Technology is ever changing. It has changed the way learning is created and consumed in the 21st century. Technology brings along with it tremendous possibilities to create inclusive learning that, takes into consideration the special needs of the persons with disability. Government of India has also taken initiatives for the inclusive development of persons with disability and has ordered all the educational institutes and corporate organizations to consider the special needs of the person with disability. Computer software and other assistive technology products are being developed for the inclusive development of person with disability. With the help of assistive technology products persons with disability irrespective of any disability can effectively interact and communicate with the others. Assistive Technology products are classified under visual as well as audio learning aids based on mobility, with the help of which learners would get access to pertinent learning material but they will also be able to create new avenues for two way interaction and participation. Some learners have physical disabilities or long-term illnesses that predominantly pose the challenge of accessibility where they are unable to travel to classrooms or other locations for training. For others with, sensory disabilities like vision or hearing impairment. Here are a few examples as to how assistive technology products can help the differently abled people:
1. Text-to-Speech Assistive Technology Products:
With the help of these assistive technology products, visually impaired could automatically be abled to hear the text that would appear on screen. The assistive technology software needs to be installed on the computer and it would be able to read any text that appears on screen.
2. Speech Recognition Assistive Technology Products:
Speech recognition assistive technology products are helpful for people with visual impairment or for the ones who face physical challenges and may face barriers in typing on keyboard. With these speech recognition software installed in the computer people can easily dictate any text or document and the computer would compute it along with proper punctuations.
3. Visual Aids Assistive Technology Products:
Visual aids assistive technology products are of various kinds and can be utilized by people with varied visual impairments. These assistive technology products include converters that could convert on screen text to Braille, magnify a certain portion of on the screen and others.
4. Audio Aids Assistive Technology Products:
Audio aids include different tools for the hearing impaired. Assistive technology products like sound amplification tools, heightens the audio element of the content. Others include flashing lights or icons to signal these users instead of the usual sound.
5. Physical Aids Assistive Technology Products:
For people who face difficulties of motor co-ordination, stability or other physical challenges, various assistive technology products can help them work independently. These include audio books and adaptive keyboards that prevent mistyping and other errors occur from hand tremor.
Top Assistive Technology Products:
Here are some assistive technology products that might help people with disability to overcome their barriers and achieve new heights:
1. Electronic Wheelchair
Electronic wheelchair is one of those assistive technology products that is propelled by means of electric motor rather than manual power. These wheelchairs are helpful for those who are unable to manage a manual wheelchair or may need wheelchairs to travel over a distance. It may also be used by people who face mobility impairments, cardiovascular disorders or fatigue-based conditions.
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2. Braina PRO Speech Recognition and Virtual Assistant Software
The Baraina Pro assistive technology products allow you to communicate with your computer just as in the case of any Sci-Fi movie! It is an intelligent speech recognition and virtual assistant software, which makes it possible for you to control your computer using English language voice commands.
3. Smart Care SC-233 Sound Enhancement Amplifier
The Smart Care hearing aid has a unique design. Unlike other hearing amplifiers this won’t fall off easily. Also, the earpieces are totally safe for your ears. No matter for how many hours you wear this Smart Care assistive technology product it’s so comfortable that it won’t bother you.
4. Euronics Disabled Folding Shower Seat
Most of the accident that occurs with differently abled or old age people is in the bathroom. This Euronics Disabled Folding Shower Seat is the perfect option to avoid such incidences. These can easily be fitted under the shower, and help the differently abled have a comfortable shower.
5. Tynor Elbow Crutch
The Tynor adjustable elbow crutch is yet other assistive technology products that may help the differently abled people overcome the barrier of mobilisation. It is a very sophisticated walking aid designed to provide full weight bearing when one or both legs are physically challenged because of a nervous disorder, fracture, disease, injury etc.
This is the time when new developments are taking place each day, new technologies and ideas are being developed into physical products that being converted to assistive technology products. With the development of e-book readers there could be another wave of new assistive products and methods by which people would disability would surely benefit. Text to speech has proved to be very powerful software for empowering the PWD. If you have more suggestion on other technologies for the PWD do pen it down in the ‘Write Your Review’ section mentioned below.