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Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative

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AT Messenger Logo - Bringing Technology to You

Volume 14, No. 4, Fall 2006

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The AT Bargain Basement

Marvin Williams, AT Specialist                                     
Kent County ATRC

Hello there true believers, and welcome to another exciting edition of the AT Bargain Basement. I am Marvin, your guide through The Basement, and I can't wait to get to the bargains we have in this installment. However, before we begin our journey, I should explain, for all of you new readers, the ground rules. First, I try to bring you all of the AT bargains I and your fellow readers have found with a price tag of $100 or less. Second, I do try to bring you all of the bargains I can find available at local stores, but I may also bring you an Internet deal or two as well. Third, if you find a great bargain, you can pass it along to me to share here with the rest of the group. Now that that's out of the way, keep your fingers and toes inside of the windows as we begin our tour of the bargains!

Photo of the One Touch can openerOur first bargain comes from Alma Cordero of Dover, and she's sharing the OneTouch can opener. Now, I must admit, I did also see the TV commercial for this handy little gadget, and I was impressed. It is an automatic can opener you place on the top of the can, and it drives itself around the top, opening the can in such a way that there are not sharp edges and you can re-use the lid to close the can again. Now this is where the lawyers pop up and say that I'm not telling anyone to consider this a safe alternative to Tupperware or similar things for food storage.

Now the OneTouch boasts a price tag of $19.95, but if you pay the additional $4.95 for the deluxe model, you can also get something called a GripMate that looks like an automotive fan belt. Contrary to how it looks, the GripMate is actually fairly rigid, with just enough give to let you get a large jar lid into it or to squeeze it around a smaller lid. The totals with shipping and handling, a considerable $7.95, are $27.90 for the OneTouch and $32.85 for the Deluxe OneTouch and the GripMate. While these prices may seem a little steep for a can opener, they may be not too bad if you really have a problem with can openers. The operation seems to be much easier than other similar openers and the “no sharp edges” are a big plus. I haven't been able to find the OneTouch in stores yet, but you can order it from the company website,

The next bargain was sent to me by a self-described "fan of the Bargain Basement," Kia Bergman. Kia's bargain is the EZ-Step portable step. It is just that: a portable step. It has a cane handle attached to a small step that is about half the height of a regular step. It comes in handy for those having difficulty climbing steps due to the height. It seems like a pretty handy little device, and with a price tag of around $80 ($69.95 + shipping and handling at, it makes it to the Bargain Basement.

Photo of the EZ Step Portable Step

Seeing as how school is in the air again, I thought I'd take some time and focus on some bargains for the student who may need a little extra assistance. There are a lot of different bargains to be found if you know where to look. I'll start with the pocket electronic dictionary. While there are quite a few different ones out there to choose from, I do have some favorites that I think will make welcome additions to the Bargain Basement. The first is the Franklin SA-206S Spelling Ace with Thesaurus. I like this model because it is nice and compact, but it does have a nice large display on it, so you're not trying to read lines that are 1/8th of an inch tall for capital letters.

Photo of Franklin MWS1840 Merriam-Webster Speaking Dictionary and ThesaurusThe unit boasts phonetic spell correction for over 100,000 words, a thesaurus with over 500,000 synonyms and antonyms, an address book, learning exercises, and a currency converter. Not bad given its $19.98 price tag at Staples and $19.99 price tag at Target. If you want a talking model, there is the Franklin MWS1840 Merriam-Webster Speaking Dictionary and Thesaurus. This little beast offers a 120,000 word dictionary with 300,000 definitions and a 500,000 entry thesaurus. It also offers phonetic spell correction, learning games, a calculator, and speech for those needing to hear definitions read aloud. The display can show up to eight lines of text at a time, so the font could be hard to see for those with visual impairments. This bargain comes to us from Staples with a lovely price tag of $90.11 and well worth it given the functions. There are also various models that do foreign language translation and act as foreign language electronic dictionaries. One thing to keep in mind when purchasing any of these products is that if we have them in stock at any of the ATRCs, you can always try them out free-of-charge. If we don't have it for you to try, let us know, but do research the product if you can and try it out in a store if possible. If you have access to a computer, you can always research the item online and read some user feedback on it to see if it's really all that and a bag of chips.

And that will bring to a close another action packed installment of the AT Bargain Basement. As usual, please send along any bargains you may find so that I can credit you and share them with everyone else. So until next time remember, just because it's a bargain, doesn't mean it's cheap!

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