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  • Writer's pictureWilhelm Habla

Exploring the World of Assistive Technologies

Empowering Accessibility for All

Accessibility for people with disabilities is being revolutionized by assistive technologies. These tools serve as bridges in a world where inclusivity matters, enhancing the lives of people who use them. Taking a deep dive into assistive technologies this week opened my eyes to their importance.

There's more to accessibility than just checking a box. It's empowering those with disabilities to move about the world independently. The knowledge I gained during my UX design learning journey limited my understanding of assistive technologies. As a result of this exploration, we've seen the practical applications and diverse range of tools available to help people with disabilities. These technologies cater to a wide range of needs, from screen readers to real-time transcription and object recognition. The exposure to these advancements has been eye-opening, even though my own experience with assistive tools has been limited to a childhood stint with a wheelchair.

I liked the video presentation on an assistive tool that provides real-time information about the environment for visually impaired people. There's also a potential challenge with constant alerts. No doubt simplifying these devices would make them more usable and easier to use.

Highlighting specific assistive tools further broadened my understanding:

  • Be My Eyes: Volunteers connect with visually impaired individuals, showing how people can help one another.

  • Proloquo: An app that reads texts to you, breaking down barriers for those who find reading challenging.

  • Otismo Special Education: Engaged activities that foster development in various essential areas for children with special needs.

  • Ava: Transcribing speech in real-time, is a valuable resource for hearing impaired people.

  • Seeing AI: Using AI to describe visual surroundings, giving visually impaired people a helping hand.

SFSU's Student Center, for example, provides information and support for students with disabilities. Creating an accessible world echoes this commitment to inclusivity. Now that I know more, I'm eager to contribute to this cause by making designs more accessible. Creating apps and technologies that cater to diverse needs drives me to learn more about assistive technologies. Every app and innovation in assistive technologies breaks down barriers, making the world a more inclusive place. With our increasingly connected world, we're going to see simpler, more intuitive devices that empower people with disabilities.

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