West Virginia Assistive Technology Blog

Perkins Panda Early Literacy Program

Perkins Panda Early Literacy Program is a compilation of materials designed to help you instill a love of books and reading in your child through a set of fun toys and stories. The kit comes complete with three print/braille picture books, three audio cassettes, three activity guides and a story box.

Although this program has been designed primarily for children with visual impairments, ages birth to eight years old, and the parents, families, and professionals who care for them, it is equally valuable to older children with multiple disabilities, as well as to adults with visual impairments for use with sighted children. In fact, many children and adults will find Perkins Panda helpful.

This item is available in our loan library and is item #118499.



Mini Voice Amp

The Mini Voice Amp is portable, lightweight and convenient to use, allowing you to speak out when ever you want. With a range of practical and lightweight microphone designs available,  you can mix and match the package to suit  your needs. The volume adjustment gives powerful voice control making it perfect for use in a number of personal or professional settings.

This item is available for loan and it item #109584.


Posted in: Communication

Compact Communicator with Lights (Teach object/word relationships)

The Compact Communicator is a portable device that is small enough to fit on a lap or wheelchair table. This device can play up to four 5-second messages. When the user wants to play a message, he or she can simply press one of the four light-up switch plates. Messages can be pre-recorded and personalized to meet the needs of the user.  Above each plate is a compartment where users can place objects or insert pictures that correspond to the pre-recorded messages.  This device is great for learning new vocabulary words!

The Compact Communicator can be loaned from our online library, and is item #180879.


Posted in: Communication

My Feelings Game: Exploring Emotions

What scares your child?  What makes him or her happy, frustrated, or angry?  This inspirational game encourages you and your child to explore these emotions in fun, active, (and sometimes very silly) ways.  The game features seven basic feeling that players will first identify, then explore by drawing cards.

As they play, children discover how to recognize feelings in themselves and in others, and to cope with them in socially appropriate ways.

This item can be loaned from our online loan library and is item #180891.

My Feelings Game: Exploring Emotions photo

Posted in: Uncategorized

April is Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness month. Assistive devices can help an individual with autism. Whether it is communication, daily routines, recreation or socialization, assistive technology may help individuals in many areas of life.

Autism Speaks has a list of assistive devices that may be of interest for families looking into options:

WVATS is able to assist in allowing individuals to borrow devices before buying them. If you are working with someone who has autism or someone in your family has autism, call WVATS to find out what is available.

Posted in: Uncategorized


The TimerCap is a great way to help you manage your medications. The purpose of this device is to keep track of the time you last took your medication. The TimerCap can do this due to a built-in stopwatch with an automatic sensor that starts counting up the seconds, minutes, and hours since last opened. This gadget can help you gain peace of mind as the stopwatch automatically starts when the cap is closed. The TimerCap is also easy to use, as there are no buttons to manage or alarms to set.

This item can be loaned from our online loan library and is item #182233.

picture of the timer cap with countdown and medicine bottle

Posted in: Daily Living

Photo Phone P 300 with amplification, light, and touch dialing, Ameriphone

The Photo Phone P-300 allows you to dial a number simply by pressing a picture. With its powerful, built-in amplifier and large, easy-to-see keypad, using the phone has never been easier. The P-300 has nine photo memory buttons and the adjustable amplifier makes calls up to 20 dB. The adjustable tone control makes similar sounding words crystal clear and easy to understand. The Photo Phone also has a hearing aid T-coil compatible handset, adjustable loud ringer, bright flashers to announce incoming calls, and large, easy-to-see buttons that make dialing easy.

This item can be loaned from our online loan library and is item #181709.

Photo Phone P 300 with amplification, light, and touch dialing, Ameriphone photo

Posted in: Daily Living

Microsoft Accessibility

Microsoft has a website devoted to accessibility features available to individuals who use Windows or Microsoft products. This site has guides specific for users who have vision, hearing, speech, mobility and learning needs. Additionally there are resources and an accessibility blog. This site could be useful for those who use a computer with Microsoft applications and are experiencing some difficulty using it. Visit for more information.

WVATS is also able to assist individuals who need computer access but find using a computer difficult. Call WVATS for assistance on where to find built in features on your computer and how they might work for you.

Social Stories

Social stories are a great way to help individuals on the Autism Spectrum develop a better understanding of various social interactions, situations, behaviors, skills, or concepts that they may encounter. This better understanding may help these individuals to know what to expect when those situations occur. Social Stories are usually short, simple, and individualized for each person using pictures, written words, and spoken words to tell the story.

Story Creator is a mobile app that allows the user to create individualized social stories using familiar pictures and videos of people, places, and items in an individual’s environment while the text is being narrated by a familiar voice. Story Creator is a free program and available through iTunes for the iPad or iPhone.

Picture of the Story Creater app logo which is a picture of a closed photo album with a yellow canister laying across the album.

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PBS and Disability Resources

The Public Broadcasting System (PBS) is known for shows like Sesame Street. Did you know it also has a section of its website devoted to assistive technology and children with disabilities? On this site you can find information on child development, parenting, teaching strategies, tips for supporting your child and much, much more. Visit for more information.

Posted in: Uncategorized
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