Assistive Technology: Building Bridges
The beaten path—the typical way of doing things—takes you from A to B to C until you arrive at D. So what if your situation prevents that B-to-C connection? Quit? No way, you just need a different path. Maybe from A to B, out to S, and back around to J before winding your way back to D. You are still getting where you need to go. more
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Indoor rowing was born in the early 1980s when brothers and former rowers Dick and Pete Dreissigacker developed the first rowing ergometer.
So it is with assistive technology. Inventive hi- and low-tech devices effectively act as bridges and allow people to span the divide between individual disability and ability.
Do your mobility issues restrict your access to your computer? There are a myriad of adaptive mice and keyboards devices to get you finishing those reports in no time. Is your condition severe enough where keyboards and mice won’t do the trick? How about lasers and eye-gaze technology to keep you emailing with friends?
Low vision or blindness holding you back from texting like a teenager? Well, there is an app for that. It’s called BrailleTouch and allows you to actually type on you iPhone.
The open road is no longer out of reach for wheelchair users thanks to the accessible vehicles from Braun Ability, VMI and Mobility SVM. For those loath to relinquish the driver’s seat, Kempf adapts vehicles with hand controls that keep you behind the wheel!
And until the greater population becomes fluent in ASL, there are ingenious devices that let those from the deaf/hard-of-hearing community to communicate face-to-face in real time using speech-to-text and text-to-voice technology.
Parents who had long agonized over their child’s learning disabilities rely on numerous software applications to help put their children on a path to success.
For those with communication disabilities, AT like Go Talk has literally opened up their worlds, allowing them to interact socially and convey their thoughts despite limitations.
Let’s face it. As the world gets more Star Treky, the AT gets better and better!
But before you read more about making the impossible possible, let’s tip our collective hats to the geniuses that came up with all of those impressive, life-changing, opportunity-making gadgets, gizmos and whatchamacallits. Really, really nice work, folks!