Tag Archives: accessibility

Venture out on Amazing Virtual Tours Without Leaving Home

Sometimes we’re stuck at home and we go a little stir crazy. For those with limited mobility issues, this is a common occurrence. Thanks to today’s modern technology, we’re able to venture out to places all over the world. In this light, here are some amazing virtual tours we can take right from the comfort of our couch.

Walk The Great Wall of China

We’ll begin our online VR tour at one of the seven wonders of the modern world by exploring The Great Wall of China. Stretching thousands of miles across several provinces of northern Asia, it’s one of the most impressive structures on our planet. Additionally, you won’t need a plane ticket or passport to virtually stroll one of China’s most popular tourist attractions.

Visit National Parks

The United States National Parks services and Google Arts & Culture platform have teamed up to offer at least five epic virtual adventures for tourists to enjoy from indoors. These virtual tours include exploring:

  • The glaciers and waterways of the Kenai Fjords in the Alaskan wilderness offer a lot. Indeed, it includes a kayak ride through these marine straits and a hike across the tundra
  • A fiery lava tube in a Hawaiian volcano along with a virtual flight over an island mountain
  • Go spelunking through a few of over 100 caves at the Carlsbad Caverns in the desert of southern New Mexico
  • The VR tour of Bryce Canyon in Utah centers around the beautiful red and orange desert landscape. Further, it begins on Sunset Point where virtual visitors enjoy a star-filled night sky
  • Lastly, dry Tortugas is a remote park located 70 miles from Key West. You won’t need to book a seaplane or boat to get there to visit Fort Jefferson

On the National Park Foundation website, virtual tourists will find even more of these grounds to experience via a screen including Crater Lake and live webcams in many popular locations. Some of these sites include the Washington Monument, Thomas Jefferson, and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials.

Explore Yosemite

One of the most popular and visited National Parks, at Virtual Yosemite visitors are able to explore everything this location is famous for from Half Dome to Glacier Point and more. Explore over 200 locations within Yosemite and its surrounding areas during different seasons. The stunning 360° interactive and panoramic views present high-resolution photography and videos. Yosemite presents spectacular vistas from the top the cliffs and waterfalls with peaceful locations found along trails.

Visit a Multitude of Museums

The largest collection of artwork on the planet is found at The Louvre gallery in Paris, France and is accessible without a transatlantic trek. See ancient Egyptian antiquities. Then, explore the remains of the fortress’s underground moat from when this location was a fortress. Other monumental museums and locations to experience include:

  • The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation in New York City is another memorable and magnificent place to explore both indoors and out also available from the Google Arts & Culture platform
  • The largest collection of artwork from the world-renowned Dutch post-impressionist artist Vincent Van Gogh is found at his namesake museum in Amsterdam housing hundreds of his paintings and letters
  • Lastly, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History near our nation’s capital is home to many of our country’s national treasures. Indeed, virtual visitors are able to experience former, current, permanent exhibits, and much more

Dive Underwater

There are several virtual dives available from the National Marine Sanctuary website that are accessible 24/7 without the need for scuba equipment. Among the many underwater areas to explore include an immersive dive alongside sea lions in a VR video. Other presentations offer a 360° experience when scenic and aquatic photos are “stitched” together for panoramic views under the sea.

Find More Amazing Virtual Tours

When you’re in the market to buy or sell a handicapped-accessible van, AMS is America’s Superstore! We have hundreds of choices including side and rear entry models. Additionally, we have a selection of vans priced under $30K. Check out our inventory of new and used models for better mobility and reliability.

The Many Types of Assistive Technology for Disabled Persons

Woman with disability working from home in her Assistive Technology wheelchair

We live in a world where anything is possible thanks to technology. Today, we have technology that makes it possible for people with disabilities to achieve unimaginable feats. It is a fantastic thing to see and be a part of. AMS Vans is very happy to be a part of the forward progress, not just with our vans, but in other ways as well. Join us as we take a look at the many types of assistive technology for disabled persons that technology has given us.

The Daily Struggles Stop Here

For years, people have felt that disabilities could possibly hold them back. Then, there are others who prove that disability does not stop anyone. Consider how Sylvester Stallone overcame birth complications that resulted in paralysis of his face. Even though it left him with a perennial snarl and slurred speech issues, he still one of the world’s sexiest men.

Chris Burke, a man that we all know from the sitcom “Life Goes On” is another example of overcoming obstacles. Although born with Downs Syndrome, he appeared in this very popular television show from 1989-1993. He has been in a music band that created four albums and won a few Golden Globe Awards despite doctors saying when he was born that he would never walk or talk.

These two did it without the help of technology. Today, we don’t have to. We have access to assistive technology. It is this technology that makes it easy for a writer to overcome blindness, a paralyzed veteran to access the internet, and wheelchair-bound people from all walks of life to be more independent.

How Technology Helps Everyone

From Smart Home technology allowing us to use Alexa or environmental control devices, and other types of things; to adaptive tools that make it easy to use utensils, keyboards, and more. We have it all within our reach in today’s world.

If you look up “handicap home solutions” you will find a variety of tools that can make your life easier. We hear often how people may still struggle to use a keyboard. It takes precision to hit the right keys. Autocorrect can help some, but what if you are unable to see the keyboard or have trouble controlling your fingers? There is a solution available. It can be found through searching for “adaptive keyboards” on Amazon. These devices simplify using the keyboard so that you can search the web for necessities or wants that you may have.

As another option, you can also search for the term “smart home” on Amazon.com. This will allow you to find a large variety of products that may help you in your day-to-day life as you embrace the technology we have available.

Increasing Mobility and Convenience

Mobility is one of the easiest things to deal with. You have a lot of options. Depending on the disability you face, you may use canes or walkers, or be wheelchair dependant. Although difficult, this does not mean you are ever restricted. We have too many different types of mobility aids available, including scooters or our customized, wheelchair accessible vans.

In the words of Chris Burke, “It’s not your disabilities, it’s your abilities that count.” This is our mission. Our hope is that as technology continues to improve, we can do even more for those who struggle with simple things. We have the dream of becoming a world where there is no such thing as being “unable” to live your life on your terms.  In this world, the one that makes anything possible, disabilities and handicaps should not hinder your ability to be the independent person you want to be.

Learn More About Assistive Technology for Disabled Persons

If you are ready to show your independence, we encourage you to contact us. We will be happy to help and with three convenient locations and nationwide support, we are always here for you.

office supplies including laptop phone and sticky note

7 Ways to Work From Home to Make a Little Extra Cash

There are a variety of reasons why you might want to work from home to earn a little extra money and improve your overall standing. You might not be able to work outside the home due to the need to care for children, chronic illness or disability, or inability to work on a standard schedule. Perhaps you need part-time work to continue to qualify for disability benefits. Whatever your reason for working from home, luckily, there are many options available. Consider these fun work from home opportunities.

Freelance Writing

Do you love to write? As a freelance writer, you can choose to work for a writing platform or seek out private clients in your niche. Freelance writing allows you to work from home–or to work from anywhere–while expanding your knowledge of the world around you. With some dedication, a personal blog can even earn a little income through sponsored products or ads.

Network Marketing

Network marketing allows you to champion the products you love and support while earning a little extra money on the side. From essential oils to jewelry and bags to vitamin supplements, there are plenty of network marketing opportunities out there. This is a great career for anyone who doesn’t mind becoming a salesperson–especially since, as you build your network, you will discover opportunities for passive income streams as well as the ongoing, active income from your personal sales efforts. If you enjoy building a team, motivating others and challenging yourself, you could find a lot of success with this type of business. Keep in mind, there is usually some sort of fee to join these companies, but often, it’s a minimal investment.

Starting a Home Business

Many businesses can be started from the comfort of your own home. Do you have a hobby, like sewing or woodworking, that people will pay for? What about jewelry making or baking? Consider selling your creations online on a site like Etsy or at your local farmers market or craft fair. Or, maybe you want to offer a service that you can perform from home – advising, for example? Put your skills to use and create a home business that will help generate a side income.

Telemarketing woman looking at laptop

Many telemarketers have the ability to work from their own homes, rather than working from a call center. All you need is a phone line and a little basic software, and with some training, you can make money calling into people’s homes. Often, telemarketers can set convenient schedules or work on a part-time basis, depending on their needs. There are major companies that offer these types of employment opportunities, too, like United Healthcare.

Data Entry

If you have a reasonably fast typing speed and a computer, you can take care of basic data entry tasks from home. When you take a data entry position, you simply enter the data you’re given into the system. Often, it doesn’t require any calculation or thought on your part, which makes it the perfect job for individuals who need to be able to work while taking care of responsibilities at home.

Virtual Tutoring or Teaching

Do you love working with kids? With some basic skills in English, math, or other subjects, you can take on tutoring or teaching positions that will allow you to work from the comfort of your own home. From teaching children English as a second language to helping kids who are struggling in a specific subject – or even working in your own virtual classroom – virtual tutoring and teaching are great ways to transform that love of working with children into a work from home position.

Specialized Skills

Do you have a specialized skill set, like web design or social media marketing? Accounting, life coaching and even voice-over work are all examples of work that can be done at home with an Internet connection. Did you acquire a degree that you want to be able to use in spite of your inability to work outside the home? Many businesses now offer remote work that will allow you to take on those responsibilities from anywhere. Even podcasts or YouTube channels can earn money if you find you’re able to build an audience.

Explore More Ways to Work From Home

Working from home may, at first, seem daunting. Over time, however, you will find that, once you learn how to juggle home and work responsibilities, you can learn that it’s possible to generate a solid income from your own living room or bedroom! Find a job that fits your skills and comfort level, then dive in! You may be surprised by just how much you enjoy it.

coins growing green sprouts

AMS Vans Customers: Make Money With Our Mobility Referral Program!

Another great way to make a some extra income is by referring your friends to AMS Vans! Whether you bought a new mobility vehicle from AMS Vans or shopped our inventory for a used wheelchair accessible van from AMS Vans or other mobility conversion vehicle manufacturer, for every new customer you send our way, we’ll send you a $500 referral bonus when they buy a wheelchair van from our inventory.

The best part is the reward is unlimited! Suggest as many people as you like, because every one of them can be another referral bonus for you. Our only request is they must be a first-time AMS Vans customer.

The “refer a friend to AMS Vans” process is simple: Just tell the person to mention your name while they’re purchasing their mobility van. When they receive their van, you’ll receive a check. It’s that easy!

Inclusive Technology: 5 Smart Devices That Increase Independence for People With Disabilities

smart phone controlling colored philips hue lights in home

Philips Hue Lights (photo: Engadget.com)

For people with physical disabilities, smart technology is more than just a convenience; it can be the key to increased independence. Today, smart technology is available for almost every aspect of our lives. It has been integrated into homes, vehicles, and mobile phones – and it seems new technologies become available everyday.

Here is some common smart technology that’s available:

1. Smart Speakers

Devices such as the Amazon EchoEcho Spot, and Echo Dot act as virtual assistants, making it possible for you to use your voice to control certain devices in your home. Those with limited hand mobility can now turn on the television, change the channel, and create a shopping list with a few words.

Devices like Alexa and the Apple Home app let you do more than just control devices; you can set up automated scenes as well. These give you the option of controlling multiple devices at once.

2. Smart Lights

The Philips Hue Light Bulbs, for example, can be controlled by the use of your smartphone and their compatibility with Alexa and Google Home allows you to control your lights by voice command as well. It is now possible to adjust brightness, schedule when the lights go on and off or even change their color. So, these cool lights not only improve independence for folks with limited mobility, but they can also change to suit your mood.

3. Smart Plugs

The VOCOlinc power strips make it possible for you to switch off or on appliances that are plugged into the socket. This is done either by a speaker or phone. This proves helpful, especially since most sockets are low and often difficult to reach.

4. Smart Doorbells

Doorbells today such as the Ring Doorbell come fitted with motion-sensor cameras that display footage of whoever is at your door on your phone’s screen. This provides the added security of knowing who is at the door before opening it. Others have the option of letting you speak to whoever is at the door through your phone.

5. Smart Locks

sebastian-scholz-nuki-IJkSskfEqrM-unsplash smart devices

Smartphone held at the door to auto-unlock it.

If you have visitors, you can give them access to your home without having to open the door. You also have the option of doing away with having to lock and unlock the deadbolt or fumble with keys.

The August Smart Lock, for instance, is a device that is attached to your door’s deadbolt and contains a motor that turns the deadbolt. Using either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, you can control the lock on your door. It is also compatible with Alexa, Google Home, and HomeKit, allowing you to operate the lock on your door with a simple voice command.

You are also able to grant people access to your home by sending an invite to their phone. This gives them access to your home but on your schedule. It notifies you each time the door is unlocked or locked and also records who entered your home and when. This could be really helpful to let in caretakers or visitors.

…And There’s More!

Smart devices do not just end there; there is also the option of getting a robotic vacuum cleaner like the Roomba 675 to help keep your home clean. A smart ceiling fan or wifi-controlled thermostat can help regulate your home’s temperature. Smart devices and their implementation in smart homes are continuously giving those with disabilities more independence than ever before.

Speaking of technology that increases independence, did you know we provide more than just wheelchair accessible vehicles at AMS Vans? We also offer adaptive driving aids, powered transfer seats and much more! Learn more here.