|Volume 15, No. 1, Winter 2007||
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The AT Bargain Basement
Marvin Williams, AT Specialist
Kent County ATRC
Hello, True Believers, and welcome to another installment of the AT Bargain Basement. I am Marvin Williams, your guide to the world of the ever-elusive yet rather plentiful assistive technology bargain. For those of you who are Basement regulars, welcome back. For those who are new to the Basement, welcome and let me explain our rules of engagement. First, I try to find you all of the AT I can find for $100 or less. Second, I try to find you local bargains in local stores. However, in the interest of bringing you the best bargains I can, I do also include gems I find on the Internet. Third, I will always report the bargains you and your fellow Basement fans bring me. Fourth and most importantly, I hope you all have fun! So with that being said, let's get to the bargains!
My first find comes to you from the world of the wireless electronic locater. A wireless electronic locater is a device that helps you find something that you regularly misplace: your keys, purse, remote control, or anything else that seems to grow legs and walk away right after you set it down. Here's how it works. You attach one of the small "find-me" units to the thing you regularly lose, presumably before you have lost it. Then, when you lose it, you can press a button on the "finder" unit, which will cause the "find-me" unit to beep and flash. For some of the systems, the "find-me" only beeps and flashes when the "finder" is a certain distance from it. Radio Shack has one of these wireless electronic locaters for $29.95 for a one finder/one find-me set. If you aren't afraid to buy things online, you can get a nice 8 find-me/1 finder set from The Sharper Image for $49.95. The ATRCs have a couple of finder systems that you can try, including the Sharper Image unit that I just described. Do keep in mind that these systems won't necessarily help you find the finder unit if you lose that…
My next bargain is actually a tip I received from an AAC discussion group, and it's pretty neat! If you are an individual who uses an AAC device with an infrared (IR) output so that you can control a television remote or any other IR environmental control unit, you can now access your Playstation 2 or Xbox for between $20 and $40. Both of these game systems have various DVD playback sets you can purchase (they range in price). This is the key to being able to control the system because included in the sets are IR receivers. Also included are remote controls that include the regular buttons on the gaming controller. So all you have to do is the standard IR remote training you would do for any other remote control and set up an appropriate interface screen for the user, and then you're all set to play your favorite games! This will not provide access to the L3 and R3 buttons on the PS2 controller, but it will get you there with everything else. You also have the added benefit of being able to control the DVD playback of the systems. So no more sitting on the sidelines when everyone else is playing. Time to get in the game!
My next bargain is another of the Franklin products, of which some of you know I'm very fond. It's the Franklin Speaking Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary. What makes this little marvel a bargain in my book is that it has all the power of the larger Franklin Speaking Language Master while being more compact and professional in appearance. It boasts over 40,000 word definitions from the 11th edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, a thesaurus with over 500,000 synonyms and antonyms, learning games, a nice head phone jack for private listening, and the usual ease of use Franklin has been known for. If you are an Internet shopper, you can do well getting this deal for $85 from Buy.com. If you prefer store purchasing, you can get the same model from Target, if it's in stock, for about $95.99.
My final bargain is actually one from a previous installment, but it seems to be one that some of you have purchased and enjoy. So here again for your consideration I bring you the One-Touch Can Opener. The One-Touch is a great little can opener that sits on the top of a can and drives itself around, opening the can just below the lip of the can. The nice thing about that is that you can put the lid back on the can fairly easily with a good fit. I have heard from three different Bargain Basement fans who say it's a great little product. We also have one available to borrow at the Kent County ATRC. You can buy it from Wal-Mart for $19.95, when in stock, or from Walmart.com for $18.44 plus shipping and handling. You can also find it at the Kitchen Collection in Rehoboth Beach for $19.99 while supplies last.
And that will bring to a close this installment of the AT Bargain Basement. Tune in next time when I'll bring you even more bargains and hopefully some more success stories to share with you. Until then remember, just because it's a bargain, doesn't mean it's cheap!