Today we have a guest blog from Jakk Ogden who writes for Wibtrac, a walk in bath trading company with an amazing range of baths for elderly and disabled people.
Technology is advancing at a rather alarming rate and one only has to walk down the highstreet to see which direction consumer electronics are heading. Being connected is the biggest change to have hit the technology industry in 20 years with the growth of the internet, and this has led to better, faster and more streamlined products for consumers to access it on. Smartphones and tablets, for instance, are set to replace desktop computers the way to getting online of old by 2015.
But has this growth of technology changed disabled people’s lives? Sure, for an able-bodied person being able to check in with friends and communicate without so much as a text can be amazing, but disabled people have specific needs too and there aren’t any credible individual products or companies out there across the UK developing electronics specifically for disabled people. Still, technology is helping people get to work and it is helping people communicate with loved ones. Here are just some of the ways tech is doing that.
Super fast internet allows job conferencing, interviews and more
With the growth of the internet has come the need for businesses to constantly develop new forms of broadband and super fast internet. Right now in 2013 we are at a tipping point: users can enjoy fiber optic broadband and mobile users 4G LTE connectivity. Both of these types of internet allow disabled people to attend video job interviews over any computer, as well as Skype call places of work and in cases even operate a business at home. If a disabled person is unable to physically get in to work, this fantastic bit of technology can ensure that a good earning job is possible whilst from the comfort of their own home.
I have a cousin who is Autistic and he has real trouble operating outside. By this I mean his sense of direction and the ability to focus on where he is going is blurred, and if left unattended, he will often never get to the place he set off for, instead walking in circles for hours upon hours. One app changed this: Google Maps. Maps applications are fantastic for turn by turn directions on the streets and not just the car, allowing disabled people to input their destination, plug in their headphones and be directed by a virtual assistant to where they need to be. For my cousin, this is extremely effective, and I am told comforting at the same time.
The trusty mobility scooter
What technology list would not be complete without mentioning the trusty moped? These forms of transport are always getting better and better and whilst expensive, for some disabled people they are the only way to get outside and lead a functional life. These vehicles are not just great for quick runs to a local supermarket, because if an office or shop you work at is disabled friendly, there will be plenty of room for a disabled person to maneuvered to their role in-house. This is fantastic, however sadly many employers are still stuck in the 18th century when it comes disabled friendliness. In time it is hoped that this will change, of course.
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