Persons with disabilities find it hard to navigate through certain situations due to the disability they experience. There was once a time where people with disabilities just could not survive independently in the outside world because neither they or the world was equipped to handle their needs effectively and efficiently. They either required physical support to move around, a special kind of language to be able to communicate – for the deaf; sign-language, for the blind; braille, and for the cognitively impaired; a specialist or family members trained to handle such individuals in a conditioned environment.
Without this traditional assistance, they lose out on knowledge, human interactions, and a plethora of many privileges people without disabilities take for granted because only those conversant with the unique requirement for communicating with PWD can do so, anything asides from that would usually be a struggle for both parties.
Through technology, many innovators and inclusion-based service providers have helped to create a safer, easier, and inclusive space to foster autonomy for disabled individuals which has been done through the help of several digital solutions, products, and innovation – most of which are presented through smart-phones and other gadgets. There are now vehicles that can be driven by individuals in wheel-chairs, there are braille keyboards that can be used with a typical desktop, and many other PWD-based solutions like this. For the smart-phone based solutions which this article would highlight, several applications for Apple TM and Android TM operating systems have been developed and launched to this effect.
The different types of disabilities exist on a spectrum – visual, auditory, cognitive, mobility, speech, and mental. All of these all require special efforts to live with. It is quite easy for us to forget that not everyone is privileged to have all their sense organs working the way it should, when making that website, putting up that signpost, and what have you.
This article would highlight some useful mobile tools that enable PWD to be more independent, to communicate better with the world around them, the categories of individuals that can use them – for the times the abled forget to take into consideration the disabled, and generally, in their daily lives.
- For the visually impaired: KNFB Reader TM, Envision TM, Lookout TM and Google features such as its assistants and accessibility tools are mobile applications that can be used by these PWD to better navigate their digital experience.
- For those with hearing disability: Live Transcribe TM and RogerVoice TM are helpful phone applications which allow these individuals to communicate in real-time.
- For speech-based disabilities: Talkitt TM, JABtalk TM, and Predictable TM are applications that give clarity and enables better speech.
This list is in no way exhaustive as better, faster, and more efficient apps and devices are being researched and developed to ensure that PWD has a better quality of life. Do well to check these out and find out about the others if you or someone you know has any disability.
Next time when you are putting out something that would be made public it would be in the best interest for you to consider every aspect of that material to assess if it embodies any barriers for PWD – inclusion should be our watchword.