Mobility technologies for the disabled are a multi-billion dollar industry growing every year. More and more people with disabilities are looking for ways to improve their lives and mobility. The world has a long way to go before disabled people can access most of our public spaces, but the effort is worth it.
Many obstacles need to be overcome for disabled people to move freely and comfortably. Technological advances will be critical in overcoming these obstacles, but policy changes are also necessary if we want everyone to benefit equally from new mobility technologies.
There is handicap transportation as a service that helps people who cannot drive while staying connected with their loved ones among various technologies. It allows them to have access to public transportation. Handicapped transportation ensures that everyone has equal access to public services such as education and employment opportunities.
Technologies Helping People With Disabilities
Several technologies were designed and launched specially to support the lives of people with disabilities. These technologies include handicap transportation, e-scooters, and AI-supportive devices to help blind walk safely on the streets. Let us look at how technology has empowered people with specific disabilities.
VoIP Helps Handicapped Connect With Family Members
VoIP helps the disabled connect with their family members when traveling through mobile phones, which come with VoIP facilities already built-in to call anyone and anytime.
The technology also helped business travelers who want to appear as residents when they travel abroad to access their social media accounts or make purchases online without having any issues connecting with them. This one technology has made the big world appear smaller and more connected.
Mobility Devices Allow Them to Move With Ease
Specific mobile devices primarily aid in keeping people moving without any restriction. Here are some of the examples of mobile devices that have changed the life of the disabled considerably:
- Exoskeletonsare wearable technology that helps increase strength and mobility for those with limited mobility.
- Devices for amputees, such as the iLimb, allow users to control their prosthetic arm through muscle signals from their remaining arm or foot.
- Wheelchairs are becoming more innovative and more efficient, with features like automatic braking, a tilt system that allows users to adjust their seats without reaching for a lever, and voice commands for controlling the chair’s movements.
E-Scooter Keep Them Moving
A scooter is an excellent option if you’re looking for a way to get around town without dealing with the hassle of traffic. Unlike a wheelchair, it allows you to go from your house or apartment and then out into the world without anyone else’s help.
It’s also lighter than some other electric mobility devices, so it can easily be transported in smaller vehicles like cars or vans without taking up too much space. E-scooters are greatly benefiting the disabled community because:
- They are easy to fold up and put away when not in use (this means you won’t have any issues fitting an electric wheelchair into your car)
- They’re also very cost-effective because you don’t have to pay someone else every time they need maintenance on their equipment (like regular wheelchair users do).
Technology Helping the Blind Navigate the World
One exciting technology is smart glasses like OrCam MyEye and Be My Eyes, which allow users to take a picture of an object and get a description of what it is. The device can also read text from books, menus, or receipts aloud in multiple languages.
Another valuable tool for the visually impaired is an intelligent cane that vibrates when it nears an obstacle or turns slightly left or right once you cross the street at an intersection (although this can be very tiring if you walk long distances).
Another example: BlindSquare lets you use your smartphone as a guide while traveling in unfamiliar territory.
AI Helps Paraplegics Move Their Legs Again
This experimental treatment uses machine learning to help people with paraplegia move their legs again by stimulating nerves in the spinal cord to reactivate the brain’s messages to the body. The treatments are designed to restore the body’s ability to move, not replace lost movement.
A person with spinal cord injury might be able to stand up from a seated position, walk across a room or independently operate powered wheelchair controls. They will still be required to practice regularly with therapists and caregivers as they learn how to use and control these new abilities over time.
A wheelchair-accessible vehicle is a means of transportation that can accommodate a person in a wheelchair. Wheelchair-accessible vehicles are designed to be used by people who use an electric, manual, or power wheelchair, scooter, or other mobility devices.
A wheelchair-accessible vehicle is any vehicle that has been modified to accommodate passenger(s) with disabilities. This includes but is not limited to a ramp, handrails, and other modifications.
Federal law requires all such vehicles to display unique identification tags on the vehicle’s rear, indicating wheelchair-accessible. These tags may be affixed in one of two ways:
- Conspicuous yellow reflective lettering that is at least 3 inches tall (76 millimeters) on both sides of the rear bumper or back gate
- A permanently mounted license plate frame displaying letters no less than 8 inches tall (20 centimeters).
As you have seen, many new technologies can help disabled people. The future is promising for disabled people. Technology is constantly developing and improving.
Let’s hope that in the not too distant future, more people with mobility issues will be able to enjoy their lives as everybody else does! But, when traveling in a handicapped-accessible vehicle, it is crucial to ensure safety features such as airbags or seat belts and whether they come standard with each vehicle you look at before making any final decisions about which one best suits all of your needs.
Let us hope that we will get to see more of such technologies that ease the lives of many people around us in the coming future.