There are so many incredible technologies that have been created with the intent of easing barriers for people with disabilities. Here is some of the technology utilized by the disability community to obtain better independence.
Power Assists are an incredible resource for any manual wheelchair user who travels long distances, needs to give their shoulders a break or would benefit from an additional boost.
Alber Twion Power Assist Wheels are wheels equipped with state of the art motors (lithium battery included) in the hub and push sensors in the push rims. These wheels are designed to empower wheelchair users to obtain longer strides and access slopes with ease.
SmartDrive is an add-on battery pack that propels a manual wheelchair with a simple double-tap motion. The SmartDrive is attached to the wheelchair axel and controlled by a Bluetooth watch or switch control. The SmartDrive was created with the intent to enable a manual wheelchair user to trek longer distances and go up hills with ease. SmartDrive is now powered by the E2 TicWatch.
ZX-1 is a power assist device created by Spinergy. The ZX-1 was created with the intent of allowing a manual wheelchair user to obtain the health benefits of using a manual chair but then it can easily convert a manual chair into a power chair to prevent the side effects of prolonged pushing.
Smart devices are an incredible resource that are available to anyone, which means they do not come with medical price tag. This will hopefully lead to more equitable pricing on other medical devices.
TicWatch, a smartwatch that provides easy access to apps on a small device that is relatively hard to lose, provides services like GPS and fitness tracking at your fingertips.
AppleWatch is also a smartwatch similar to the TicWatch in that it also provides easy access to iOS apps on a small screen that is attached to your wrist. Services like GPS and Fitness Tracking are also available on the AppleWatch.
Smart-Home Technology, whether activated via a Google Home or Amazon Echo, has provided greater independence for people with disabilities. Whether a person wants to close the blinds, turn up the thermostat, lock the door, check who has rung the doorbell, and so on, the device listens to a person’s commands and uses Bluetooth to follow through with the commands given.
Assistive Technologies for Your Cell Phone
There are assistive technologies built into cell phones. What a breath of fresh air to now be finding more and more accessibility features alongside the features on smartphones.
Assistive Touch is a floating button app (built into newer phones) that stays on the user’s screen and allows access to buttons that control the phone (e.g. the “on” button, screenshot, volume) via the touch screen. Assistive Touch is available on both iOS and Android.
If there are more technologies to add to this list, please let us know. Thanks!