Texas Technology Access Program May 2019 Newsletter


May 2019



Welcome to the New TTAP Director!

Angela Mercurio-Standridge has been appointed as the new Director of the Texas Technology Access Program (TTAP) at the Texas Center for Disability Studies (TCDS) at the University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Standridge will take the helm on July 8, 2019. 


Short-Term iPad Loans to Test Drive Apps

The TTAP provides a great opportunity to test drive apps that might be useful to you.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. For Texans seeking supports in the form of Apps (applications) the TTAP can provide loaner iPads to test drive apps that may be helpful. Click the title above to go directly to the Loan section of the TTAP website.

Depression can be associated with certain life experiences that are more common among individuals with disabilities. In addition, people with disabilities face many unique problems and challenges, which may place them at increased risk for depression. Having a disability doesn’t automatically mean that you are going to become depressed. Not all people with disabilities suffer from depression, and for those who do, their depression may have little to do with their disability.

  • About 12% of all men and 20% of all women are expected to have at least one significant episode of depression in their lifetime
  • 5% of the general population may be depressed at any given point in time
  • Studies have shown that symptoms of depression may be 2 to 10 times more common in individuals with disabilities or chronic illnesses
  • Depression is one of the most common “secondary conditions” associated with disability and chronic illness

Check out this resource for more detailed information! 
Sources: Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_health; and North Carolina Office on Disability and Health (NCODH) written by Dr. Karla Thompson


Free Apps that Support Mental Wellness

Wellness involves your whole health—emotional and mental, as well as physical. Research has shown, time and again, that what’s going on emotionally affects us physically—and vice versa. Wellness is an individualized process. What works for one person may not be helpful to another. There are many wellness tools and practices available. Some basic assistive technology can be a big stress release for mental health and disabilities. Check out the apps below that may be helpful to you or a friend. 

General Mental Health
What’s up is an amazing free app that uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) methods to help you cope with Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and more. Use the positive and negative habit tracker to maintain your good habits, and break those that are counterproductive. We particularly love the “Get Grounded” page, which contains over 100 different questions to pinpoint what you’re feeling, and the “Thinking Patterns” page, which teaches you how to stop negative internal monologues. Try it out for yourself.
Bipolar Disorder 
Bipolar Disorder Connect  – Bipolar disorder can be frustrating, especially if you don’t have anyone close to you that can identify with your struggles. Bipolar Disorder Connect is a great app that connects people with bipolar disorder from around the world. This tool gives you access to a community of people living with the condition. The app also features tracking tools to help you monitor your moods and share those updates.
Mind Shift is one of the best mental health apps designed specifically for teens and young adults with anxiety. Rather than trying to avoid anxious feelings, Mind Shift stresses the importance of changing how you think about anxiety. Think of this app as the cheerleader in your pocket, encouraging you to take charge of your life, ride out intense emotions, and face challenging situations.
The Calm app was named by Apple as the 2017 iPhone App of the Year, Calm is quickly becoming regarded as one of the best mental health apps available. Calm provides people experiencing stress and anxiety with guided meditations, sleep stories, breathing programs, and relaxing music. This app is truly universal; whether you’ve never tried meditation before or regularly practice, you’ll find the perfect program for you.
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
PTSD Coach was designed for those who have, or may have, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This app provides you with education about PTSD, information about professional care, a self-assessment for PTSD, opportunities to find support, and tools that can help you manage the stresses of daily life with PTSD.
The DBSA Wellness Tracker app can help you better recognize potential health problems and mood triggers in your daily life. Each section of the DBSA Wellness Tracker Report provides robust information to help you better partner with your clinicians on treatment plans that address your overall health and well-being. With this tool, you can track key health trends related to the following:
MoodTools aims to support people with clinical depression by aiding the path to recovery. Discover helpful videos that can improve your mood and behavior, log and analyze your thoughts using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) principles, develop a suicide safety plan and more with this free app.
Happify With its psychologist-approved mood-training program, the Happify app is your fast-track to a good mood. Try various engaging games, activity suggestions, gratitude prompts and more to train your brain as if it were a muscle, to overcome negative thoughts. The best part? Its free!
The MindMate app is perhaps the ultimate in dementia apps. It is more than a tool, but is more like a friend. It is always there for the patient. It can help your loved one stay focused with activities like memory, problem solving and attention as well as working with their speed. It also provides  entertainment through eight interactive games that are fun while providing learning materials for current events in medicine. Users can monitor their progress as well.
(Information summarized from https://www.psycom.net/25-best-mental-health-apps)



The purpose of ReDiscovery is to provide training, technical assistance, and educational materials on long-term recovery services and resources for individuals with disabilities and other access and functional needs affected by Hurricane Harvey. ReDiscovery is a collaborative project between the Texas Center for Disability Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and the Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University.