West Virginia Assistive Technology Blog

Request for Public Comment

Disability Rights of West Virginia is asking for comments from the public on its Fiscal Year 2018 (Oct 2017-Sept 2018) Priorities and Objectives. The Public Comment period is open from May 8 through June. 19.

You may submit comments by:

  • Phone: 800-950-5250
  • Fax: 304-346-0867
  • Email: with a subject line of “FY2018 P&O Comments”
  • Mail: DRWV, 1207 Quarrier St., Suite 400, Charleston, WV 25301
  • Message us on Facebook @drofwv

A copy of the Priorities & Objectives can be found on the DRWV website CLICK HERE

Posted in: Uncategorized

Fourth annual art contest and exhibition to showcase West Virginia artists with disabilities

The West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) invites West Virginia artists with disabilities to enter the 2017 West Virginia Diversifying Perspectives Art Contest and Exhibition. This fourth annual event will feature original artwork created by people with disabilities.

To enter, you must be at least 18 years old, be a West Virginia resident and have a disability. There is no entry fee.

All entry materials and artwork may be submitted starting June 1 and must be received no later than June 30, 2017. Complete submission guidelines and an entry form are available at

A juried artist will select the winning entries based on criteria including originality, imagination, visual interest, presentation and skillful use of materials.

The awards include:
Grand Exhibitor – The winning artwork selected as the Grand Exhibitor will be incorporated into and prominently featured in a poster promoting National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which is celebrated annually in October. The poster will be distributed to businesses throughout West Virginia and will include an image of the winning artwork, a biographical statement about the artist and his or her disability, a photograph of the artist and the annual National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme established by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.

DRS will also purchase the artwork selected as the Grand Exhibitor (at a maximum cost of $1,000).

Awards of Excellence – Up to three $100 awards. These are not purchase awards.

The 2017 exhibition will open Wednesday Sept. 6, at the Culture Center in Charleston and will remain on display through Nov. 3, 2017.

DRS proudly presents this contest and exhibition in partnership with the West Virginia Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

For more information on the Diversifying Perspectives Art Contest and Exhibition, including rules and entry guidelines, visit or call 1-800-642-8207.

Posted in: Recreation

Color Teller

This is an image of the Color Teller.The Color Teller can help people with low vision or blindness identify colors. In addition to identifying colors, this device will announce tints and shades, such as light blue, pink, and dark brown. The Color Teller can also tell users whether lights are on or not.

The Color Teller has three language options, which are English, French, and Spanish. Users can also select between three volume levels and two levels of color announcement details.

Contributor: Brittany Valdez, WVATS

Posted in: Blindness, Low Vision

C-Pen Reader Pen

This is an image of the C-Pen.The C-Pen Reader is a pen scanner that recognizes and announces words. It was designed for people who have difficulty reading, such as people with dyslexia, people with cognitive impairments, and people learning a new language.

The C-Pen can read in both English and Spanish and features a built-in Oxford dictionary. When users come across a new word, they can access the built-in dictionary to hear the definition.

Other features of the C-Pen include a headphone jack for privacy and a built-in voice recorder. The voice recorder can be used to take audio notes while reading. Audio notes can be uploaded to PC and Mac computers for storage.

For educators, there is another version of this device called the ExamReader. The ExamReader pen provides students who have problems with reading an accommodation during tests but does not have the dictionary feature. This helps to prevent students from cheating while also ensuring that they can accurately read exam questions.

The C-Pen is a new addition to the WVATS Loan Library. If you are interested in borrowing this device, please visit our Virtual Loan Library website or call 800-841-8436.

Contributor: Brittany Valdez, WVATS

Posted in: AT for Students

Open Captioned Moveis Now Available Monthly

Earnest Covington, Executive Director of the  West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing ( WVCDHH) announced today that WVCDHH will start to provide open captioned monthly movies at the Nitro Regal Cinemas.

The first open captioned movie will be “Boss Baby” on April 15th at 1 pm. Open captioned movie means the captions will be projected onto the big screen without using any captioned devices.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact WVCDHH at  any of the following numbers:

VP: (304) 400-6959

V: (304) 558-1031

Toll-Free: (866) 461-3578



Call for Artists

“Different Voices and Common Experiences” is an exhibit featuring artists who have been affected by mental health issues. DVCE supports positive mental health awareness, community wellness, and inclusivity.

Artists will be chosen on a first-come basis until the gallery space is full. You must submit photographs of your art pieces (limit 3 per artist) with your completed application. One piece of artwork will be chosen as the “feature” to be used for the postcards, posters and the show program.

There will be a free public reception on Friday, August 5th, 2016 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. Participating artists and the community are encouraged to attend to enjoy visual and performance arts. Refreshments will be available.

Call Tiffany Carr @ 304-636-0143 or 1-866-262-2875 or email: to request an application or more info.

Posted in: Recreation

Trout Stocking Underway!

Trout stocking is underway throughout West Virginia at many of the state’s lakes, streams and other waterways. WVATS reminds anglers with disabilities that there are 29 sites in West Virginia that meet many of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), thanks to ongoing development by the WV Division of Natural Resources and WV State Parks.

But not all individuals with disabilities need accessible features.  For a complete list of fishing sites, both ADA and other fishing holes, take a look at the WV Guide to Accessible Fishing. You can view this Guide here.

In addition, the WVATS Loan Library has a variety of assistive devices for your fishing experience. A Fact Sheet has been developed to provide information on AT, special licenses and other information for individuals with disabilities who want to go fish! You can view the Fact Sheet here.  Check out the WVATS Loan Library to see what devices are available for demonstration and loan.

For more information on recreation opportunities, visit the WVATS website at

Posted in: Recreation
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The Whatz-it Communication Device

This is an image of the Whatz-it communication device.The Whatz-it was designed to assist children with autism and other communication impairments with scaled decision making. The Whatz-it features a graduated color scale from green to red. Children using the scale can then indicate the intensity of their response by sliding a magnetic tile along the green-to-red scale. For example, children can use the Whatz-it to indicate how much their leg hurts after falling. It has been found that using the Whatz-it has improved care and allowed for more accurate diagnoses and treatment for children with autism and other communication impairments. The Whatz-it comes with a set of eight pain related magnetic tiles as well as 8 blank, customizable tiles.

Contributor: Melanie Burge, WVATS

Posted in: Communication

Sunu Band

This is an image of the Sunu Band being worn the a person's wrist.The Sunu Band is a smart watch designed for people who are blind. The Sunu Band uses sonar to detect the proximity of objects and provides haptic feedback to the user. This smart watch can also help to keep track of and find personal belongings, such as keys and luggage, using compatible personal item tags. The embedded sonar includes two modes—long range, which is approximately 14 feet, and short range, which is approximately 5 feet. To see how the Sunu band works, click here.

Contributor: Brittany Valdez, WVATS




Posted in: Blindness

Sled Hockey for Veterans

Charleston Sled Hockey recently received a grant from USA Hockey and the VA to sponsor several Learn Sled for Free events specifically geared toward veterans with disabilities. This is a wonderful opportunity to try this Paralympic sport which is regular hockey, played sitting on sleds, for youth and adults with physical disabilities.

As part of the grant, Charleston Sled Hockey will purchase larger sleds and larger protective equipment for adults to supplement the equipment already available in smaller sizes for youth.

These events will be held at the South Charleston Memorial Ice Arena between March and August 2017. Specific dates and times will be available at the conclusion of the current hockey season.  Everyone will have the opportunity to get on the ice in a sled and volunteers will be available to assist participants in getting on and off the ice. There is no cost associated with the events. However, participants will need to sign a USA Hockey waiver form and Charleston Sled Hockey will need to follow up with each participant, as a condition of the grant reporting.

Charleston Sled Hockey, a division of USA Disabled Hockey, is a small sled hockey team based at the South Charleston Memorial Ice Arena. The current practice schedule is Monday evening from 8 to 9pm. Spectators are welcome and the group is actively seeking new team members and on ice and off ice volunteers.

Please contact Linda Streets, Team Manager, at 304 342 1459 or for more information.

Posted in: Recreation
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