Individuals with a disability often experience a gap in the social system that prevents them from living their lives to the fullest with the abilities that they have. Caregivers often have to make ends meet to provide their wards with a decent life. The attitude of the social environment to people with disabilities is crucial in bringing about a sense of equality.
There have been numerous advances in technology in the last century. The lives of those differently abled among us have also been positively impacted by some of these advances.
For over one billion people living with some form of disability around the world, technological innovations that could enhance inclusion, such as interactive whiteboards in the classroom, 3-dimensional films and smartphones are finally accessible.
When things are made easier by technology to normal people, it makes things possible for those with disabilities. Here are three such apps that support differently abled:
Visually impaired people can finally access a smartphone's features through this app!
SimplEye is a smartphone application designed for those with visual impairment. Its user-friendly interface enables users to take advantage of all the features of a smartphone like a how a person with normal vision would.
It presents only one element at a time and then a voice narrates which element is put on screen. By using simple gestures the user can interact with this element. For example, swiping up/down scrolls through the elements in order. The user is taken one step back by swiping left. A single tap means the user will be taken forward while a long press is for accessing options. All these gestures can be applied anywhere on the screen, freeing one from the need of seeing the display!
People with amputations, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or other disabilities may be beneficiaries of this app.
Eva Facial Mouse app allows the user to control a pointer on their smart device through facial movement. In order to capture the movements, it uses the front camera of the device. The interface eliminates the need for tactile contact by providing a hands-free mode of control. To those who are differently abled, this app could mean - being able to use a smart device.
Deaf Helper is specially designed for people with hearing disability. This app displays the words that it hears on the device screen in large letters. It is designed as an aid to communication with deaf people. It continually listens and displays text when a sentence has finished. As with all apps that use the Google speech recognition service, the app works best when words are spoken slowly and clearly.
The motion for inclusion might appear to be an uphill battle for those with disabilities. Technology is slowly and steadily making this possible.