Persons with disabilities and special needs suffer from distinct learning, mobility, and communication deficits. Assistive technology is a breakthrough innovation created to cater to these individuals for them to live healthy, productive, dignified, and independent lives. Its devices remove feelings of isolation, exclusion, and seclusion. Here we will discuss the five newest assistive technologies developed that every disabled and person with special needs should be aware of.
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There are several kinds of keyboards developed for persons with known disabilities. The construction of special keyboards depends on the specific disability of the person. For example, some keyboards are made relatively higher than regular keyboards. This, in turn, makes the key location easy for people with special needs and helps them avoid typos, and aids in keystrokes. On the other hand, Braille-type keyboards are designed for the visually impaired. Future developments of this device will include smart keyboards with smart finger sensors.
Text-to-speech software has made it possible for individuals with distinct physical impairments to access information readily and conveniently on a virtual landscape. AI-powered text-to-speech tools come in a variety of flexible customizations such as tone, speed, and audio conversion to multiple languages. In addition, it allows for effortless means to listen to an audiobook, magazine, podcast, or even an audio tour of an online store. Other developments include speech-to-text tools, which benefit ordinary people and even persons with disabilities.
Persons with disabilities view the performance of activities of daily living as a challenging endeavor. But with the introduction of voice assistants, which allow users to speak and place verbal commands, actions are made more accessible. These include tasks such as calling people over the phone, updating schedules, sending a text, setting alarms, providing news and weather updates, buying things online, and many more.
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People with visual impairments depend primarily on canes to move about their surroundings. Innovations to the traditional cane, dubbed smart canes, make it possible for the visually impaired to live an independent lifestyle. It works with a built-in speech assistant capable of taking commands for everyday functions. In addition, high-tech handles and smart sensors can alert the user of an impending roadblock, obstruction, and hindrances on the street and roads sooner. Smart canes can also be paired with smart devices to locate and receive information regarding public transport.
The invention of smart glasses that use both AI and ML capabilities allows navigation using head movements. These devices are paired with wheelchair users to control and use their wheelchairs. The mechanism involves connecting the smart glasses to smart devices, which allows them to receive messages, alarms, notifications, and calls.
The smart sensors embedded in the glass automatically pick up head movements and control the wheelchair’s movement accordingly. Also, the display on the smart glasses shows the navigation menus and wheelchair controls. It can also take pictures, adjust seat positions and send emergency messages in case of untoward incidents/ accidents.
The Australian NDIS plan management service aid people with specific physical impairments choose the appropriate assistive technology that addresses client-specific needs. A designated AT assessor will assess current client needs and their circumstances to identify which specific assistive technology device is in order. So, contact your local service provider today to get the best care for your disabled loved one.
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