Earlier, technology for the disabled was generally meant Braille keyboards and wheelchair accessible vans. With the advancement in mobile technology options for people who need more assistance have increased. Mobile devices including the iPhones now have various apps which make it possible for those with disabilities to use the technologies and services they need. Though the ability to read and mobility still plays a significant role, apps and technology for the disabled helps make them more independent, and makes it easier for them to interact with the world.
Mobile technology made easier
How touchscreen facility and mobile technology makes things easier for those having vision impairment? Earlier to make use of mobile technology these individuals had to depend on Braille or other types of touch-based keypads.
However, things have now changed with the technology gurus and the medical researchers introducing voice driven applications, which makes it possible for those with vision impairment problems to make use of touch-based technology. The Slide Rule program, for instance, which has been created by the University of Washington, provides audio feedback to the vision impaired users as the screen is touched by them. This makes it possible for them to easily find applications and thus use a touchscreen mobile phone exactly the way a normally sighted person does.
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Life made Simpler
At times, certain apps created for the disabled individuals helps make life a little simpler. For instance, Parking Mobility, a free iPhone app makes use of the GPS system of the iPhone to help disabled people find out parking spaces nearest to their current location. Using the app you can also leave notes for the other travelers in case you find some spot which is not presently listed. If a particular space has been in use by someone who is not eligible to park in that area, you can report the same using the app.
SoundAMP Life for iPhone
The SoundAMP Life app offered by the iPhone turns the phone into an amazing listening device. If someone is hearing impaired he/she can use the ear buds of the phone and set it up to increase the sounds around them, and thus properly be able to hear a lecture and even their friends. One can adjust this app to make it suitable for different levels of hearing loss.
The technological changes are not limited to software or apps. It has been reported by UT San Diego that owing to certain simple changes life has become much easier for those with disabilities. For example, the Google team has a research scientist who is vision impaired, and he has created accessibility tools for Android mobile phones owing to which when the user runs Google Maps, the contact information and the address will be read to him/her.
Hands-free technology Getting Popular
There are people who need help to use modern technology without using their hands. They have good eyesight, but enjoy limited mobility, and are not able to use a keyboard, touchscreen or mouse. Advancement in technology benefits such individuals as well. For example, with the Eye-Pro GS Eyegaze the user can use just his/her eyes to get the cursor moving. Staring or blinking at the icon will be equal to clicking the mouse.
Technology is advancing each day and making life simpler for those with disabilities. With researches new hardware and apps are being developed, which makes it possible for everyone to access modern technology, despite their disabilities, and thus live an independent and confident life.