Tech aims to take the dis out of abilities

Richard Ellenson and his son Thomas with the tango!

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: There's a big electronics show in Florida this week. This is quite different from the show they just had in Vegas. The gadgets on display are for people with disabilities. Janet Babin reports from our Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio.


JANET BABIN: If you're searching for a brail-based PDA, or a speech generating device, it's not like you can go to Best Buy to find the hottest gear.

Instead, you'd come to the Assistive Technologies conference in Orlando this week.

It'll showcase products like the tango! from Blink Twice. Smaller than a laptop, it offers thousands of catch phrases to help disabled people communicate.

Richard Ellenson created the tango! for his son Thomas, who uses this phrase a lot:

TANGO!: I'm not tired. . . I want a snack.

Ellenson says gadgets for disabled people have come a long way.

RICHARD ELLENSON: What we're trying to do is change the technology to reflect the abilities that are inside of the people who have disabilities.

The Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference expects 2,000 visitors before it wraps up this weekend.

I'm Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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