As far back as I can remember I have always been one who loved to build stuff. I loved to take stuff apart and put it back together. When I was 8 or 9 years old, sometimes I would make some kind of crazy new contraption out of a bunch of broken electronics I had lying around. The end result was never much more than a 9 volt battery powered motor or some kind of microphone that did more screeching than anything.
But once in a while there was that one gem. That shoddily built "invention" I made that was going to change the world. Or at least be cool enough to show my friends. But I always knew in the back of my mind whatever I made was still no more valuable as the broken items they came from. I was 9 years old and I knew that.
But apparently there's a company out of Richmond, Virginia named TASHinc.
that doesn't understand concepts such as that. This company sells items that cater to people with disabilities and offer expensive products to help the customer be able to use them more easily ecause their disability might otherwise make it difficult. They are an exaggerated example of the old saying about the American Dream - "Buy something for a dollar, sell it for two." Except in their case its more like "Sell it for 300 times what it's worth."
Point in case is the one particular item that they offer in their catalog. It is a Joystick that you use on the computer to make it act like a mouse.
It is marketed as some kind of an alternative to a mouse that someone with limited use of their hand might use. Sounds cool, right? Well, yes but it costs $305! So let's look further into this.
Converting a joystick to act like a computer mouse is a bit more simple than TASH would like you to think. First of all, you can buy a computer joystick ust about anywhere for about $20. Now you wanna make it a mouse. A simple search on google will land you several free scripts for this kind of conversion such as this free one.
But lets say you're not good with scripts. Here
is some free software that will do the same thing for you. There are even cool step by step tutorials to help you build one for about $1 - $5. Like this one.
But, even with all that free content right at your fingertips, TASH still sells crap for the price of gold. And it's not limited to them. Check out ANY "mobility aids" type catalog and you'll see the same thing. Way overpriced common items. WHY? Because they want you to think that you poor crips out there need a special catalog with special products just for you and if you don't buy them, you'll be screwed. Meanwhile, if you do buy them, you go broke. If medicare / Voc Rehab etc. buys them, pretty soon they will deem you too expensive to keep providing services to and then what?
These companies aren't part of the solution, they are a huge part of the problem. Last year I got a catalog sent to my office. On the front cover was software for a virtual keyboard that displayed on the screen so you could point and click. Want to know the price of that great item? 2 grand. That's right. 2 grand. A $2,000 keyboard for your $400 computer. Well, until we can step up and call them on their shit, there will be BIG money in crips.
The picture below is the $305 joystick mouse.