Introduction to Tech Products for Disabilities
The global market for assistive tech is slated to grow to $31.5 billion by the year 2027, according to Globe Newswire. As human society becomes more and more inclusive, the value of technologies that enable this endeavor increases as well.
Things have gotten so advanced that we are now looking into minimizing the effects of physical disabilities as early as preschool age. Treatments such as pediatric psychotherapy are on the rise, helping to ensure that all individuals get to grow up with as little disparity in ability as possible.
But as for those who are too old to receive such treatments, we have a number of technologies coming up that can make their lives much better.
Comprehensive Assistive Product Testing By Fable
Books used to be restricted territory for the sight-impaired. A decade ago, visually challenged persons often had to wait for the Library of Congress to convert a book to audio format.
The advent of screen-reading tech changed that. Suddenly, even sightless individuals can purchase a book on release day and immerse themselves in it straight away.
The same tech has also appeared in other software, such as those used in the workplace. However, not all software designers think to include such technologies or develop them past a workable yet rudimentary state.
As workplaces become more and more inclusive, the need for such assistive features has gotten greater than ever. That’s where Fable comes in.
They offer on-demand crowd testing for software products, whether they were intended to assist the visually impaired or not.
The service features live QA sessions to help developers work through accessibility obstacles in real-time. They also offer testing by individuals with other disabilities, such as hearing difficulties and dyslexia, across multiple platforms.
Self-Stabilizing Eating Utensils By Liftware
Individuals with Parkinson’s and cerebral palsy are very disadvantaged when it comes to activities that require fine motor control.
The use of eating utensils is one such activity. Due to tremors in the hand and arms, spillage is a common occurrence in patients trying to eat. San Francisco-based company Liftware seeks to remedy this with their products.
Liftware Steady is geared towards people with cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s. It is a self-stabilizing handle on which you can mount an eating utensil, allowing patients to eat without worrying about spilling food.
Liftware heralds the next generation of physical assistive tech that pays attention to the lesser-known challenges of living with motion disorders.
This can be the start of a comprehensive assistive framework for those with disabilities that hamper motion, alongside apps for cerebral palsy and similar conditions.
Wheelchair Accessibility Database By AXS Map
The average person may gloss over wheelchair-accessible restrooms and ramps. But for those who actually use them, they define whether they can make full use of the amenities in a location.
An area without these features doesn’t just make wheelchair users feel unwelcome. It also makes life more inconvenient for them, as they are never sure if a new place will accommodate their physical constraints.
AXS Map seeks to solve this by providing wheelchair users with a database of locations with accessibility features. This database comes as a crowdsourced map application that lists the wheelchair-friendly elements a place has.
That way, you can find out if an area you are going to has an accessible restroom, ramps, elevators, and more, and where these are located.
Users can also write reviews and give star ratings to give further information on the quality of a location’s accessibility features.
Real-Time Assistance By Assist-Mi
The last thing a person living with disabilities would want is to get stuck somewhere far away from assistance. But in a world wherein physical proximity is getting increasingly discouraged, the possibility of such a thing occurring increases too.
It would be unreasonable to suggest that the physically challenged simply stay at home since we want them to have equal opportunity.
But even if they try to be careful while outdoors, the possibility remains that they may get caught in the open without a reliable way to call for help.
London-based developer Gary McFarlane wants to prepare those living with disabilities for that eventuality with assist-Mi.
The app’s main function is to connect individuals with caregivers and service providers in real-time wherever and whenever they need it.
PWDs who sign up get to create something called a Mi-Profile, which lists their needs and other information. This briefs the responding service providers on the situation, allowing them to render aid immediately upon arriving. On the way, they can also talk to the individual through the app’s two-way communication features.
For individuals with disabilities, learning that advancements in tech include considerations for their conditions can be very heartening.
If you have a friend or loved one who is a PWD, be sure to share such good news with them, and keep them posted on any new developments.