The world of assistive devices and technology is growing at the same rate as many other forms of technology. Some devices and applications available today were merely seen as science-fiction in the not-too-distant past. These days it is common for fiction to inspire reality.
We have compiled a list of devices and mobile applications currently available that are on the forefront of accessibility.
Home assistants may seem like an entertaining trend, but these small devices pack a big punch when it comes to helping individuals with varying levels of needs. These devices are a hands-free way of completing daily tasks, from planning your calendar to commanding other devices in your home. The home assistant is ideal for those with visual impairments or mobility restrictions and can be optimized by connecting it with other devices such as your laptop and smartphone.
Access Now (Mobile App)
This Toronto-based mobile application allows individuals to see which restaurants and stores in their vicinity are accessible. The app is updated by users, which means that anyone who installs this free app is able to pinpoint the most or least accessible businesses. The Access Now app is available for you to install on the Android phone or iPhone.
Sensory Feedback Glove
Wearing a glove that can identify what is in front of you sounds like something that would definitely exist in a Black Mirror episode, however we assure you that this new device is very real. The glove emits sonar (like bats and dolphins) that sends feedback to a small computer in the glove to tell those who have a vision impairment what objects are in front of them.
The standing wheelchair is a relatively new invention and is continually being updated. This form of a wheelchair provides an entirely different perspective for those who use wheelchairs as an assistive mobility device. Recently, this form of wheelchair has been modified to electric wheelchairs that are more capable of going over slanted surfaces which allows for longer use and increased independence.
The world of assistive devices and technology is advancing at a rapid rate. It is exciting to see what devices will be available in the near future to assist with accessibility. If you find assistive technology interesting, we also have a post about what types of technology are available for people with vision impairment/blindness.