Work Your Way Around Assistech with Wizards

Assistech is a company dedicated to delivering quality and innovative assistive products and solutions to people with disabilities and special needs. We have been in business for 13 years, and we are committed to serving the deaf and hard of hearing, the blind and visually-impaired, and those dealing with speech, mobility, and memory issues. Technology has made this goal easier for us—we get to discover new solutions and new ways nearly everyday, giving people opportunities to make daily living much easier.

With so many assistive technology items on the market, finding the right one is not always easy. If you’re looking for an assistive product for you or a loved one, but don’t know where to begin, worry no more as we’ve got Wizards. Wizards is our smart and savvy searching solution that makes browsing through our website much faster. Simply define your search criteria and the Wizards will find the product that you’re looking for, thus saving you time and providing the best possible matches.

Our list of Wizards currently includes searching by need, ADA Compliance Kits, Alerting Systems, Listening Systems, Smoke Detectors, Magnifying Glasses, Talking Watches, Vibrating Watches, Talking Clocks, Vibrating Clocks, and more.

Work your way through Assistech faster and easier! Click here for Wizards.

If you prefer to search by brand or category, simply type the keywords in the search box located at the top of our web pages.  Another option is to go directly to our Products page.

If you have any questions, feel free to call Customer Service at 866-674-3549. International callers, please dial +1-520-883-8600.

COOL! One-button talking watch with multiple functions

Assistech is pleased to introduce the new Dual Voice Talking Watch by Time Optics™. This one-button watch does it all! Not only does it announce the time, it also announces the day, date, year, has an optional alarm – and dual voices (male and female).

Up until now, a one-button talking watch would give you announcement of the current time only, and you would have two batteries to maintain. Time Optics came up with a breakthrough solution by offering a simple, easy-to-set one-button watch with features that were only found in the traditional four-button models. They tooled up their own voice chip (of great quality, by the way) and engineered their watches to run on a single battery!

The Time Optics Talking Watches are available in an assortment of styles, from casual and sporty to a more classic look. The Youth series is comprised of velcro band watches in many colors: blue, light blue, red & blue, black, and pink. The adult-size styles come with leather band or flex band, and are available in gold, silver, and two-tone.

The Dual Voice Talking Watches have a manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty. You might think these watches would cost a fortune, but that’s not the case. They are very affordable and cost-effective compared to other competing brands on the market. And I must emphasize, they carry a limited lifetime warranty!

The complete line of Dual Voice Talking Watches are available on our website at www.assistech.com/products/Dual-Voice-Talking-Watches.htm. They are now all available and ready to ship!

Assistech launches shopping rewards program

Assistech has just launched a new shopping rewards program as a way to promote assistive technology awareness on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.

As shoppers go through the checkout process, they are now given the option to share their purchases with friends and family on the major social networks as well as by email. No personal information is shared; only a picture of the item, a brief description, and a back link. There’s also a copy and paste code that can be inserted in blogs and personal pages linking back to Assistech’s website.

The company will run occasional coupon promotions as an incentive for customer referrals. By referring a friend or family member you can get a coupon for the same dollar amount. The person who was referred also gets a coupon for the same dollar amount. “This is a win-win situation for everybody,” said Oliver Simoes, Customer Service Manager at Assistech.

Coupons are good for 180 days from the date of purchase and may be redeemed online. Go to Assistech.com/coupons for more information.

If you have any questions about our Rewards Program, please call toll-free 1-866-674-3549 (or 1-520-883-8600 if calling from overseas).

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Assistech.com makes international shopping easier

We are pleased to announce the addition of a new language interface to our website that will make it easier for non-English language customers to shop with us.

The new language interface adds to our international customer service experience and is initially available in Spanish and Portuguese. When a customer of either language decides to buy something on our website, he/she simply selects the appropriate language on the title bar to get an instant, natural translation of the shopping cart pages.

The new Spanish/Portuguese translation interface is available throughout the checkout process. All you have to do is to make your selection once and the shopping cart will keep it in the language of your choice until the very end. If for some reason you have trouble when switching between languages, please make sure to refresh your page. This will reset the online forms and allow you to fill them out in your language with ease!

Besides the new translation interface, we offer selected portions of our website in Spanish and Portuguese. They are a click away — simply select the appropriate country flag at the top of the web page(s) to access them!

Assistech.com makes international shopping easier

We are pleased to announce the addition of a new language interface to our website that will make it easier for non-English language customers to shop with us.

The new language interface adds to our international customer service experience and is initially available in Spanish and Portuguese. When a customer of either language decides to buy something on our website, he/she simply selects the appropriate language on the title bar to get an instant, natural translation of the shopping cart pages.

The new Spanish/Portuguese translation interface is available throughout the checkout process. All you have to do is to make your selection once and the shopping cart will keep it in the language of your choice until the very end. If for some reason you have trouble when switching between languages, please make sure to refresh your page. This will reset the online forms and allow you to fill them out in your language with ease!

Besides the new translation interface, we offer selected portions of our website in Spanish and Portuguese. They are a click away — simply select the appropriate country flag at the top of the web page(s) to access them!

Assistech Channel on YouTube

We are pleased to announce our new video channel on YouTube. The purpose of the AssistechUSA Channel is to entertain, inform, and educate the public about the various issues related to disabilities and special needs.
 
Here’s a list of videos you’ll find in our channel:

  • Music videos in ASL (American Sign Language)
  • A couple of rare videos with Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan
  • Instructional videos teaching you basic ASL
  • How to Reverse Dementia and Memory Loss
  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  • 10 Questions for Stephen Hawking
  • The Man with a 30-Second Memory
  • CapTel Telephone, SmartView Pocket Magnifier, and other items for special needs
  • Help For Those With Low Vision
  • How To Set a Talking Watch (coming soon)
We invite you to watch us on YouTube. Feel free to leave a comment with your feedback.

What does FedEx ‘box tossing’ have to do with my business?

Recently we heard in the news how a FedEx driver supposedly tossed a box containing a 42-inch flat screen TV over a fence. I can’t help but wonder how the recipient of that poor box felt about the way his/her flat screen TV was handled and how other consumers have reacted to the news.

What does the FedEx ‘box tossing’ have to do with my business? Well, I could just pretend that I have nothing to do with FedEx (I use UPS for most of my shipping needs) and this would be the end of the story. But the very next day, as I glanced over Yahoo News, I remember reading something about a UPS driver’s mishandling of some sort. As I was busy fulfilling my customers’ orders, I didn’t pay much attention, but the names FedEx and UPS stuck to my mind.

In this day and age of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, stories like these have the potential of going viral and becoming a sore spot for the companies involved. Sure enough, Christmas is not even over, and another news story pops up, this time broadcast by Reuters. It reads, U.S. Shoppers less than merry after online glitches. Ooops, now they are talking about e-commerce and, as an online merchant, I must listen carefully because they could be talking about me.

What struck me most when reading this news story is how shoppers are likely not to forget a company that ruined their Christmas shopping experience. In the words of Patty Edwards, “People have a long memory. And when a retailer ruins Christmas by not delivering little Jimmy’s present on time, they’ve placed themselves on the permanent ‘naughty’ list.” What does this have to do with my business? Everything. And if you are an online retailer, it better have to do with yours too!

No matter how much attention I pay to my Christmas orders and how much I try to avoid last-minute “glitches”, it seems like there always will be some unhappy camper, someone who was not informed of a back-ordered or discontinued item until it’s too late. At a time when a big chunk of Amazon orders are fulfilled by third party companies, this becomes a serious issue indeed. Such is the predicament when we merchants have to rely on suppliers/carriers to get our orders shipped/delivered.

So the question is, how do we avoid those glitches or minimize their unintended consequences? To me, the answer is simple. We never lose sight of the customer in the first place, and we always put ourselves in their shoes. When we make a mistake, we don’t simply take a defensive approach and try to justify. We use more than just empty cliches such as “I understand your frustration blah blah blah…” To quote someone, “we make amends for our shortcomings”. Most customers will appreciate an additional discount or free shipping for a next-day order that was not delivered until 2-3 days later!

Besides apologizing and making amends, we take proactive steps to keep the problems from reoccurring. We train our employees to become more Customer Service oriented and to understand how an apparently harmless data entry error, for example, may have a long-lasting impact on the consumer and by default on our business and the industry as a whole.

The numbers are staggering, as reported by Reuters: “Only six of the 25 largest U.S. Retailers received top marks for online customer service, including website performance, between this year’s November 25 Black Friday and the following Cyber Monday, according to STELLAService.”

I wonder how much explaining FedEx had to do about their employees’ apparent misconduct. The question remains, what does that poor box have to do with my business? The answer is: everything.

Welcome!

Welcome to the Assistech Blog.
I’m excited to embark in this new adventure that is the world of blogging. My name is Oliver Simões and I’ve been serving the Deaf and the Blind communities for over 10 years through my online/retail business. We provide assistive technologies for special needs, mostly for those with hearing and/or visual loss.  A lot has changed in cyber space ever since Arizona Hearing Online was founded in March of 2000. Electronic newsletters (the so-called “e-zines”) were very popular back then. Now Facebook, Twitter and other social networks are in the order of the day. Blogs have multiplied by the thousands, if not by the millions (Thank you, WordPress), and Arizona Hearing Online is no more.

When we first started, we only catered to the deaf and the hard of hearing. As our business grew, it got to a point where we realized our company name no longer reflected what we were doing. That’s how ASSISTECH came about. We are based in Tucson, Arizona and we have served thousands of people across the US and in several other parts of the world.

Now, the time has come to take another step. As I sat down to write this post, I had no idea where this was going to take me. But I think this is the beauty about blogging. There is always a surprise element involved. For one thing, you don’t know whether people will take an interest in what you write, and if they do, you still don’t know how they are going to respond. I guess in order to be a good blogger one cannot be afraid of making a fool of him or herself. My goals in blogging are twofold:

First, I’d like to establish a closer connection with my customer base here in the US and overseas. One of the greatest joys for me is when I feel I have made a difference in someone’s life. A few days ago, a lady who was severely hard of hearing came to my office to return a defective phone. I told her our normal procedure is to send the phone back to the manufacturer for repair (since this was a warranty issue). As our conversation got more informal, she went on to tell me the troubles she was facing for not having a reliable phone that she could use to call her friends and family. She was wheelchair-bound and her eyesight was also getting worse, and there was nobody around to help her out. When she needs to buy groceries, she hails a taxicab to the grocery store and tips the driver $10 or $15 dollars to help her carry them. When I gave this lady a brand-new phone in exchange for her old one, her eyes beamed and she had a broad smile on her face. She was visibly touched by my gesture: tears rolled down her eyes. And she was SO thankful. This experience left a deep impression on me as well, as I realized that whatever we do or fail to do can have an impact on other people’s lives.

My second goal in blogging is to try to establish a network of people interested in learning more about technologies that are available for special needs. When I started in 2000, I was clueless. Having taught languages for several years, I had a very basic knowledge about assistive technologies. But I had a strong desire to learn so that I could help others. Like any other student, I made mistakes along the way. Some of them were inconsequential, others were either funny or disastrous, depending on how you look at them. For example, it took me a couple of months to realize that the talking watches I had advertised online to my deaf customers were no good to them.  In another instance, I ordered 300 talking calculators from a supplier in China, and I still have them in stock to this day!

But, fortunately, I can safely say that I can count more successes than failures, and I’ve always tried to look on the bright side of things, even when they didn’t look so bright. Life is such an incredible adventure. It feels good to be alive. It feels good to blog.