The internet has changed a lot of things in our daily lives. Perhaps one of its key achievements has been the improvements in accessibility. There have been numerous physical and digital technological changes which have helped those with physical accessibility issues. Here, we’ll look at just some of the ways the internet has helped with accessibility.
Those who struggle with limited mobility once found accessing the internet and working on a computer pretty much impossible. However, thanks to technologies such as Eyegaze, users can now control the mouse on a computer screen with their eyes, rather than their hands.
This has meant that those suffering from conditions such as cerebral palsy, now have access to the same level of information as everyone else. It also makes it possible to work through a computer-based profession. Technology such as this is revolutionising the sector, providing fantastic opportunities for those who are mobility impaired.
Physical mobility aids
Of course, it isn’t just digital changes which have helped to improve accessibility. There’s been a large number of physical changes which have helped those with disabilities live and work more independently.
One of the key physical changes has been the introduction of wheelchair accessible vehicles. Modified for each individual user, these vehicles allow wheelchair users to either travel safely and easily as a passenger, or as a driver. They often include a larger interior and a built-in ramp for easy access. Other physical changes include grab rails, foldaway ramps and smart glasses for those with visual impairments.
One of the impressive ways that technology has helped to improve mobility, is through Bio-electronics and 3D printing. These technologies can be used to help replace missing limbs, giving those with disabilities a lot more functionality.
A great example is an armband created by Ontario company, Thalmic Labs, known as Myo. This allows the user to control a computer by analysing the electricity produced by the skeletal muscles and sending it to a device via Bluetooth.
As you can see, there’s been many physical and digital changes which have helped to boost mobility for those with disabilities. The above is just a few examples and work is continually being carried out to develop new technological mobility solutions. The only barrier to some of these technologies is the cost so more does need to be done to make assisted mobility more affordable to the mainstream.