Technological developments continue to rapidly make their mark on the modern world. There are few areas of life untouched by the influence of technology, which is quickly spreading into the very minutiae of life.
Unfortunately, technology is not always designed to serve a positive purpose. Furthermore, the misuse of technology can have hugely detrimental and wide-ranging effects. For example, a drone recently caused travel chaos in the UK by flying above Gatwick airport. This simple act of sabotage brought the airport to a complete standstill for 36 hours.
However, other technologies are being used to serve a thoroughly benevolent purpose. For example, modern equipment is saving’ lives through enhanced diagnostic techniques and improved operative procedures. Similarly, people with disabilities are benefitting from using technology that gives them greater independence and an enhanced quality of life.
But how is modern technology helping disabled people?
The scope to recover from a life-changing injury is greater than ever before. Modern healthcare speeds up recovery times whilst limiting long term damage.
However, improvements to existing technology is helping those with mobility issues to have a better quality of life. For example modern wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) allow for greater levels of comfort and convenience at a more affordable price.
Smart glasses use a combination of different technologies to help blind and visually impaired people to discern shapes and objects. Unfortunately, the technology is still in its infancy, and it currently represents an extremely expensive option.
Finger readers are wearable devices that ‘scan’ printed text and read it aloud. They can be used for both e-readers and physical books. Although commercially available this technology is in the relatively early stages of development.
Hearing aids have evolved and are smaller and more discreet than ever before. However, for those with severe hearing loss, even the most advanced hearing aids may fail to deliver the necessary results.
For those with profound deafness, cochlear implants may provide an effective solution. Cochlear implants are surgically implanted devices which replicate the function of the inner ear.
For day-to-day living, bluetooth streamers allow people to hear the audio from a Bluetooth device directly into their hearing aid or cochlear implant. Sound settings can easily be changed – making it easy to move between sound environments.
Disability in the Modern World
Whilst cutting-edge technologies have their place for helping certain people to maintain their independence, more everyday devices (e.g. smartphones) can offer disabled people extremely valuable and relatively inexpensive assistance.
In addition, society’s attitude towards disabled people is quickly shifting in a positive direction.
Are you living with a disability? What is your biggest challenge?