Modern Tech Is Empowering People with Disabilities
May 11, 2017

Advancements over the past two decades have helped technology adapt to the needs of people with disabilities. According to a report, there are over 650 million disabled individuals in Asia and the Pacific. These individuals are benefiting from the discovery that programmable technology has facile capacity to accommodate human needs for assistance.

Currently, companies are using the application of physics and science to develop technology that helps improve the quality of life for individuals suffering from various disabilities like speech impairment, motion impairment, etc. As a result, assistive technology has become an umbrella term that includes everything from the tablets for the visually impaired to touch-free smartphones.

Overall, the use of modern tech in households with disabled people is on the rise. The following is a list of the latest technological equipment that is providing independence and freedom that came with restrictions in the past.

1. Stair Climber

Websites such as and other similar companies have introduced stairlift technology. It’s a chairlift device that allows people with physical disabilities to be seated as it goes up and down the flight of steps. Over time, advancements in stair lift technology have enabled the creation of sturdy designs that support attachment to the stair treads, allowing for quicker installation and no damage to surrounding walls. Most modern stairlifts can be completely custom made to allow for better fitting.

2. Personal Navigation Device

Wheelchair users face a range of issues, and loss of sight is one of them. Personal navigation devices like The Kapten Plus can make navigating around the sidewalks safe for such people. Modern navigation devices attach to the individual or the wheelchair. Then it relies on a GPS locator to provide directions and details about a particular location to users. This innovative tech provides wheelchair users with a peace of mind that they won’t get lost. It can also be used to find a safe spot nearby where wheelchair users can wait in and call someone for assistance.

3. Parkinson-Friendly Handle

Self-stabilizing handles like Liftware are allowing Parkinson patients to eat normally by attaching an eating utensil to the handle. It is quite useful for patients who are suffering from motion disorders that result in hand tremors. The self-stabilizing technology calms the movement which reduces the spilling of food content from the attached utensil before it goes into the patient’s mouth. The particular offering – liftware – features a stabilizing handle, three utensils (fork, spoon and soup spoon), and a charger. The charge lasts over several meals and users can wipe down the handle while the fork and spoon can be cleaned like normal utensils.

4. Wearable Finger-Worn Device

Wearable finger-worn devices like the FingerReader are being researched to enable the vision-impaired to convert any text into audio in dim lighting conditions. The technology makes use of haptic motors that vibrate when the user’s finger deviates from the text. A musical tone also goes off as an alert if the finger doesn’t track properly. There’s also a software and a tiny camera to process videos in real-time as the user sweeps his or her finger from left to right. Such technology may also be useful for individuals with dyslexia or learning disabilities.

The future of assistive technology looks bright as researchers and engineers around the globe continue designing and creating new devices based on different needs of the disabled.

Written Jane Brown