People need to deal with basic activities on daily basis. However, not everyone can do so, with some individuals suffering from disabilities that affect their body structures and functions. Whether it’s a vision loss or mobility impairment, it may hinder one’s way of life. Fortunately, with technology advancing by the second, new assertive devices and technologies are coming up. Through such innovative devices, those with disabilities can live a more connected life with a sense of independence.
What devices are these? Read on to learn about the newest assistive devices and technologies for disabled people!
New Assistive Devices and Technologies For Disabled People
Assistive devices and technologies are crucial for those with disabilities for more inclusivity and accessibility. These are the common assistive technologies individuals with disabilities use efficiently today:
1. Adaptive Switches
An adaptive switch, or assistive switch, is a device enabling users to activate switch-enabled devices. You can connect one device (like your smartphone) to control even more devices, allowing individuals to perform tasks easily. To select another connected device to control, just activate with a switch! Some assistive switches like Tecla-e allow you to pair up to eight Bluetooth-enabled devices. You can connect and control devices in the main one, whether it’s a phone, tablet, or even home automation systems.
2. Mobility Aids
These are devices for those who have mobility impairments. There are different kinds of mobility aids to choose from, depending on the type of impairment and its severity. With such devices, you can get to different areas easily without the risk of fatigue or injuring yourself. It can be a manual wheelchair, while today’s technology now offers electric wheelchairs and scooters you can control with a joystick or assistive switch. Electric wheelchairs and scooters are fantastic choices, getting you to places by yourself.
3. Environmental Control Devices
Not everyone can control appliances and electronics within their surroundings. With smart home devices, you can connect all of its controls on your phone. It’s a cheaper option compared to traditional environmental control, which is limited to a few devices. You can opt to purchase your appliances and electronics from one reputable brand to control it all in one platform. Whether it’s the lights, your television, doors, or even your kitchen appliances and room temperature, you can adjust and power it up without the hassle with the right environment control device.
4. Eye Trackers
If you have a communication disability which affects or restricts your speech, eye trackers are extremely helpful. Using a tablet or screen, it shows data and control icons so an individual can generate speech through typing or selecting from the different phrases available. The device comes with a video camera, which monitors eye behavior while inputting commands on the device. It’s a better option than using a mouse for some, though this is based on individual preference.
5. Voice Recognition Software and Text-to-Speech
Voice recognition software is found in most mainstream devices now, such as phones and laptops. These are handy tools people with mobility issues can use if they are unable to type normally. Not only can you ask for requests such as searching online or texting contacts, but you can also use a text-to-speech app. This allows you to “write” through your voice, voicing out your ideas on the screen for essays and other necessary written work.
6. Reading and Writing Tools
There are impairments beyond the physical, including dyslexia, ADHD, or other learning disabilities. Companies like IRIS offer specific devices that help individuals to read and write, which are especially helpful for the learning disabled. Pen readers scan lines of typewritten text, which will then be edited and/or translated to different languages. It can also be read aloud as you scan it (like you would with a highlighter). There are also devices which allows you to convert handwritten notes to editable digital text, or to convert all written files into audio types to “read” better.
7. AirPod Hearing Aid Mode
Apple now offers different modes and features on its devices specifically made for those with disabilities. With the Hearing Aid Mode on their newly-released AirPods, individuals with hearing disabilities can listen more efficiently. It works by switching on the AirPods’ “Live Listen” feature, which amplifies any sound heard through your phone. But do take note that they aren’t licensed hearing aids! What Apple did do was to partner with various accessibility companies for hearing aids you can connect to their iOS devices.
8. Xbox Adaptive Controller
Even playing video games can feel like a difficult task for some, and Xbox noticed the need for inclusivity. The company created an Adaptive Controller made for individuals with mobility impairments. It pairs up with various accessibility-specific devices to play video games even better. With devices like these, you have more fun and entertainment. That’s full inclusivity right there!
9. Comcast Eye Detection
Not everyone can watch television as well as the next person. One of the problems with mobility impairments is the difficulty of controlling the remote or recording shows. Comcast offered a new feature to their cable package, which insides eye detection technology. This allows individuals to control your device with their eye gaze, along with other different assistive technologies for ease of watching. You can change channels, access the TV guide, record shows, or open up apps Comcast offers in their package!
10. Orcam MyEye2
You can attach this small artificial vision device to your eyeglasses, which changes how you read and see the world! It can help those with low or limited vision, as well as those with learning and reading disabilities. This device can also accommodate completely blind individuals, offering text-to-speech and face recognition features.
Wrapping It Up
I hope you learned a lot from this article on the newest assistive devices and technologies for disabled people! Learn more about the community and spread awareness to better treat these individuals today.