For people who live with a disability, technological advances and clever gadgets can mean a difference between an independent life filled with opportunity, and a life with limited options. Technology can allow disabled persons to care for themselves, carry out day-to-day tasks, go to work or study and even travel. Here are some key advances in technology that can improve the lives of people living with a disability.
The days of the old fashioned wheelchair are long gone; electric wheelchairs and scooters reign supreme. Modern technology has greatly impacted upon transport for the disabled. Adapted cars play a huge role in improving the lives of disabled people, with specialist hand controlled brakes and acceleration as well as foot steering, and even self driving cars that can give blind individuals a new form of independence.
Technology has had a great impact upon the medical world with huge benefits and advances for disabled individuals. There was the development of the cochlear implant, new treatments for children diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and there is ongoing research into bionic prosthetic limbs. New technological capabilities impact medical research and mean that many people with disability can live an easier and fuller life.
For those with visual and speech difficulties, advances in technology can make life easier. There are systems that track eye movement to form words and allow the individual to participate in conversation. While for the blind, there are gadgets, such as the vOICe, which essentially allows the user to see through their ears by using cameras to capture a person’s environment and then communicating this information through sound.
The Use of Apps
Apps available for phones and tablets have helped to radicalise the lives of people with disability. Not only can they help individuals socialise and relax, but there are also specialist apps to help carers. A carer’s app can do every day things such as create reminders for appointments, but apps like Jointly even allow coordinated care by creating a linked account between family members.
One of the biggest areas that technology can be seen is in the home. There are lots of technology advances that can help people with all kinds of disability, from stair lifts and adapted bathrooms, to multi-room hoists and kitchen gadgets that help with cooking. These gadgets can make eating, drinking and dressing much easier and greatly improve the life of a disabled person.
It’s impressive how technology contributes nowadays to an improved lifestyle, when it comes to people with disabilities. Future prospects can be only encouraging! Considering the exponential technology leaps experienced in the past decades, in all areas of our society, we are allowed to believe and hope that there will come a day when medicine will be able to fully cure the disabled. Until then we have to be grateful for all the progress and use everything available to make life more pleasant for those suffering from a handicap.