Companies create assistive devices to target the needs of persons with disabilities
Given the significant relevance of Information Technologies in many of our daily activities, assistive technologies have become of great importance for addressing the needs of persons with disabilities. Fortunately the number of companies engaging in creating products and services to satisfy these requirements has kept growing as well.
During the last International Technology and Persons with Disability Conference in 2016, different companies presented their solutions for targeting the needs of persons with disabilities. In the case of assistive technologies for persons with vision disabilities, traditional solutions based on audio options (like Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana) were mostly replaced by refreshable Braille devices.
Some of the new products that were presented include the Orbit Reader, which is a note taker with an eight dot display where users can type. Other options were BrailleNote Touch by HumanWare that provides a touchscreen that determines where the user’s fingers are on the screen and figures out the dot combination the user inputs. Finally, Korean Neo Access presented NeoBraille enhanced model with the support of Korea Employment Agency for the Disabled.
However, most assistive devices are still not affordable for its target users. Prices may vary from USD 2,000 to USD 15,000, reason for which there seems to still be a long way to go in order to promote equal access opportunities. Additionally, training is required in order to allow persons with disabilities to take advantage of these devices.
Additional Sources: GAATES