaging provided me with the perfect example of accessible and usable content!

I was tired from hurricane recovery when I opened the box. I also wasn’t wearing my glasses, so I was unable to see well.  I don’t get flowers very often, which means I’m unfamiliar with how to care for them.

Luckily, ProFlowers provides excellent directions on their flowers.  Continue reading “User Accessibility Case Study: ProFlowers”

Does Your Digital Product Reach an Older Audience?

As a speech pathologist, I have worked with people in all stages of life — literally from birth to death. When I became involved in the tech industry, I was amazed by the power of technology in the lives of people with health conditions and disabilities.

When the iPod Touch was released, I began using it with my senior patients. They loved the touchscreen interface, and for people with communication difficulties due to strokes or diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, it was a lifeline for communication. Prior to the release of the iPod Touch, touchscreen devices were impossible to get due to the expense.

As tablets became mainstream and apps became plentiful, I became more and more interested in the use of organizational and productivity apps with the older population.  As we age, we all lose vision and hearing. We have memory difficulties and brain fog. We all need more supports as we age, and technology — especially mobile devices — are the perfect solution. Continue reading “Does Your Digital Product Reach an Older Audience?”

Organizational Apps? I’ve Got a Chapter for That!

Earlier this year, my friend Lisa Woodruff asked me to write a chapter about apps for her ADHD and home organization book.  I was so honored and jumped at the chance! The book — How ADHD Affects Home Organization — is now available on Amazon!



Check out the sneak peek above from Amazon. I will write several blog posts on my Your App Lady website on the apps that I addressed in the book. Please read the book for more information.

The apps and Lisa’s organizational tips are great for everyone — not just those diagnosed with ADHD.

Selecting Early Vocabulary for AAC

When setting up an AAC device or app, it can be very difficult to determine a starting vocabulary.  While I am an advocate for core word vocabulary, I strongly believe in starting with a small amount of vocabulary and then quickly increasing.

During this beginning phase of using a small vocabulary set, the AAC user will only be able to tell us what we have anticipated; howevever, it is important the user succeed during these early days so they understand the power and importance of communication.  It is also vital that parents, teachers, and family members have buy-in, so we must make the launch of AAC as easy and successful as possible.

Here is a video with more information on selecting early vocabulary for AAC:

Elementary Breakthroughs: My Grade School Years with AAC

With cerebral palsy, I was just a rag doll that was nonverbal and wheelchair-bound. On my third birthday, my mother put me on the bus to go to school. Within a few days, the teacher saw a spark of intelligence in my eyes. The fight began that day to find a way for me to participate socially in my elementary school.

After researching which assistive device was best for my communication and for classroom assignments, the school system purchased my first device — the DynaVox. I accessed the device with two head switches. Although I was using pages with only a few buttons at the time, I quickly learned how to communicate with the world. Continue reading “Elementary Breakthroughs: My Grade School Years with AAC”

Tips for Making Your App or Website More Inclusive

This post is based upon Betsy Furler’s session at the 2017 Global Tech Women Summit.  You can watch her presentation below:

One billion – or 15 percent – of the world’s population has a disability. In addition, we are all aging and losing our vision, hearing, and mobility. This includes people who have cognitive impairments, physical access difficulties, vision impairments, learning disabilities, color blindness, and senior adults. By making your app or website more accessible, you can expand your reach and serve your existing clients more effectively. Continue reading “Tips for Making Your App or Website More Inclusive”