Technology: Empowering The Lives Of People With Disabilities
In the quest to make the world a better place for people with disability, an unlikely hero has appeared - technology. Simple technological advances today are creating a world of opportunities for children and adults with disability. Here are four ways in which technology is improving the lives of people with disabilities and making them happier and independent.
Tablets and iPads can be used as effective tools of learning for children with autism and othe disabilities. While a lot of children may not be able to cope with mainstream teaching methods, they can learn to explore and navigate through devices easily. Extensive use ofiPads and other devices in the classroom setup has brought on better results that tried and tested methods of special education. This is especially true in kids with autism. With a practical device that offers options for entertainment and education with simple touch actions, students with disability were able to cope much better with technology than without.
For those born with Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and other conditions, basic motor skills can be a challenge. Down Syndrome can sometimes lead to low muscle mass making it difficult for the individual to walk or even stand for extended periods of time. Getting kids with physical disabilities to be active can be an even more challenging task.
Attaching an iPad with interesting content onto a treadmill is a simple and surprisingly effective method in helping children become more active and encouraging them to interact with the device while walking. This simple task not only strengthens their body but also improves their gross motor skills by a large extent.
In the era before smartphones, tablets and iPads, touch-to-speak technologies were very expensive all over the world. An app can do the job for a fraction of the cost. Apps to translate text into audio speech range from free to economical making it easier for people with disabilities to communicate better. The overall affordability of speech technology today has made everyday life easier for children and adults with disability.
Right from ordering food to alerting during emergencies at the push of a button, technology has become a loyal friend. You will also find apps for assistive speech that can predict and offer multiple sentence completion options while other apps that offer a yes/no response for severely disabled folks. Such apps are a dignified method to help the disabled regain their voice and become more independent than ever.
Apart from the numerous apps for people with disability, there are several others for the parents, teachers and therapists of these students. Specially designed to monitor the behaviour of special needs children, these apps are ideal for taking notes, video recording of good or bad behaviour, tracking behavioural changes and/or improvements etc. Certain apps are also capable of turning these inputs into simple and easily comprehensible charts and visuals. Such apps are also ideal for seniors experiencing Alzheimer's by offering medication schedules, memory strengthening apps etc. The options are endless.