Cognitive Disabilities

Here is how The Center on Human Policy at Syracuse University defines cognitive disability as: “a disability that impacts and individual’s ability to access, process, or remember information”. Below are a list of tools that help with Cognitive disabilities.

WatchMinder Wristwatch

This incredible little device looks and feels like a standard wristwatch, but it has the ability to direct the wearer’s entire daily schedule with a series of preprogrammed reminders. Loaded in the watch’s memory are 57 messages, such as “DO TEETH” and “PAY ATTN” to keep the user on task. Up to 16 different alarms can be preset, and when the time comes, the watch will vibrate for a few seconds and the message reminder will blink. WatchMinder is a great tool for the autistic as well as older people suffering from dementia.

QuarterHour Watch

QuarterHour Watch is designed to help people who cannot tell time with time management skills. Lights on the edge of the device count down the time for each task in 15 minute increments. There is also a picture that indicates what task the user is supposed to be completing during the time prescribed. The handheld QuarterHour watch is impact resistant and very durable, making it ideal for users of all ages.

PEAT Software

Designed by a NASA computer scientist, PEAT (Planning and Execution Assistant and Training System) is a software tool created for those with memory or attention deficits to help plan their day and cue them to stay on task. PEAT uses visual and sound cues to remind users to begin and end each task, and it also automatically reschedules tasks that are canceled or interrupted. PEAT can also program and cue complex task routines as needs dictate.

The Jogger

This portable PDA-type device is designed to be a cuing device for those with cognitive disabilities. Featuring a variety of cues, including auditory and visual cues as well as a buzzer and LED readout, users can follow the instructions throughout the day to keep on task. The Jogger also keeps track of user input to tell caregivers if he or she is following the schedule.


TimePad is a durable handheld device that provides audio cues to remind the user when to do a task. Up to five different messages can be recorded and programmed into the device to cue at the appropriate time. There is also a built-in digital clock. TimePad is basic, easy to use, and resistant to impact.

ISAAC System

The ISAAC System is a portable device with a touchscreen and both auditory and visual cues to remind the user when to start and finish each scheduled task. When the reminder goes off, the user can click the screen to confirm and acknowledge the message. ISAAC keeps track of user performance for caregivers and therapists to make adjustments if necessary.

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