Succeeding on the Job: Using Technology to Boost the Skills Employers Want

This webinar presents tools and strategies to support essential work performance, such as being on time, communicating, following directions, staying organized, and completing tasks. Assistive Technology Specialists from PACER’s Simon Technology Center explore a wide range of technology including smartphone apps, wearable devices, a smart pen, and alternative computer access.

Transcript: 

- [Paul] Alright. Welcome, everybody.

- [Sarah] Thank you for joining us. This is a webinar about Succeeding On The Job: Using Technology To Boost The Skills Employers Want. My name is Sarah Giffen-Hunter, I am an assistive technology specialist at PACER's Simon Technology Center.

- [Paul] And my name is Paul Sanft, I'm also an assistive technology specialist, and we're gonna be going through this together here, going back and forth.

- [Sarah] Plan for today is to do a quick intro about CTD and PACER, and then we're gonna do an overview of assisted technology and how it can help you succeed on the job, and then we're going to go through a bunch of demos with AT that will support the skills employers want, and these are, I believe, the eight areas we have identified as key and central to almost all jobs, so we have our demos divided up into these categories.

- [Paul] So, a couple of tips to get the best experience possible from this. We have placed all of the participants on mute so we don't accidentally pick up someone else's microphone or phone. So, one way to communicate with us, there is the chat window you'll see on the right, and Bridget is working here with us to answer any of those questions that might come up, so absolutely do be engaged, ask questions, we'd love to be able to answer those. If you have any difficult hearing us, consider using headphones; we've found that gives a little bit better results, so absolutely give that a try. Of course, if you have any other technical difficulties, you can throw that right into the chat window as well.

- [Sarah] CTD is the Center on Technology and Disability, and I just wanna give a little shout-out for their website. There is a wealth of information there, and it is documents, research papers, all kinds of articles that are written in the library, there's also webinars, both archived and live like this one, and then there is also an e-learning section that has online courses, and I have here on the slide just a couple resources that I highlighted that are related to the transition age.

- [Paul] Just a quick reminder, you'll notice in the bottom-right corner, there's a couple of files that you can download. We have this actual PowerPoint presentation, you can access that so you have your own copy, and we also have a handout that goes with it, it's more of a condensed non-PowerPoint version of this information that we're presenting, so make use of that window in the bottom-right there, you can download those files and get access to some of these links and things. So, real quickly, if you're not familiar with PACER Center, that's where both Sarah and I are working out of. We are a center that's for parent training information for families of children and youth with all disabilities, and specifically, we work in our Simon Technology Center, which is a project of PACER that's all about showing the benefits of technology to assist children and adults with all sorts of disabilities, but we have a lot of other projects that we work with. Feel free, check out our website, www.pacer.org; you can learn all sorts of different things that we do there. You can check out the Simon Technology Center as well.

- [Sarah] Okay, so, we wanna talk a little bit about what assistive technology is. This is a definition here that is from the IDEA legislation, so it's kind of a formal definition, but assistive technology is anything, item, piece of equipment, product system, that is purchased or modified or even created on your own that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a person with a disability. You can see on the screen, there are things as simple as a pencil grip... So, the next screen is low-tech to high-tech, which is why he was jumping ahead. But you can see, things as simple as a pencil grip, to help someone that has difficulty with writing, to an alternative mouse, and then all the way to a Braille typewriter, and we'll go ahead to the next slide. So, this is the AT continuum, and on the left end you see the low-tech, all the way to the high-tech, and the low-tech items here has the pencil grips again and also a magnifying glass, are typically things that are inexpensive, might be pretty easy to find, and very little training is needed. Then, there's a big range in the middle that's medium, might be like an electric stapler that would help someone that can't physically use a stapler, and it might cost a little bit more and it might be a little bit more involved, but then when you get over to the high-tech end, it's usually more advanced technology such as the one in the picture, the alternative augmentative communication device, or obviously like an iPad or a computer and then all the technology that goes with that, so it may be more involved and it may require more training or time to get up to speed on using it.

- [Paul] In regards to that continuum, I think it's really important to know that assistive technology can fall anywhere along those. A lot of times, when people think of assistive technology, they think of maybe some really fancy devices or things, but it doesn't have to be super fancy. It really comes down to an individual's needs, and specifically, we're gonna look at things and how they relate to the workplace. In the workplace, a lot of times, one of the first things you're dealing with is access to the physical environment. A really common thing there is ramps or elevators for wheelchairs, but also access to the actual information and tools you're gonna be using. So, computers and all that, but then ultimately looking at independence in the workplace and creating that productivity. A lot of what we're gonna look at today are various apps that you can use, as well as a couple of devices that can help with all of these things. I think that what's really important is when talking about success with assistive technology, it's important to consider these different categories here. Obviously, you have to know what's available, and that's what we're trying to accomplish right here by addressing the different things that are out there, but also take into consideration the strengths and limitations of the individual that's using the technology. That seems like it might be obvious, but if you don't take into consideration, it's gonna be a lot harder to be successful when utilizing something, and identify what are the actual job tasks that this individual's gonna need to do, and how that AT is going to assist with it. If you're not taking those things into consideration, you might find a tool that you think is really cool but just might not work for these particular situations, so it's important to take those into account, and then also the training that's involved. The user of this technology, is there a lot of training that goes into learning how to use it, and more importantly, or maybe not more importantly but equally as important, are your coworkers, supervisors, going to have to learn something too? So it's really important to consider those, and then of course, maintenance. Is the device something that takes regular maintenance, is it really complicated? Looking into those things is gonna make a really huge difference in your success rate. As opposed to just thinking what's there, think about these other things too, and of course funding, how's that gonna be paid for. So with that, we'll go ahead and get started right away, looking at some things, and Sarah will take it from here, looking at an app for having a positive attitude.

- [Sarah] Yeah, so the first thing that employers often, always, want is having a positive attitude, so that, we think, probably begins with getting enough sleep. So, this is an app that is called Sleep Cycle, and now you should be able to see it on your screen. This is pretty amazing, you can load it on your smartphone or an iPad, and it actually works by being on the bedside stand next to you, and it uses sound and movement to sense your sleep cycles and tracks them, and then actually chooses within a certain range. Here, I'll go ahead and show you on the app. It says here, wake up between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m. Then, it is using its data to choose a point at which you're in a lighter sleep cycle, a more shallow one, and the research shows that that allows you to wake up more easily and feel more refreshed. So, what I do here is I hit Start and it has a little reminder about where you need to put it, put your device. Now, it is starting to sense. So, I'm not gonna be able to show you, obviously, what it does in the morning, but you can see, just as I'm talking, it is sensing the sound, and I think it also seems to sense the breathing, so it has whatever information's built into it to track the sleep cycle that you're in. So, that's how that works, I'm gonna stop it. Let's see, there we go. There are a couple of settings. Obviously, regular things on alarms like choosing what sound you get, but there's also you can choose how large the window is during which it would choose to wake you up, and things like that. So, that is called Sleep Cycle.

- [Paul] Along those same lines, maintaining a positive attitude, there's a lot of different types of apps that deal with stress and anxiety, particularly for maybe a young individual who's working for the first time, stress can be a very real thing, and someone who's been on the job for a really long time, for that matter, stress can really take its toll on your productivity. So we have a handful of different apps that can work to assist with that. The first one we're gonna look at is called MindShift, I'm gonna switch back over here. Get focused down here. So, MindShift is the one right up here in the top left; I'm gonna open this up, and you'll see right away it has a couple of different options, but in particular, what I want to look at is My Situations. So, open that up and you can hit Add A Situation that you want to manage your stress with. You can see things like making sleep count, coping with test anxiety, manage worrying, and when you open these up, you can add that as a situation that you want to address, and it walks you through different steps in dealing with that particular challenge. Here, you can see it's giving you a couple different facts about that. If I go and hit Next at the bottom, I can move on to the next step. Gives you a little video of someone telling their story as well as some facts just specifically about that, and moving on, it also gives you an assessment. It's asking you specific questions about your level of worrying, and from that information, it gives you different recommendations on how to deal with that. Dealing with uncertainty, challenging worry thoughts, and things like that. So here, there's a couple of different things that you can address in dealing with that, and then, ultimately, it gives you a couple of what they call Chill Out Tools, different exercises you can do for relaxing, like calm breathing, different visualizations, different mindful strategies and all that. So, it is a very active device; there's one more step on here to put in your Active Steps. Things like moving around and things like that, but it is a very active app, so it does take a little bit of time to set up but then it walks you through these different things to be successful in managing your stress and anxiety. It's been really successful for a lot of people. Moving on to another app that deals with some of the same things, we're gonna look at Pacifica. Pacifica is right next to that right here, and this is all about mood in particular. It has more of a fancy user interface on here, but it's set up, one, if you click on this mood thing here, it's gonna ask you right now, what is your current mood? How are you feeling right now? And you can choose anywhere from great, very good, all the way to awful, setting that up, and then from that, you can take an action, how do you want to deal with that? Do you want to go through some meditation options, do you want to go for a walk, work on thoughts, depending on where your energy level is; it's really interesting, and it's all about guiding someone through and helping them become aware of what their mood is, which can be an important factor with managing stress. Here, you'll see on the bottom, just to the right here, there's a Meditations option, so there's actually different timed items you can do: One-minute deep breathing, 10-minute peaceful soundscapes, one-minute positive visualizations; so all sorts of different tools you can use to help you with that stress reduction. And then, the last thing on here is actually a wearable device, it's called the Spire, and I'm gonna bring it up over here on the camera so we can see it, and switch it back to the camera. I'll move the iPad out of the way for the moment, and you can see, the device here is very small. Right now it's on its charger, I'll just take it off right here. It's a wireless charging thing, it's pretty cool that way. But this thing is just a clip-on device, it's very similar to FitBit in style. It clips onto a belt loop or a waistband, and then it connects directly with the app on your phone or iPad, and if I bring that app up here, we can see the type of information it gives. This one's not paired at the moment and it's the one we used for demos, so it doesn't have any data in it yet, you'd have to wear it for some time, but you'll see it'll give you things like how many minutes in the day have you been calm, how many minutes have you been focused or tense, active or sedentary, and this is all based off of this device monitoring things like movement, similar to how a Fitbit works, but also your breathing. One of the things that it's showing here, it's not paired at the moment, but you can see my average breaths per minute is 14, so it's gonna show you if you're above that average or below so you know if you're maybe a little bit stressed right now or if you're more relaxed. There's also a couple of boost items that you can do to spend 30 seconds working on calm, 30 seconds of focus, meditate, energize, things like that to help you with those. It's a device that's really easy to put on, you forget all about it, and it tracks you throughout that day, and you can get some insights into your stress levels, and that can be really, really helpful for individuals who struggle with anxiety and stress; just knowing where they're at throughout the day can sometimes be half the battle, so we've found this can be really successful using that device. Then, moving on a little bit more from positive attitude is arriving to work on time. I think everybody who's ever worked at a job can agree that arriving to work on time is a very crucial part of success. Alarm clocks obviously exist, and there's a ton of different apps for that, but one in particular that we want to look at is called the Alarmy app, and it's really interesting. I actually have it on my own personal phone and I use it from time to time, and I'll switch back over to the camera so you can see how it works here. How this does work is, here's the app right up here. I'll brighten it up a little bit here. Oh, I'm using the free version, I'm gonna say never ask again here. The way you set it up is you hit Add an alarm, just like you would any old alarm-clock app, and you can set the time, how often it repeats, the default sound, all that usual stuff, but here's where it's different. The Alarm off method. So, if I choose that, the default is just turning it off, but that doesn't make any difference from a typical alarm. There's another option called Take a picture, which is really cool, where it forces you to take a picture of an object. So you can have a picture of your bathroom sink, so in order to turn off the alarm, you have to get up out of bed and into your bathroom and take a picture, otherwise the alarm just keeps going. That's a really cool feature. There's also another one called Math problems, and this one is not for the faint of heart, but basically, in order to turn off the alarm, you have to solve three math problems, and you can set how many specifically you have to solve, you can set their difficulty; if you go to hard, you're just asking your self for trouble there, 'cause here's an example of the problem that you need to solve. That is not easy for everybody. If you set it too easy, well then that's not gonna wake you up. It's a really interesting thing, and the alarm does keep going. So make sure you set this to a point that's reasonable but it is gonna wake you up. It's all about forcing you to move, use your brain, to get you up out of bed so that you don't just go back to bed and hit snooze. It can be really helpful for a lot of individuals. Then, beyond that, arriving to work on time, there's all sorts of tools built into whether you have an iPhone or you use an Android device. If you use an iPhone, you're gonna work with Siri; if you use and Android device, you're gonna use something called OK Google. I'll just use my phone real quick here again, but I can just say something like, OK Google, remind me to check my email when I get to work. And this thing is--

- [OK Google] Okay, do you want to save this?

- [Paul] Yes. And so it's now saved that, and what's really interesting about this is when you get to work, it uses the GPS to know you're at work, and it will remind you to check your email or whatever task you have to do that day. But in particular, the one thing I wanted to show is Google Maps. Google Maps and trying to arrive to work on time. A lot of people might be familiar with the general features of Maps, but it does give you a lowdown on how busy traffic is and things like that, but if you enter a workplace into your settings, it'll actually give you a reminder. So you see here, it's telling me my ride home is an hour and one minute, looks like traffic is getting pretty bad. So it's giving you a constant reminder of when you need to leave. In the morning, it gives me that same information of when I need to leave for work. Then, if you want to get really cool, you have an option for transit options. So if I just did this travel home, it tells me specifically what buses I need to take and at what times and things, and if someone is using public transportation, this is a great option to get a quick snapshot of the fastest, and different options, for public transportation. So, that was just looking at your built-in reminder options and using Google Maps, and I just got a reminder that I have to check my email, 'cause it knows I'm at work right now. It could be a really great built-in option that's easy to utilize, and it gets to know you as well. It knows your habits and it reminds you, "Hey, you typically leave at this time, "shouldn't you get going?" It's pretty cool.

- [Sarah] Okay. I've got a couple more apps related to arriving to work on time. The first one is called Wunderlist, and it is just basically a to-do list kind of app, but I'll show you how I have it set up for morning-time reminders, and then the second one is called Timewinder, and it's more of a visual reminder for a morning routine. I'm gonna go ahead and switch back over here to my iPad. This is Wunderlist right here. I have it already opened up here to a list that I have entered. Oh, right. So, getting ready to go to work, these are all the things I would need to take to work with me in the morning. So, I could open this each morning, and I could go through the list and say, "Okay, I have my wallet," and check it off. Oh, it even gave me a little noise. I go and I get my water bottle and I check it off. What tools do I need today? Alright, got 'em. And so I can go through the list, and each morning, if I need that kind of support, then it will help me make sure I have everything that I need before I go out the door and head to work. That is just one way that we thought of that you could use Wunderlist to support going to work. Then, the other one is called Timewinder, that's this one right here, I'm gonna open that one, and let me go back a bit. I've got here a morning routine, and this is a free app and it's unfortunately, or this is the free version, it's gonna show us this little ad to buy it and this little advertisement. Okay. So now, we have this, a timed morning routine, and there are photos, and I'll go ahead and start the timer. The first thing would be to take a shower.

- [Electronic Voice] Take shower.

- [Sarah] So, this has a photo, plus a timer, plus this is text that I entered, and then also the audio cue that hopefully you heard when I started it, it reads whatever the text is.

- [Paul] Where do you get the photos from?

- [Sarah] These photos, I just got online, but what's really nice about this is that you can take photos with your device, your phone or your iPad, and you can use photos from the person's actual environment. So you could actually get more granular than this and break it down to even more steps. Here, I'll go on to the next one.

- [Electronic Voice] Get dressed.

- [Sarah] So you could include more lengthy instructions or more visual cues.

- [Electronic Voice] Eat breakfast.

- [Sarah] Then, as you see that I'm doing here, then if they get done sooner, they can just advance on to the next step.

- [Electronic Voice] Brush teeth.

- [Sarah] I like that one because it has really nice visual and audio cues. And that is called Timewinder. Okay. The next feature about performing well at work is communicating well with others, and we have an app and then a device that we'd like to show you. This app is called QuickCues, and this is the communication module, and they have a number of other modules we'll talk about a little bit later, but this is their base module that's all about communication. So, here we have QuickCues, and I'm gonna open up Communication. This is a pretty basic, straightforward app. Let me get it ready here. It really is about giving, like it said, quick cues. Really short, basic cues, and in this module, it's basically about communication, conversation. So, if someone has this with them and they could be doing this before they head off to work for the day, and they want to be prepared to think about, "What am I gonna talk about?" This is making friends. These are general communication tips. People like compliments. Best topics of conversation. And then, this is kinda helpful if someone needs this kind of support: topics to avoid. Starting a new conversation. So that was just one set through there. Here's talking with coworkers, I'll just flip through that one. I like how clear the directions are, and talking with people I work with is different than the conversations I have with my family and close friends. And then it gives specific tips. So it's not a fancy app, but it is for people that need those really basic cues and reminders. This one is all about communication. And we're back.

- [Paul] That one was called QuickCues. The other thing we're gonna look at is actually a wearable device, it's called Activocal Wear, and I'm gonna go grab the device here and bring up the camera. If we look at this device here, I'll bring it up in-screen. How it works here is this is actually a microphone. Really, it's said to be an amplifier. This can clip on, it uses magnetic casing to clip onto either the shirt or someplace, I've even found that in some cases, it works to put it in a shirt pocket. If it goes in pants pockets, maybe it's not gonna pick up enough sound, but what it does is it picks up the sound in the room, and then you just plug your earphone of choice; oops, there it is. Your earphone of choice, and it magnifies the sound in the room. So if hearing is a challenge of yours, this thing will just magnify everything. In some cases, in large, loud rooms, it's maybe not gonna be the best option, but in smaller settings, maybe in meetings, it can be particularly helpful. It's not terribly stand-outish either. It's gonna be noticeable, but it's not too bad. You can see it's a little bit bigger than a silver dollar here, but that's called the Activocal Wear, really simple device for magnifying sound.

- [Sarah] Okay. The next resource we want to talk about in communicating well with others would be related to writing and email, and this tool is called Grammarly. We're not actually gonna take the time to do a full demonstration on this but we do recommend that you go on YouTube and watch, there's a one-minute video that demonstrates it really well. Grammarly is an extension that you can put on Chrome or other web browsers, and what's really powerful about it being an extension is that then, when you activate it, it is basically scanning everything that you type and looking for spelling errors or contraction errors, and even looking at your grammar and also suggesting better grammar or better ways to phrase things. So, I have it on my work computer and it's kinda nice, it just gives you a little, basically like an auto-correct, you go down and you say yes, and that is one way to help support people that might need that in the workplace.

- [Paul] Yeah, and I know a lot of email apps will tell you if words are spelled wrong or give you suggestions on grammar, but this goes just a little more in-depth, and it really dives into how you could improve your grammar. It gives you definitions and the proper spellings of the words and things, and it's always running in the background, so it's pretty cool that way. The next area we're going to look at is all about being organized, being organized and managing tasks. One thing that you'll notice as we go through here, some of the things we've already looked at will be relevant to this as well, being organized and managing tasks. We talked a little bit about, I briefly showed reminders on my phone where you can just say to Google or Siri, "Remind me to do this thing." In some cases, a smartwatch can be a great option for people too, because it doesn't get lost in their pocket, it's always attached to them, and we'll have a short demonstration of that a little bit later, but what I want to look at is this app called Toodledo, and it's a checklist app, but it's a little bit more robust than your average checklist app. So, I'm gonna go back over to the camera here, and we'll go find Toodledo. So what you see right away, let me get this focused for everybody, there we go. So what you'll see right away is there's a very long, well right now, list of different items, and it's categorized into different categories. Well,categorized into categories. So you see here, different priorities here for importance. This is importance level 11, this is importance level 10, this is importance level eight, and it uses importance based off one, how you prioritize something, so you can say this is a star item or this is a very-high-priority item, or it can also look at the deadline. So it says the due date is coming up soon, so it puts it a little bit higher on the priority list. It's really a great way to help people with prioritizing, so it's not just a way of creating a checklist. Once you have the checklist, being able to prioritize what you should do first can make all the difference in being successful with that checklist. You can see here, under Priority, you have a top priority item, there's one right now, four high-priority items, a couple of low-priorities and things like that, but you can also look based off of the due dates. What's due tomorrow, nothing; five things are overdue, pay no attention to that. In the next 30 days, there's a couple things and so on and so forth. So, it's a really great way to, I hope I wasn't covering that up, were able to see that. Okay. Yeah, so I'll open up this algebra worksheet here, and you could see it opens up to the side and it shows its priority, gives you a little note on what you're supposed to do, "Send this to Mr. Simon in email," give you an alarm one hour before, looks like it's already happened 'cause we're running late on this algebra worksheet, and it also tells you how often to repeat this thing. So you do have a lot of control over these individual items. If I bring up check email here, you can see, high priority, about one minute before it happens every weekday, it should remind you of that. There are other settings down here that, depending on how intense you want to get into it, you can look at specific notes that are saved and come up and you can also set outlines, and this takes a little bit more time to set up, but you can set up outlines and work in a project setting. You can actually share these with other people who have the same app, but for the most part, we tend to see this basic task list as where some of the biggest benefits of this come from. There's one more item with habits, things you can work on, like exercising and floss. It tells you if you're doing well or if you need improvement; looks like I need improvement in both those areas. And then, of course, just your basic list, like a shopping list and reading list and all that that you can customize yourself. So, it gets really, really robust. This is one of those things that it is gonna take a little while to get a feel for it, but when you put in the time, that itself can help you be more successful. The next area we're gonna look at is in-- What's that? Oh, it's the same area, but the next thing we're gonna look at is still dealing with being organized and managing tasks, is I wanna look at Google Keep and Evernote. They're pretty helpful tools here for tracking things. I'm gonna switch back to the iPad here, and I'll bring up Google Keep first. With Google Keep, it's one of those things that you get free if you have a Gmail account. So if you have a Gmail.com email address, you automatically have this included with it that's connected to that email account. When you first look at this, it's basically like a snapshot of sticky notes. It's all about taking notes, but it displays them in a sticky-note form. If I look way down here, I can create a note just by Take Note, I just push in there, and I brings up an option to type in my note. So I can, say, do something like, "reply to email." And you can say specifically what it is, and once that one's done, you can go back, and here it is right there, reply to email. If I think it's a really important item, I can pin it up here, and then we'll see it stays up here with the other pinned items, because it's a particularly important item. You see here, I have an ongoing grocery list, and you can also do things like take a picture of something. Here, this is a stand that we're actually using currently to hold our phones, and you can say, "Hey, buy one of these for work," or you could take a picture of, here we have an example, took a picture of the copier code, so if I'm trying to connect to a printer and I can never remember the name of that, I have it right here in my notes, and that's accessible to any device that's connected to your Gmail account, so it is cross-device syncing, which is pretty awesome. And then of course, if we also go here, if you don't want to just take a regular note, you can set it up to do a checklist, or you can click this little icon here, which allows you to use a a stylus and actually write your note, which can be really helpful for people, or, let me go back here. Or you can hit the microphone here, and that will allow you to speak the note. Remind me to do this thing later. And there, it's added it to the note and it also keeps a recording of that, in case it doesn't transcribe it perfectly, which I think is another really helpful thing. And then of course, here's that picture one that we saw; you hit that and it allows you to take a picture with your device's camera. So, that's Google Keep, and it comes free with any type of Gmail email address that you might have. Along those same lines of taking notes, there's also Evernote, and I've talked to a lot of people who have heard of Evernote but haven't really taken the time to learn what it does. Well, it's note-taking similar to Google Keep, but it has just some extra features and extra robustness, if you will, into it, and it's set up by organizing into things called notebooks. Right now, I can see all of my notes, but I can also look at the different types of notebooks. I have a notebook here on a report I'm doing on the gray wolf, something on Simon Tech, which is us here, and so on and so forth. You can actually create your own notebooks and save those notes that way. So, instead of having them just laid out randomly or recently, like Keep does, it gives you that more control over organizing those devices. And you can star them, and the search feature is what's really, really powerful. Yes, Google is really good at searching too, but this has got a really awesome search feature where you can search for your items. Let me go back to my notes. It has the same option where you can add a picture in there, you can record a note, write a note, all those same things, but one thing I also really love about this, and we won't be able to display it on this option but you guys can check it out for yourself, if you go to their website, the Evernote web extension actually allows you to, what's called clip, a website. So if you're doing research, here's an example. I was doing research here on Minnesota, and I found a website, Wikipedia, and I clipped it from my browser; now it's showing up in all of my devices and I can research that and go back to the website. So if you ever find yourself doing research and having a ton of tabs open, and wanting to remember where you were, you can use this clip thing to organize them into specific categories. It's a really great feature. That one is called Evernote, and it's a little bit more robust version of Google Keep.

- [Sarah] Our next area that we want to talk about is being a reliable, focused employee and managing your time well. The first thing that I'm gonna show you is an app that is called Stand Up! The Work Break Timer. I think it's pretty well acknowledged that taking a break is a really important part of being able to focus, and even being able to sit still at a desk, so an app that helps to remind you to stand up and walk around, or go get a drink of water can be, actually, a really helpful thing to increase your productivity. And then the second one is called 30/30, and it does that in a little bit of a different way. I'm gonna go ahead and switch back to the camera and start with the Stand Up. This one here. What you're seeing here is the app where you set up how you want this to work. I can choose which days I want; I can choose the hours, starting at what time to what time, so I can select the hours that I'm at work, so I wanna do that; and then I can also say how often. So, kinda based on personal need, could be every 30 minutes, and while at any location, or... Okay, now it's giving me all these location alerts. Then, I just do that, and it's going to bring up on my device, every 30 minutes, a reminder. You can turn the sound louder, you can do other settings, you can change the notification message, but now you can see it's starting and your next reminder would be in about 29 minutes. So, that's kind of nice, 'cause it's this really simple interface to use, and it operates in the background and gives you that reminder at the frequency you select, in order to stand up and take a break. Then, the next one is called 30/30, it's this app up here, it's this icon in the corner here. I'm gonna go ahead and click on that. Here's a really basic one that has a 27-minute focus and then a reminder to take a stretch break, and you just hit it and it starts. But I'm gonna show you the more involved one. Down here we have all the steps, this is more of a guide for an activity, so cleaning the break room. There are minutes that are the suggested amount of time that we expect this to take, so that could be a guidance for someone, and then, I think I actually, yeah, I need to move it ahead here. Not at the beginning. There we go. So that's the beginning, and we've got the first thing that you do, the timer starts and there's a reminder about what to do first, and the guided length of time that we expect it to take, and then you can see the whole screen turns that color, and so then if I get done with that task and I'm ready to move on to the next one, then I can hit this check mark at the top and it takes me to my next step, spray the tables with the cleaner. You can add time, if the tables were particularly messy this day, you can say, "Oh, I need a little bit more time." Oh, it won't let me go over five. Hmm. We have time. And then, move on to the next thing. We have a break built-in there, and you can pause it, go back, come back, and start again, and let me just show you real quickly, these are just really easy to create. You type in whatever text you want, you can choose the different color, and you can change the amount of time, and you can choose a different icon to go with it. You can also move these around. Come on, wake up. There we go. Take that up there. On, down through that. So that's one example of a routine that can be put into a structured format and then that an individual can follow along through. That is called 30/30. Okay, the next item is something that is for the smartphone, it's called Break Free, it's an app. I think it's called Break Free: Stop Phone Addiction, or something. Let's see if I can find it. Here it is. When we were thinking that especially for new people, young people entering the workforce, they are very accustomed to having their smartphones with them, and often being on them and looking at them a lot. So, I thought of this as a really helpful tool to have something that's gonna track, and you can see here, it's telling you how many times you've unlocked your screen, and then actually tracking the amount of time that you've been on it for that day, and then giving you an addiction score, for what it's worth. Then, weekly, monthly; so, as you use it, you can see our stats are not very far yet, but as you use it, it can track your stats over time. So if this was something that you were trying to improve, maybe use my phone a little bit less during the day at work, then you could track that. So, that's a really simple interface, there are other apps that are a little bit more complicated that do things like block certain websites or apps or things like that, and track when you're doing what, but this is nice 'cause it's just really simple and you can begin to track how you do use your phone. Okay, and then to gain awareness of how you use your time, there is an app that is called Life Cycle, and this is actually created by the same people that did the Sleep Cycle one that we looked at in the beginning, and I'm just going to show you an overview of this, because again, this would need to have a lot of data tracked in order to really show you how it works. But Life Cycle automatically tracks what you do. You need to have your phone with you, your device with you, it tracks how you're spending your time, it tracks where you are, so it knows if you're in Target, or it knows if you're at the coffee shop, and you can see here, you just keep it with you and then it tracks how you're spending your time, and then you can see on these pie charts that it's showing you here, here's all the things that you did today, and I'm sure that you would go in and set it up and tell it the location where you work, but a lot of it is based on GPS. It syncs up with the Sleep Cycle app and doing the same kind of thing as assessing when you're asleep. Then, it will also add additional information over the week and over the month. So, this is a tool to really assess how you are spending your time, and look at your routines and adding up the data and tracking it so that if you see, if you are in a new job and you feel like, "Oh, I don't feel like I have any time "to do anything," it is a useful thing to try and look at where you're spending your time. Maybe you're at the coffee shop way more hours during the week than you think you are. So it just gives you that power over making choices of how you're gonna use your time. And that is called Life Cycle, tracks your time automatically. Okay. Another thing for increasing your focus might be a white-noise app, and I think sometimes, in a work environment in particular, or when studying, just some really calming noise can be a really useful thing, and so this app is really nice, simple for putting in some headphones and listening to sounds that can be calming and that can really enhance your focus. Here, I'll just turn this on. I don't know if you can hear that, but this is jungle sounds. This can also be on your smartphone, it doesn't have to be on a device that you're working on. Whoa, go away. There we go. And it has a nice visual, and then you can select different sounds. So if there are things going on at work that are distracting and you need to really focus, then this can really be nice, and this can also be something that can help with anxiety. There are things that are actually white noise, like there is... There's fans in here, and hairdryers, not just nature. Cat purring. So there's a lot of choices about different sounds that you might find helpful. And that is called White Noise, and that is a free app. Hmm. So, the last thing I have as a tool for focus and managing your time well is an Apple Watch. Yeah, go ahead, we're gonna put this under the camera here. What's nice about the watch is that...

- [Paul] Up a little more.

- [Sarah] Oh, I'm sorry. Okay, there we go. Is that you're wearing it, so it's not like your phone, it's on you all the time, and you can use... I'm gonna go to the settings, and so this has a way of notifying you, giving you reminders or even notifying you of something to help you focus or take a break, any of those things, but it has a way of doing that without any sound. The sound is on right now, but then if I go down here, this is the... The video, let me focus that a little better. The haptic, it's comparable to the vibrate on your phone, only it's a little bit stronger. It's like a tap on your wrist, essentially. And then I can set prominent haptics, so if I want it to be a little stronger, and there's the sound happening too, but it really is like a tap. What's really nice is that that can be really discreet. So if you turn the sound off and you just have those taps, then that could be used in a classroom or a work setting, and other people don't have to know that you're using this type of reminder. As I go back out here, there are a variety of different apps that work hand-in-hand with your iPhone, and here's a timer. These are just the built-in timer amounts, amounts of time. You can also make a custom. So if I want to remind myself to take a break in 30 minutes, I can do that, and then it will give me that little tap and nobody else has to know that that's happening, and then I can get up and take my break. So, that is one of just the features that I think is important to highlight on a wearable device like an Apple Watch. Okay.

- Alright.

- [Paul] Moving on, one of the other things that seems pretty obvious, but just to make sure we cover this: accessing the computer is gonna be really important. But there are lots of different ways to do that, and we're gonna look at some alternative keyboards and some adaptive mice, and by no means are we anywhere close to an exhaustive list here, we only have a couple for each, but there's so many different options out there, just doing a simple search, a Google search for alternative keyboards and adaptive mice, or checking out some of our resources as well. But I'm gonna bring up an alternative keyboard first. This particular one, get it on the camera here. You see, one of the things you first see is that the keys are very large. That's the first part. They're also color-coded, and you're notice all the vowels, can't see the whole thing here, but the vowels are all in yellow, and some of the other more common letters are in different colors, but the thing that really stands out about this is the key guard. You can kinda see it on here, it's this clear plastic thing, but you'll notice that the buttons, let me focus on this a little bit here. The keys, then, are isolated. It allows you to focus more on what keys you're pressing; you won't get as much of that skipping over and hitting multiple keys at once. It's gonna be really helpful for individuals who need the help isolating those individual keys. This is just a simple key guard, it's plexiglass over the top of it here, and that can make all the difference in just simplifying that use of the keyboard. Then the other keyboard that we have, I'm gonna switch over here. This one might be a little bit more familiar with, you tend to see this a little bit more frequently, but it's your standard keyboard except it's laid out to be more ergonomical, so you can see how it raises up here, so it gives you a rest for your wrists on there to help with repetitive stress, and you'll see the keys are even a little bit different, they kinda slope down a little bit on each side to make sure that your hands are in this optimal, ergonomic space there, and no buttons are different than a typical keyboard, it's just this design's built right into it. This is a relatively straightforward accommodation that employers should have no problems supplying, so if this is something that's gonna be a need, definitely bring that up to an employer, it should be no problem to have that done. We go over to mice, then. This one, it stands out a bit more than your typical mouse, but it can make all the difference. One of the things you'll notice is it does have a trackball on it, so instead of having the typical mouse where it uses that laser underneath to drag it around, you can move the cursor by just moving this trackball. And then your left- and right-clicks are very discernible, they're very clear, very obvious, you're not gonna get any confusion with the index and ring finger, so you can very clearly see which those buttons are, so that can make a really big difference for individuals. On the handout, you'll notice we also included a wireless trackpad, and a wireless trackpad is, essentially, the trackpad you would find on a laptop, only it's wireless and you can use it for anything. So, individuals who prefer trackpads, that's something you can use, but that's actually checked out of our library right now, because it is a popular item, so we don't have it on display. Instead, I have this mini-trackball, and I'm gonna take this, we're gonna have to take that tape off of there. But what this is, is plugged in like a typical mouse, but it uses that same concept, let me focus in here, that same trackball concept, this is what moves the cursor, and you have your right- and left-clicks here, or your left-click underneath, like a trigger, and this can make a really huge difference for individuals who maybe don't have that huge range of motion in their arms, and just have a little bit of control here. This can also make a huge difference with clicking-and-dragging, so if you need to hold down the mouse, you would hold the trigger, and then you would move the mouse like that. It really is something that you almost have to try out before you know if it's going to work for you, but it can make a really big difference for individuals. So that's just a mini-trackball mouse is all that is referred to as. So, those are just a handful of, well really, just a couple of different devices. I just realized handful would have been a really good pun for me to use there, but the adaptive mice and alternative keyboards, if that's something that you think is gonna make all the difference for you or the individual you work with, you can definitely do a search for lots of other options that are out there.

- [Sarah] Okay. Next, we wanna talk a little bit about appropriate behavior and social skills needed for the workplace. I have a couple things to show you. The first is QuickCues. QuickCues is the one we showed you earlier that was the communication, about conversation, and I think I mentioned that they have different modules that you can buy. So I believe the different modules are $4.99 each, so there is a specific one that is about being on the job. This is actually exactly where I want to be.

- [Paul] Go back. Bringing it up here, you can show an example. Ah, there's a perfect example.

- Okay. Alright.

- [Sarah] Now I've got it.

- [Paul] I'm gonna zoom in a little bit so we can see that.

- [Sarah] This is giving us an outline of the items that are on the On The Job module, so everything on this list here is what is included as categories for tips and cues for a person that needs that kind of guidance when they are on the job. Some of the things that we looked at earlier on the communication app are similarly helpful, such as how to communicate at work, what's appropriate to talk about, you can see there's body language on the job. Even how to ride mass transit, that's very helpful. Making a good impression with my coworkers, manners, small talk at work. So, all those things, and it's a similar layout of just going, swiping through basic cues and tips for that given situation. So that, again, is QuickCues, and this is the On The Job module. And then, the next thing is called Social Skills Pro, and this is set up, there are lessons but there are also, more like cues for conversation. Let me open it up here. Here it is, Social Skills Pro. This is operating under the assumption that there might be given topics that are appropriate on any given day for someone that you are interacting with. You can put in here, like it has, "Oh, the start of the school year," and, "What did you do this summer?" These kind of things. You can change those, here you can see that it's Edit, and you can type in something else. Sort of like reminders, I guess, so you're on your way to work and you could take a look at this and like, "Oh my gosh, what am I gonna talk "to my coworkers about?" And you can put, the football game last night, or, "What did you do this weekend," that kind of thing. And then down here is Lessons. We'll just open Overview. It's giving us some basic tips and information. Let's see. We go on down here, we can see, pretty specific to conversations. How to be an active listener, how to end a conversation. Example of a bad exit. "Okay, I have to go!" Or give exit cues, so all kinds of things that boost and help people that need that support with social skills. And then we have humor; texting, that ought to be interesting. Best practices. Hopefully, it says, "Is it okay to text your boss "with a bunch of emojis?" and other things. Not! So inappropriate. Conflict resolution is down here, so that's kinda nice, and then there's another section down here that is just called List, and this one, you can enter in things, so you can be at home or you can have another person giving you support with this. Oh wait. Topics. Work or school, how their day was, and then when you open one of these, then you can edit it and you can add more information. You can add a sample question, or you can add a sample response. So if you wanted to have something prepared to say when someone says, "How was your weekend?" You might wanna have something ready that you can review on your way in to work; "Oh, this is the thing "that I want to talk about in case I don't remember "anything I did on the weekend." You can see there's a long list, there's music, so that's just a to start out with one example but you can add more and create a list of things that you can go back and look at. So, that is support for social skills that can be useful at the workplace.

- [Paul] Alright. Moving on, the next thing that we're gonna look at are all about following directions. When you're on the job, especially if you're brand new to the job and brand new to the environment, following directions can be really, really difficult. We have two different things. We have an app called Recordium, and we'll also take a look at a device known as the Livescribe Echo Smartpen. I wanna start with the app. If you haven't seen these two devices that we're gonna look at before, I don't know if I can adequately describe how amazing they are. In particular, I really like them. I'm gonna switch over to the camera again to look at Recordium. Where did Recordium go? Oh, there it is, right there. So, how this works, I'm gonna rotate this here so we can see, if that's okay. I'm gonna back up just a little bit, and I'll focus on this. So, it's a really easy user interface. You have these different folders that you can categorize things, but basically, it's a recording app. You can use it to record a meeting, a lecture if you're in school, instructions from a supervisor, whatever that happens to be, but how it works is you hit record, and it is now recording everything that it is hearing. What's a little bit different in this than some of the other note-taking apps is it allows you to stay completely engaged in the conversation, and once you hear something that's really important, you just go, hit this tag, Important, and it marks that point in time when the instructor or your supervisor said something really important. If they start giving you instructions, you can hit Highlight, and you keep it highlighting while step by step by step, the instructions are being described, and then you can turn that off. You can even take a picture of something that they're describing and we'll add that to the timeline. But here's where it becomes a little different. When I'm done recording these instructions or this lecture or this meeting, whatever it is, I can save this, and when I come back and play back this recording, I can skip to the important part. Or I could skip to the instructions being given. And that's a great way to allow you to essentially take notes without having to be distracted by taking notes. It's a way to mark the really important parts in the conversation, and very rapidly go back and review them. It can be really helpful for doing things quickly and making sure you're capturing all the things that you need, and even if you forget to do these tags, you still have the item recorded, so you can listen back to the entire recording. So, that one is called Recordium. The next thing we're gonna look at then is a note-taking device. This is actually involved in note-taking specifically, let me focus on here. This is known as the Livescribe Echo, it's a smart pen, and what that means is it works with these notebooks here, these specialized notebooks, and if I turn this on, what's built into this pen is actually another audio recorder, there's a microphone built in, and the camera underneath this can actually tell where on this page it is, so when I press the pen to the Record, you may not have been able to hear that beep, but it is now recording everything that is being said. So if you're being given instructions, and maybe note-taking is a challenge for you, maybe you have dysgraphia, maybe you aren't able to necessarily pay as much attention as you'd like to, or you just can't write fast enough, they say, "Oh, this thing is really important," you can just say, "Important." Okay, they said something important, or you can do a star, or a check mark, or any kind of doodle that you really want, and what gets really cool then is when the instructions are done, the meeting's done, the lecture's done, you come down here and you press the pen to stop, and now, when it's time to go back and review those, you don't have to listen to the whole recording, you just wanna listen to what was being said when you wrote down this star. So I press the pen to this, and it starts back at that point that you wrote that note. So it allows you a little more freedom in your note-taking, you don't have to write as much details down, you just get something written when something important is being said, and then you're able to come back and review that just by pressing your pen to that particular item, and it looks like I popped that in there. So, that is called the Livescribe Echo, it's a smart pen. It's a really popular device, and it's great for assisting with note-taking.

- [Sarah] Moving on from there, taking a picture with your phone is something that is really simple and that we don't necessarily think of doing in this kind of a setting, but if a supervisor is giving instructions or particularly has an item, like, "I want this file or this folder to be organized "in this exact way and look like this when it's done," and you need to reproduce 10 of these, then that would be an ideal situation to take a picture of exactly what they have, and then go back and put those together. Or, take a picture of written instructions that are on a whiteboard or something. Then you can take it back with you and you can review it, and refer to it as many times as you want. I have another app to show you that is a nice way to break a task in to smaller steps. It's a little bit different than a to-do list, because we can use this to take a larger task and break it down into small tasks. We'll get it open here. It's in here? Okay. This is called Trello, and it's this icon up here. There we go. Wanna turn this the other direction, it works a little better that way. Trello is a free app that also syncs across different devices. So, this can be on an iPad, you can open it on your phone, you can open it on your desktop computer, and so here's the first one I have set up, and you can see that what you do, you create a project, so that's clean the break room, and I'll show you that in a little more detail in a minute. You create these different lists, and so this one is used as what you do first, what you do next, what you do last, and here we also have pictures. So again, you can find a picture online, that's what I did here, like a mop, or you can to give very specific, detailed instructions if that's what you need to do. Then, over here, we have check your work, and then we have a completed place. So if this is something that is useful, we say, "Oh, okay, so I mopped the floor, that's done," and I can take it and put it over here, and it's completed. Then you can see, any of these, you can add another layer of notes. So, put garbage in trash can, put in recycling, and then the items that you put in the recycling, as another little reminder. Broken down, step by step. Then, another setup that I have here that I did not use the visual pictures for is a construction project. Here's the things that I need to do first, here's the things on this project that I would do next, the final steps, the follow-up, and then similarly, I can take these and then move them over when they're completed, which is nice, because then you can have everything there and you can slide it all back and start over again on your next project. To add something else, it's just really easy. Here's how we add a new list. There's that, there's a new list, and then you can add a card, they call them cards; you can just click on that and add another card. Add on down, and you can also move them from one spot to another. So, it's a really easy interface to use, and it's a nice way to break steps down for any kind of project. That is called Trello. You can see that you can change the colors, and it has other features, like you can add reminders, you can add dates.

- [Paul] We actually just had a question come up asking what the stand is that we're using that we're holding the iPad on, and it's a tablet stand for the Apple iPad, the manufacturer is Kantek Inc, k-a-n-t-e-k, and Bridget can type that in there, but it's pretty straightforward but I like it because it allows you to rotate it really easily, you can tilt it different ways too, and spin it around and change it from landscape to portrait. That too could be very useful, it's something that could be on your desk. We didn't include it in this presentation but I'm glad someone asked about it, it is another great device that we use a lot of times for our presentations. The name is just generic Tablet Stand For Apple iPad, but made by Kantek Inc., k-a-n-t-e-k, Inc., i-n-c. So, thank you for the question, keep them coming, we love questions.

- [Sarah] Oh, okay. And then another app is iTranslate. There are a lot of different translation tools on the market but this one, I find it works pretty well and it's nice because it is on a mobile device, so for someone that needs to, if English is their second language or you need to translate something... There we go. So, it's a really straightforward setup here and I can go to English. If I want to give instruction to someone and I want to make sure, and Spanish is their first language and I want to make sure that they understand, then this might be a useful thing to do. Okay. I can read it--

- [Electronic Voice] You must read and sign the contract.

- [Sarah] But then I can also tell it to translate it, and it gives verb-conjugation information down here. Then I can also do this, so that they can hear the message, and obviously, I'm trusting that it's giving a reasonable translation, but usually, when it's in their language, then they can get the idea. Even if it's not perfect translation. And I'm not sure my Internet is going to allow me to let this speak some Spanish, but that's how that works, and let's go here and we can see all the 91 languages that it has. In any given work environment or location where you have people where English is not their first language, it might be useful to have a tool like this ready for you to use in interacting with them or for them to use when they are getting instructions. So, that is iTranslate. Alright. Then, our last category related to the work environment is learning new skills, and this is something that can be done in many ways, and we have a variety of tools to show you in our last section here. I'm going to start with an app that is called CanPlan. Some of these, we don't have real elaborate examples set up, but I think it gives you an idea of what it can do. This is set up, again, for something to have a visual reminder, and it will also speak. This is washing clothes, and again, the picture can be really specific to that person's own environment. I like how detailed this is.

- [Paul] And you're creating those images, right?

- Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

- [Sarah] And it will speak the text. I think this kind of thing is really helpful, so if it is a washing machine, you know how complicated and overwhelming all those buttons and directions can be, so you can take a picture and say, "This is exactly what you do." That app is called CanPlan, and these are all newly added; down here, you see Add Task. You add your new item, you type in the text, you take the photos and you set it up. And then the next one is actually a video-modeling app, so it's kind of similar, but using video. Here, again, these are videos that you take, and it's got a really nice simple format to create this. You take little videos, you take the video and you can accept it or you can do it over again, and then they're just played. Yeah, there we go. So, a specific task with specific steps and illustrating exactly how it is done. Again, all the buttons, what to choose, which one to push. Just to give you an idea of how that works. That app is called Master Task. Then, I've got learning a new language, an app that is called Memrise, m-e-m-r-i-s-e, and it's got a fun, playful format. Takes you through, and I'm not gonna spend a lot of time on this, but it basically takes you through and teaches you basic words, and then it goes through and quizzes you, and it gives you little quizzes and it also shows you videos of people speaking, so it's kinda really nice, and I think it's built on 10 minutes a day to learn a new language. So, it's kinda fun. And, then, I want to mention just that there are a lot of programs that are specific to work, career areas. Just one example would be the healthcare profession. People that are maybe working as a health assistant might be wanting to study and learn and develop their skills in order to prepare for higher-level jobs, and so this is an app, this one is called Nursing Central, and this is a free version, of course they want you to buy and get all the more features, but here we've got something that is basically a medical dictionary, and here's all the illustrations. It's quite robust, there's a lot of things in there. I don't know what that is, I'll click on that. Ugh. So, illustrations, basic information, back out of there. And that is just one little section of this app; there's a lot of other definitions and things you can look up. There's a pharmacy, medication dictionary, conditions and all that kind of thing. So, that was called Nursing Central.

- [Paul] For the last thing here for learning new skills, if you haven't heard about it, it's a website called KhanAcademy.org, Khan is spelled k-h-a-n, it's named after the guy who created it, Salman Khan, and there is an app that comes with it, and I think I'll bring up that app so you can see it, but the website works just as well, so you can go straight to khanacademy.org and test it out. Most people who've heard of Khan Academy are probably familiar with its Math feature, so mathematics at all different levels. If you'll notice, it also has science, economics, and also, computer science. It has test-prep options, and the list kinda goes on, college careers and more. So, the way this is set up, it's definitely worth checking it out, it's completely free, it has video tutorials, and the guy who does them is pretty darn good at it, and it also has activities to test in and practice the knowledge that you learn. It does go through every single level of math that you can come up with, and many, many levels of science, but computer science is potentially a really powerful one to do as well, as well as just basic personal finance, and understanding the careers. So definitely, check it out, there is a free app, you can also use the website, khanacademy.org, and that's just one of those things to assist you in learning new skills, because that is one way to increase your productivity, independence, and ultimately, be better on the job. So, that brings us to the end. I want to make sure that everybody is utilizing that chat window and asking questions.

- [Sarah] There is also a workshop handout that you should be able to access under the Adobe Connect files. The handout does have a little more information about the apps and the tools that we've showed today, including links to websites, so that's nice to have that electronically.

- [Paul] And I did see a question about certificate of attendance. We have a survey here; if you fill out this survey for us, it would be greatly appreciated, but it will also provide you a link to a certificate of participation once you complete that. The link's there, it's just been added, you can see it's a Survey Monkey link, you can click on it, right up into the middle of the screen right here. It will take you to that survey. We really, really appreciate any feedback you can give us, and of course, that certificate of participation will be available to print out at the end of that survey. So, thank you again for coming here and joining us and learning about assistive technology. If you have any further questions, definitely check out CTDInstitute.org for the Center on Technology and Disability, and my name is Paul.

- [Sarah] And my name is Sarah.

- [Paul] And thank you very much.