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Leonardo DaVinci's Vitruvian drawing
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This page was last updated on: 23 October, 2012
Technology Watch - September 2005
Design Projects | Ergonomics | Section 508 | Case Studies | Qualifications | RTS Info
Tech Watch | Links | Accessible Web Design
Augmentative Communication | Internship/Co-op & Job Bank | Contact
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Phone Link - Minomech Enterprises
No, I am not on the take from Minomech Enterprises. Every few months someone asks me about how they can connect an augmentative communication device to a telephone. A skilled engineer or technician can easily build an interface with less than $20 in parts, but it takes time most of us just don't have.
Enter the phone-link. A simple, pre-packaged phone interface that plugs in between the phone and handset that allows a user to plug it into their AAC devices external speaker port, without interfering with normal use of the handset. Go to for details.
ModemPhone - Minomech Engerprises
I saw a beta copy of this software based telephone at the RESNA 2005 conference in Atlanta. The beta version seemed to work very well on the demo computer at the conference, but I haven't succefully gotten it to run on my HP laptop yet. I have used a variety of other software based phones, and this one appears to be more accessible to adaptive software, such as voice recognition.
Features include both manaul and speed dial, as well as the ability to flash (for 3 way calling or transfers), and a built in recorder so you don't have to take notes if you don't wish.
As of August 30 they are up to version 1.3.9.
I look forward to seeing the completed product.  A 60 trial of the beta version can be found at:
If you can find an unreported bug, you can "win" a licensed copy fo the completed software.

A670 clamshell cell phone with Y-cable connected to microlite switch and handsfree headset
The Cable cell phone switch adaptor
- SAJE Technologies

This is simply a Y-adapter that plugs into a standard Samsung A670 cellular telephone. A standard switch, like a buddy button or microlite switch is plugged into one side of the adapter, and a cell phone headset is plugged into the other side. Using a combination of the switch and voice recognition built into the phone, a user can have full access to the cell phone, so long as they can push the switch. The phone a standard phone, Which I found for sale at Verison for $99 (with rebate) , hands free headsets cost less than $10, a Microlite switch from TASH for $59, and the Y adapter is supposed to cost around $150. So for less than $400 you can have an accessible cell phone.
In the past I have used the Liberty Bell Communication System. This system is a cell with voice recognition, speaker phone, switch control, and  is supposed to be able to draw power off a wheelchair battery. The system we got was nearly $2000, it had a lot of wires, and after three tries we still never got the vendor to send us the proper adapter to get the phone to run off wheelchair battery power. Don't get me wrong, my consumer is happy with the independence the Liberty Bell phone provides, but we are both frustrated that we were never able to get tech support to even listen to me long enough to figure out what part I actually needed before they started sending random adaptors to us. And when we spend two grand on a system, I expect it to work as advertised with out me having to reengineer it.

The Cable from SAJE is a much cleaner looking system, much less expensive, and I don't think there will be an issue with not being able to get all the correct parts together. See for details on this product.