Technology is changing lives every day. It is allowing more and more people to work remotely, stay in contact with loved ones thousands of miles away, and enabling individuals with diversabilities (diverse abilities) to experience a stronger sense of inclusion and community. The technology we have today is likely only the tip of the iceberg. In fact, the future of accessibility and technology is incredibly bright.
The Marriage of Accessibility and Technology
Technology makes accessibility possible for thousands of people with diversabilities. It is what powers reader services, communication access real-time translation (CART), elevators, motorized wheelchairs, and dozens of other advancements that make life more manageable for people across the globe.
This kind of technology has come a long way in recent years. The Americans with Disabilities Act enacted in 1990 was really the beginning of making the world a more accessible place. Now, even inventions like the smartphone are making accessibility readily available with services including talk-to-text and large text options.
What’s Next for This Niche?
With technology progressing leaps and bounds in the last three decades, we have no reason to believe that it is about to slow down. Below are some of our favorite potential advancements in technology and accessibility.
New Interfaces for Computers and Mobile Devices
While there are options already available to make computers and mobile devices accessibility-friendly, they are not widespread. Major technology companies like Apple and Microsoft do their best to make sure that their products are accessible for everyone.
Other, third-party companies are working to develop interfaces that make it easier to use both basic and more advanced features on a computer, including universal logins that people can use on any computer to access their custom settings. This means that no matter where people go to log in – at home, libraries, at work – they’ll be able to log into the third party platform and have instant access to the accessibility that they need.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
This is a relatively new term that covers all the various items that you can connect to via the internet. For example, household appliances, lights, security systems, and more. A prime example of this is Alexa or Google Dot. These virtual assistants allow people to simply ask out loud for what they want and have it done automatically.
For people with mobile diversabilities, this can be a game-changer. It allows people to take care of basic household functions without ever having to get up, travel up or downstairs, or deal with the difficulties that appliances like washers and dryers present (bending over, reaching for buttons, etc).
There are already dozens of items that can be connected via the IoT and these technologies are constantly expanding. Over time, this could become a way that all people have better access to their homes.
GPS Walking Assistance
If you have ever spent time in a city, you likely have used Google’s walking GPS feature. This is great when you need to navigate complicated city blocks. However, it has the potential to be even more useful with some development.
Some companies are working on assistive technology that can help blind and low-vision people better navigate their surroundings through audio cues. This is a large step towards a more independent life. Since smartphones are incredibly portable and most people already have them, this type of technology would be easy to adapt.
Technology and Diversability
504/508 compliance often rely heavily on accessibility technology. This is where Applied Development can help. Our mission is to help companies and government entities give people with diversabilities the resources they need to properly do their jobs. If you have questions or want to learn more, give us a call at 410.571.4016 or contact us here