Full Time interpreter joins Shasta College DSPS


Shasta College has added a full-time interpreter to our DSPS staff. Please join me in welcoming Karen Wells to our staff. Karen has interpreted for the past 13 years in various settings, along with other entrepreneurial adventures. Her desk will be in the Assistive Technology Lab (Room 2004). I am so excited to add to the quality and consistency of services to students who are using sign language interpreting to achieve their educational goals.

Welcome Karen!

Sandra Hamilton Slane, MSW
Associate Dean of Student Services
Shasta College

DAC Out reaches to you!

Disability Action Center directly interacts and impacts the lives of people with disabilities and seniors in our communities.

Glenn County

Another aspect of our direct support is our active outreach program to reach out even more to our communities.


On June 17th our staff met with folks in the areas of Glenn and Siskiyou counties in Orland, Willows, Elk Creek, Grindstone Rancheria, Yreka, and Montague.

Glenn County 2

A part of our outreach plan is to schedule a day to come to one or some of our communities to share information, schedule presentations, meetings, and work directly with organizations, people with disabilities and seniors.

If you are interested in learning more about our community services, schedule a presentation or meeting, give us a call at (530) 242-8550.

Ability Tools Webinar coming soon!

Upcoming Webinar with Ability Tools!
Staying in Your Home: Assistive Technology (AT) for Seniors Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 • 10:00AM  – 11:00AM PST

Training Type: Webinar Location: Blackboard Collaborate Webiar Platform

Jeff Symons has over 25+ years of expertise in the area of assistive technology and ergonomics. He has multiple Engineering degrees and is a certified as Assistive Technology Provider. His goal is to provide the best informed choices in selecting appropriate products according to fit, function, and budget. This webinar will go over practical ways in which aging individuals can maintain their independence and stay safely in their homes.

Register for Staying in Your Home: Assistive Technology (AT) for Seniors…

If you need additional accommodation(s) to participate in an Ability Tools training or event, requests must be made ten business days prior to the training or event by emailing Rachel Anderson, Marketing & Communications Manager at rachel@cfilc.org or contacting 1-800-390-2699 or 1-800-900-0706 TTY.

Where Are All the Walk-in Tubs?

Where Are All the Walk-in Tubs?Posted: 06 Apr 2015 03:42 PM PDT

courtesy of: http://sbstubs.com/kentucky.html

by Emily Flynn, Program Coordinator

I have recently started working for Ability Tools as the Program Coordinator for their Information and Referral line.

I receive many questions every day and, most of the time, I am able to assist the individual with little to no problems by answering their questions and/ or giving them referrals to other agencies. However, late last month I had a real head-scratcher;  I didn’t know how to assist a woman that called me named Janet.

Janet is from the L. A. area and has Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  She had contacted me with an interesting and very specific request. Due to her limited mobility because of her disability, she is unable to get into and out of a standard tub safely. Her husband assists her by sponge-bathing her but, as she aptly said, “There is nothing like a nice, relaxing, independent bath.”

Janet and her husband would love to be able to remodel their bathroom -making it more accessible to Janet- but they are unable to because of the size of the bathroom and the fact that they are renters, not the homeowners.

Janet participates in an MS support group and, during a meeting, she heard from someone that some hotels will rent out their accessible bathrooms complete with walk-in tubs by the hour. When Janet called and asked if we knew of any places in the L.A. area providing that service, I had to admit that I had not heard of that and didn’t know anything about that service. I was left sitting there, scratching my head.

My first effort was sending this question out on our Ability Tools Listserv to see if any of the AT specialists, advocates or enthusiasts had heard of this service being offered anywhere and could further assist Janet.


I learned a lot of great information about portable accessible showers, like the Shower Bay, but nothing about being able to rent a walk-in tub for an hour or two  No one else seemed to know anywhere to do this either!

Meanwhile, I spoke with Janet again. She expressed to me that she has driven over 100 miles just to be able to take an independent bath, that is how important it is to her!  I admire her conviction and commitment. I then decided I would try thinking outside the box and check out spas in her local area that may have accessible bathrooms with walk-in tubs. I also contacted the L.A. Tourism and Convention board looking for more information on hotels with walk-in tubs.  This was all to no avail, as sadly I came up with nothing new for her.

I am still on the hunt to solve this problem for Janet. Even though I had never heard of a hotels renting out accessible bathrooms by the hour to people with disabilities, I am committed to finding one that will.  I am not sure how I feel about this service though.  I wouldn’t say it is a terrible idea per se, I just hope this wouldn’t be another way for people to take advantage of people with disabilities who are simply trying to meet a basic human need.

Being able to rent a walk-in tub could be very beneficial to many individuals with disabilities and help to maintain their dignity and independence. If you have any information about this at all, please contact me on the Ability Tools toll-free telephone line at (800) 390-2699 or email me at emily@cfilc.org.

Thank you!accessible-tub-blog

Featured Item for April 2015

Aumed Aukey Portable Video Magnifier


The Aukey is one of the first truly portable pocket video magnifiers with features and quality of units costing twice as much. Small enough to fit in your pocket but with its 3.5 inch screen, large enough to magnify documents, newspapers, mobile phone screens, medicine labels, price tags etc up to 17x!


The Aukey is ideal for anyone requiring more magnification than is possible from an optical magnifying glass. The Aukey offers a magnifcation range from 1.5x to 17x, which can be fully adjusted using both digital zoom steps and altering the Aukey’s height from the target. Weighing just 120g (4.2 ounces) and lasting two and a half hours on a single charge, the Aukey can be with you at all times. Aumed’s patented Anti-Blur technology also means you can read much faster than with other pocket video magnifiers as the image stays clear and sharp when moving the Aukey across your document, with no flickering or blurring.


Key Features


Patented Aumed Anti-Blur technology means the Aukey provides clear, smooth and bright images even when reading at high speeds.

3.5 inch wide-screen, high contrast TFT LCD

1.5x to 17x magnification

Full colour, black on white and reverse

Freeze Frame – ideal for phone numbers or prices on shelves

Just 3 buttons – so easy to use

2.5 hours battery life (rechargeable)

Weighs just 4.2 ounces (120g)

Dimensions: 4.1 x 2.8 x 0.7 inches (105 x 72 x 17 mm)

Carry case included

Shasta Regional Community Foundation

Independent Living Services of Northern California’s Assistive Technology Program received a grant from the Redding Rancheria Community Fund in the amount of $1000.00 in 2014 to support the startup needs of “Ramp Up Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities” program. ILSNC has two projects which the funding was used for:


The first project ILSNC implemented, with the assistance of the Redding Rancheria Community Fund , was to provide 1 of our consumers’ with an 8 foot wheelchair ramp to provide safe and permanent access to their home. The consumer had an active loan of an 8 foot Suitcase Wheelchair Ramp through our Assistive Technology Device Lending Library and now has a ramp of their own.


The second project ILSNC implemented was to purchase additional hearing amplification devices to accommodate the needs of the new Veterans Home residents in Redding. ILSNC purchased 3 Comfort Duetts that become part of ILSNC’s Device Lending Library and used as long term loans for our Veterans Home consumers.

Courtesy of Ability Tools – The WHILL

It’s Not a Wheelchair, It’s a Personal Mobility Device – The WHILL

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 01:14 PM PST

WHILL is a new personal mobility device – not called a wheelchair – that has a unique sleek design making it look like the future is here.  This design is purposeful, as the founders and creators of the WHILL wanted to invent a device that was functional and comfortable, but also modern, as the design of the basic wheelchair has not altered for years. Perhaps even more importantly, they wanted to change the perception people have of wheelchair users – as in the stigma that can exists.

“Our mission is to make technology that is minimalistic, functional and stylish. We intend to fundamentally change the attitudes of personal mobility users, as well as the general perceptions of personal mobility”.

Check out more about WHILL on their website at:  http://whill.us/home/.

Some of the other unique features of WHILL include:

§ All direction four wheel drive and minimal turning radius.

§ Unique and larger front wheels that can maneuver over rough terrains and steep hills as well as grass, dirt, gravel, wood-chips, and snow.

§ An “Acceleration Management System” that allows users to customize the speed and movement of their WHILL – can also do this via an app on your smart device.

§ The arms glide up to give the user more space to move and to sit at tables, desks, etc.

§ The seat glides forward and backwards, allowing for smoother transfers and table seating.

§ Choice of mouse-controller or ergonomic joystick controller – interchangeable for right and left-handed users.

§ Subtle hanger on the backrest holds a large bag/backpack so you can keep your belongings safe.

Check out this video (closed captioning available) with Scott McNealy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, on the future and importance of personal mobility devices: