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NYC Exhibition Showcases Products By and For People With Disabilities

by Shelley D. Hutchins
pages from a book showing what someone with dyslexia might see when reading

A new exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York City features innovative designs by and for people with disabilities. The exhibition—Access + Ability—runs through September 3. Visitors can view more than 70 products ranging from low- to high-tech. Several items useful to people with communication disorders are included in the exhibit:

The Laugh Out Loud Aid (LOLA) is a free app—available for Apple and Android devices—that provides silly social stories to help children with autism with social and daily living skills.

A book by Sam Barclay is also on display: “I Wonder What It’s Like to Be Dyslexic?” Barclay—a graphic designer with dyslexia—created the book to help people visualize what people with written language disorders might experience.

Several fashionable hearing aid models are on display, including Zon from Starkey Laboratories by Stuart Karten Design, Here One earbuds by now-defunct Doppler Labs, and a bedazzled set of hearing aids from artist Elana Langer in honor of her always well-dressed grandmother.

The Simple Music Player helps people with dementia easily listen to their favorite tunes. Many people with dementia respond positively to familiar music, research indicates, and visitors can buy this attractive device at the museum store or online.

Shelley D. Hutchins is content editor/producer for the ASHA Leader. shutchins@asha.org


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