Frequently Asked Questions

Check most frequently asked questions here, if you still need help then please contact us at info@sterlingadaptives.com

CANCELLATION POLICY

Purpose
This policy outlines the conditions under which a cancellation fee will be charged for services and appointments. The purpose of this policy is to ensure fairness and compensate for the time and resources that could have been allocated to other clients.

Applicability
This policy applies to all clients who have scheduled appointments or services with Sterling Adaptives.

Cancellation Notice Period 
- 48 Hours Notice: Clients must provide at least 48 hours' notice to cancel or reschedule an appointment without incurring a cancellation fee.
- Less Than 48 Hours Notice: If a cancellation or rescheduling request is made less than 48 hours before the appointment, a cancellation fee will apply.

Cancellation Fees
- No-Show: If a client does not show up for an appointment without prior notice, the full service cost will be charged.
- Late Cancellation: If a cancellation is made less than 48 hours but more than 24 hours before the appointment, 50% of the service fee will be charged.
- Very Late Cancellation: If a cancellation is made less than 24 hours before the appointment, 75% of the service fee will be charged.

Waivers
- First-Time Courtesy: As a courtesy, the cancellation fee may be waived for first-time cancellations if notice is provided at least 24 hours in advance.
Emergency Situations: At the discretion of management, cancellation fees may be waived in genuine emergencies or unforeseen circumstances.

By authorizing us to schedule an appointment with Sterling Adaptives, you acknowledge and agree to this cancellation fee policy.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Sterling Adaptives is proud to be an Authorized Dealer for the brands that we represent.

When you buy any product from an authorized dealer, you are assured of a high level of reliability and honesty. We buy directly from the manufacturers, so that you receive only factory-fresh merchandise, with a full warranty.

The manufacturers we partner with have product specialists who hold regular training sessions with our sales and support staff, assuring our high level of product knowledge. We have to satisfy their standards in order to become an authorized dealer. Our high level of service continues after you have made your sale.

Prior to purchaing from us please note that sales of certain items may be subject to territory restrictions. For the best after sale support options some Assistive Technology products are best purchased from a local authorized dealer. If you are not located in California and you would prefer to work with a local dealer please feel free to contact us for assistance in locating your local dealer.

Please note: If you are a reseller and purchase from us to circumnavigate reseller agreements your order will be cancelled and refunded less the cost of all processing fees. 

Before you purchase from any unauthorized dealer, you should consider that some unauthorized dealers sell products with the serial numbers altered, or entirely removed so that the manufacturers cannot track how they obtained these units and what channels or country they are sold in. This voids the warranty and some dealers will sell refurbished products without informing you of this.  Please be aware of these potential pitfalls and buy from an authorized dealer.

In an industry where companies come and go, Sterling Adaptives has been working with individuals with disabilities for over 15 years. When you buy from us, you do so with the peace of mind that we will be here after you have made your purchase, while others will be a memory. 

Adaptive Technology (or assistive technology) is the name for products which help people who cannot use regular versions of products, primarily people with physical disabilities such as limitations to vision, hearing, and mobility. In the product sections below you can learn about the basic kinds of Adaptive Technology that might be used by someone with low vision or blindness. 

PRODUCTS

This is a magnifying aid for people who have eye problems but still have some sight. Printed material and objects can be placed under a camera and the magnified image is displayed on a television screen or computer monitor. They are mostly used for reading, but can also be used for writing and other activities such as sewing.  There are both
desktop systems and portable systems available, many systems now also come with the option to use the camera to take pictures of your documents and have them read back to you (OCR), this is especially useful if you tire easily from using magnification. Examples include:

  • Humanware Reveal 16 CCTV
  • Explore 5 Portable CCTV
  • LVI MagniLink CCTV
  • Zoomax Snow 12 Portable CCTV 

BRAILLE DISPLAYS

An electronic Braille display is a tactile device that is placed in front of a conventional computer keyboard, or laptop keyboard and enables the user to read the contents of the computer screen by touch through Braille. Each Braille cell has eight pins made of metal or nylon, which are electronically controlled to move up and down and display a Braille version of the characters that appear on the computer screen. Examples include:

  • Brailliant BI40X
  • Hims QBraille XL

 

BRAILLE EMBOSSERS OR BRAILLE PRINTERS

Embossers print Braille output from a computer by punching dots onto
paper. They connect to the computer in the same way as text printers and can also be connected to notetakers and other devices. Used in
conjunction with the embosser is Braille translation software that translates printed text into Braille. Examples include:

  • Index Everest
  • Juliet 120
  • Perkins Brailler

 

BRAILLE LITERACY

Literacy is the foundation of language, learning and a successful life. For people who are blind or vision impaired, literacy through Braille is the key to the world of ideas, literature and written communication. Adaptive technology devices are essential literacy tools for students who read and write in Braille. They are used from the beginning of Braille literacy and right throughout life. Examples include:

  • Mountbatten Whisperer Learning System

NOTETAKERS

A portable computer with a Braille or QWERTY keyboard that gives speech feedback and allows the user to take notes, make appointments and some are email and internet enabled. They also have an integrated Braille display, allowing users to read without using the speech output. Examples include:

  • BrailleNote Touch Plus
  • BrailleSense Polaris 

OPTICAL CHARACTER RECOGNITION (OCR) PORTABLE AND STANDALONE

A portable or standalone OCR device is a singular device that integrates a camera, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Software and speech software. A printed document or book can be scanned and read by the same machine. This option is often popular with those people who don’t have a computer or don’t want to learn to use a computer. Some of these machines allow document storage, these devices scan and read significantly faster than using computer based flatbed scanners. They are light weight and portable. Examples include:

  • LVI MagniLink Voice 2
  • ReadEasy Evolve
  • Orcam MyEye
  • I-Reader 2 

SCREEN READING SOFTWARE

A screen reading program converts displayed text on the computer screen into audible information through the computers sound card. Common features include the ability to speak the full screen, a user defined area of the screen, a line, a word, individual letters or the phonetic equivalent of a letter and punctuation. A screen reader allows menus, dialog boxes, tool tips and system messages to be read back. A screen reader is designed to give a blind person full access to the computer. Examples include:

  • NVDA
  • Dolphin Supernova
  • Voiceover for Mac

 

OPTICAL CHARACTER RECOGNITION (OCR) SOFTWARE

This software is used in conjunction with a PC and scanner to copy printed text to the computer and hold it electronically so it can be read back or magnified for the user.  Examples include:

  • K1000 Scanning Software

SCREEN MAGNIFICATION SOFTWARE

This software can magnify the text, menus and icons on the computer screen up to 32 times. Because screen magnification software increases the size of the image displayed on the screen, only a portion of the original screen image can be seen at one time. Normally the magnification will automatically follow the area of attention, for example the cursor. Because of the restriction on the amount of viewable area on the screen, a large monitor is usually used in conjunction with screen magnification software to effectively increase the viewable area on the screen. Examples include:

  • Dolphin SuperNova Magnifier and Speech
  • Windows Magnifier

BRAILLE TRANSLATION

Braille translation software is a program that converts computer text, such as that created in a word processor, to Braille code. This code can then be passed to a Braille embosser (Braille printer) for embossing on paper. Examples include:

  • Duxbury 

Traditionally, Talking Books were played on records, and then, as the technology changed, on cassette tapes using specially adapted machines. Now Talking Books are in the process of becoming totally digital. These digital books allow users to skip directly to specific places in the book, insert bookmarks, and more.   There are two types of players for
reading digital Talking Books—stand-alone players and software players that are used on computers and smartphones. The stand-alone machines are the easiest to learn to use, and they can be small and portable. Examples include:

  • Victor Reader Stream 

A dedicated personal GPS device utilizes the GPS network to pinpoint a person's position on earth and nearby points of interest and then can direct them to their destination with recorded voice commands, this is useful for the people who travel/walk a lot. Visually impaired people can encode specific important information, everything from sidewalk
issues to low hanging beaches also points of interest such as local restaurants. Afterward, they can also create specific walking routes. Examples include:

  • Victor Reader Trek 

A personal data assistant is a small handheld device that records personal notes, conversations, meetings, or data such as telephone numbers or a shopping list.

  • Digital Recorder 

Large print keyboards provide an easy to see computer keyboard with extra large key legends for greater visibility and efficiency. Examples include:

  • Supernova Large Print Keyboard
  • Keys U See Keyboard
  • LogicKeyboard 

If you have a Dell computer provided by Sterling Adaptives, you may be interested in checking its warranty status, specifications, and other details.

To find the original Dell drivers and software, or to verify the manufacture date of your device, visit Dell’s Support website using this link:  Dell Service Tag Lookup.

Here’s how to do it:
1. Locate the Service Tag (serial) number on the sticker, which can be found on the bottom of your computer or on the outside of the box.
2. Enter this Service Tag number on the Dell Support website.

Dell will then display your computer's specifications, warranty status, available downloads for the original drivers and software, and the manufacture date.

If you have any further questions, please contact Sterling Adaptives at 415-878-2922 or email support@sterlingadaptives.com.

RETURNS

Our 30-day return policy gives you plenty of time to consider your purchase to ensure you made the right product decision. If for any reason you are not satisfied you can return any item in new re-saleable condition, excluding opened software, within 30 days of the date of shipment receipt for a refund or an exchange.

Once we receive your returned item and it is accepted, your refund or new item will be processed in just a few days. Upon receiving your return, the item will be reviewed by our team. Please note that items showing signs of wear or those that have been altered, are missing parts or pieces including original packaging, or damaged in any way cannot be accepted for return. Opened software may not be returned due to copyright restrictions. Returns without authorization, and/or packages that are improperly packaged or uninsured will be refused. 

 

PLEASE NOTE: For items purchased by the State Department of Rehabilitation, we follow the Cal-ATSD SPECIAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS for any returns requested for items purchased by the Department of Rehabilitation. These terms differ to those provided to end-users and detailed below.  

To return an item to Sterling Adaptives, follow our three simple step process:

1.Your Return Authorization Code

Call our Customer Service team at 1 415 878 2922 and you will be given a Return Authorization Code. Write this code on the outside of the shipping box you are returning.

2. Package Your Return

Include all original packaging and collateral material. Returns missing items including but not limited to accessories, packaging, boxes, or manuals may be refused or charged a restocking fee at the sole discretion of Sterling Adaptives.


3. Insure and Ship Your Package

You will be responsible for the shipping fees of return shipments. It is highly recommended that your insure your return for the full value of the item(s) you are returning. It is also recommended that you ship your package via a traceable method such as USPS Registered Mail, UPS, or FedEx. Sterling Adaptives does not accept any responsibility for items damaged during shipping. Be sure to keep your tracking number handy should you have any questions about the status of your return. 

* Sterling Adaptives will not be responsible for loss or damage of return shipments. 

Software returns will be allowed under the conditions of our return policy ONLY if they are returned in unopened, unregistered, original condition. Any software that has been open or tampered with in anyway is not returnable. Operating System incompatibility is not a valid reason for return. Please ensure you verify your operating system against system requirements listed on the product page. 

Sterling Adaptives will not charge restocking fees on returns (not including High Value Items*) which have been authorized and received within the time frame and guidelines of our return policies. Any return that is deemed deficient to any of our guidelines may be charged a restocking fee of up to 25% or refused and returned to the customer at our sole discretion. Items returned with missing components, packaging, or manuals will be charged a restocking fee commensurate with the cost to procure the missing items and the time spent to return the item to resalable condition. If an item is determined to be missing extensive components, Sterling Adaptives reserves the right to refuse return of the item and our sole discretion. 

 

*High Value Items

Items and orders totaling over $1,000.00 will be charged a mandatory 10% restocking fee due to the expense incurred to process the return. You must follow the return instructions exactly. Failure to do so will prevent the processing of your return. If you have any questions about our return policies or procedures, please contact us prior to sending your return. 

SHIPPING

Shipping Charges:

  • Shipping charges are usually based on shipping using FedEx or UPS Ground services  ~ or ~ via our vehicle and may include freight-in costs
  • Shipping from our office via FedEx or UPS Ground includes the Signature required service
  • Shipping via our vehicle requires a signed Delivery Note from the client upon receipt of goods
  • Some more oversized items may be drop-shipped from the manufacturer. While we will make every attempt to ensure that the goods are signed for, we cannot guarantee this


Shipment processing time:

  • All orders are processed within 2–3 business days of receipt
  • Orders are not processed or shipped from Friday, 4 pm PST through Sunday, or holidays
  • If we are experiencing a high volume of orders, shipments may be delayed by a few days
  • If your shipment happens to have a significant delay, we will make every effort to reach out to you via email or phone.
    For questions regarding delivery status, please email admin@sterlingadaptives.com


Shipping rates and delivery estimates:

  • For online orders: Shipping charges will be calculated and displayed at checkout
  • For orders placed with a Purchase Order or Authorization: The shipping charges will be provided on the quote and resulting invoice
  • Sometimes, for more unique orders, it may be necessary to charge an additional Handling fee. Again, these fees will be noted on the quote and resulting invoice
  • Please note: Our minimum shipping fee is $25


Shipment to P.O. boxes or APO/FPO addresses: 

  • Please call us if you need us to ship to a P.O. box or APO/FPO address


Shipment Confirmation and Order Tracking: 

  • Shipment confirmation emails are sent with the tracking number once your order has shipped
  • The tracking number will be active within 24 hours

Damages or Missing Items:

  • Orders shipped from our office or drop shipped from the manufacturer:
    • If you received your order damaged, please refuse the delivery. If this isn't possible, please call us right away. Save all packaging materials and damaged goods. If you do not save the packing materials, processing a claim may not be possible.
    • If an item is missing, please check the Delivery Note to make sure that the item is not on backorder. If it should have been included in the delivery, please check the box and packing materials very carefully to ensure that it has not slipped between the box folds, or is not wrapped inside some packing material. If you are still looking for the item please save all packaging materials and contact us immediately.
  • Orders that are hand delivered:  
    • Please inspect the items at the time of delivery. If you are concerned about something that may be damaged, please discuss this with our product specialist immediately. If any issues are present, please note all questions and comments on the Delivery Note you will be asked to sign. We may or may not leave the item with you if it is found to be damaged somehow. If you sign the Delivery Note, you acknowlege that you are satisfied with the items as delivered.

Service Fees:

  • We customize our service fees to suit the unique requirements and geographic location of each client. The billed time may cover various activities, including report writing, research, and tasks conducted at the Sterling Adaptives' office.

Handling Fees:

As a customer-focused company, we constantly strive to deliver the best possible service and experience. However, due to various factors such as rising operational costs, increased handling requirements, and industry-wide changes, we have found it necessary to implement a nominal handling fee for certain orders.

This handling fee, which is publicly posted, will help us cover the costs associated with ensuring the safe packaging, careful inspection, and efficient processing of orders - especially for more unusual/unique, bulky or fragile items. By introducing this fee, we can maintain the quality of our services, while continuing to provide competitive pricing for our products.

 

When the Handling Fee is applied:

  • Specific transactions that require additional processing or packaging efforts 
    • This will be clearly listed on the quotation and/or invoice
    • Ensure that you review this and add it to any resulting Purchase Order or Authorization, if applicable