Closing the Gap: How the Handicapped Can Access Technology

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blind man with smartphone

The blind and those with impaired mobility are some of the people who file for long-term disability claims in Salt Lake City. These are a great benefit that eases some of the challenges they have to face daily, which are plenty. Navigating the environment itself poses many risks. Some are fortunate to have companions who can guide them around, while there are others who manage using contraptions such as crutches and wheelchairs.

But in this modern world, how are they able to access technology? Some of the most advanced gadgets today require eyesight and motor skills. Here are some of the ways they can access these devices:

Computers

Your PC is a piece of audio-visual equipment manipulated with a mouse and a keyboard, with the latter having keys that can go up to more than a hundred. It is a device that demands visual acuity and precise hand movements.

For the blind, there are key software features they can use to handle a computer. There is the narration option, where the on-screen text and options available to them are read out by the computer. This is used together with a keyboard to input information. If a mic is present, they can also issue voice commands.

Braille monitors are also available. These translate on-screen elements to the Braille alphabet. It works by having dots extruded out of little holes mechanically. These form the letters they can feel and recognize. These monitors are usually compact in size for easy portability. Due to its mechanical nature, which entails the use of many connecting wires for the dots, most display only one line of text. There is an interesting development going on in this space where microfluidics is used to create the dotted patterns. Wires are eliminated, and the aim is to make it into a compact tablet form.

Those with impaired mobility have options as well. Keyboards with bigger keys exist, which is helpful to those who are unable to move their hands and fingers properly. If they are able to use a mouse, they also can use the on-screen keyboard to type text. For mouse replacements, you have touchpads and trackballs, which are not as physically demanding.

There are also applications that link a smartphone or tablet to the computer so that they can be used as input devices. Devices that use other limbs and body parts such as the feet and mouth also exist for those who are unable to use their hands.

Vehicles

wheelchair friendly vehicle

There are vehicles that are wheelchair-friendly. Aside from having larger doors, these also have motors that can lift or lower the wheelchair-bound passenger.

For the handicapped who wish to drive, they can undergo evaluations to check their driving ability. Hand and eye coordination, ability to react quickly, and decision-making are some of the traits that will be gauged. Their car will have to be modified to fit for their capability. For this reason, they also have to undergo training on how to operate it.

Disability should not prevent anyone from enjoying the perks of technology, especially now that many are dependent on it. Thanks to these developments, a huge gap has been filled.

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