Need a Special Gift for a Special Person? UB Developed Products Make Life (and Giving) Easier

December 9, 2008
Products developed at UB´s Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Assistive Technology, like this jar opener, can make life easier for people young and old.

( -- Is there someone on your gift list who could use a little help opening the jar of candied cherries for the holiday fruitcake? Or needs to raise the thermostat without getting up from the recliner?

Maybe there is a child on your list who likes to color but could use a little practice staying inside those pesky lines?

If the answer is "Yes," University at Buffalo's Center for Assistive Technology can make shopping as easy as "Ho Ho Ho."

The Center's Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology Transfer (T2RERC) takes existing technologies and transforms them into new marketable assistive technology products that make life easier for people old, young, and in between.

"These products are aimed at improving the everyday quality of life of individuals," said Jim Leahy, co-principal investigator and director of development for the T2RERC, "and make wonderful gifts for loved ones during this holiday season."

Here are some of the products developed with the help of UB, and the Web sites where they can be ordered:

• Lids Off Jar Opener

• Line Butler -- reconnects an off-the-hook telephone

• Kelvin -- voice activated thermostat

• White Rodgers touch screen thermostat

• Surfboard -- voice controlled remote control

• Coinulator -- for children learning to count money

• StrongArm Cane -- a unique one-piece handle featuring an integral forearm brace.

• BumpaColor -- raised line coloring book

• Kodak EasyShare Printer

And keep an eye out in 2009 for Automated Pill Crusher from Pill Crusher Ventures, LLC and a product from Tupperware, says UB's Leahy. For a full list of products developed by UB to make life easier, go to

People with disabilities rely on assistive technology devices and services to sustain, regain or increase their functional capabilities. About 13 million people with disabilities report using assistive devices to provide functional capabilities needed to participate in major life activities. Advances in assistive devices rely on advances in the underlying technologies, and the transformation of those advances into new assistive technology products.

Provided by University at Buffalo

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