Positive Developments in Accessibility & Technology
Developing accessibility features in the tech industry is a consistent, ongoing process — and it should be. As tech evolves, new products and services that can enhance life for individuals with special needs or those living with developmental disabilities are always being researched, tested, and introduced. By providing innovative resources and accessible technology, those living with disabilities can live more independently and their caregivers can be more involved in their overall care.
Each year, Engadget releases a report on the various developments in technology for the accessibility community. There are several companies that are taking huge steps to impact those living with disabilities or special needs. For this article, Direct Care Innovations highlighted three of the largest tech companies in the U.S., along with the various accessibility features they have recently introduced.
Microsoft has displayed its commitment to accessibility with several new industry developments that take into consideration a wide range of disabilities and needs.
- Inclusive Tech Lab: Intentionally includes individuals with disabilities by providing products and services such as accessible productivity, inclusive education, and gaming for those with disabilities.
- Adaptive Mouse Kit: Allows people with motor limitations to use their computers and phones more easily.
- Neurodiversity Career Connector (NDCC): Features job listings by U.S. employers who are actively looking for neurodivergent career seekers including those with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and Tourette Syndrome.
In addition to products that Amazon already offers for improved accessibility, they have included additional products and services to increase user-friendly features for individuals living with disabilities.
- Echo Show gesture support: Allows individuals to dismiss timers or silence alarms without having to use their voice or touch the device.
- Alexa Together: Enables users to add more family members to this remote caregiving service and allows caregivers to remotely set up routines for their loved ones.
- Person and Package announcements: Connects with a compatible Ring camera and Alexa app or an Amazon device to alert individuals, by video or audio cues, when a person or package has arrived.
It’s also important to note that Amazon has partnered with several organizations to provide accessibility products for individuals living with disabilities. They donate Echo devices and Ring home security cameras to Homes for Veterans and the Gary Sinise Foundation, which support the veteran community. They also work with the National Association for the Blind and local school districts in India to provide Echo devices that can be used as teaching aids for children with visual impairments and disabilities.
Apple is a proven leader when it comes to providing accessible products and services for those living with disabilities and special needs.
- Apple Watch Mirroring: Allows people living with motor and physical disabilities to control their smartwatch using iPhone’s assistive features such as Voice Control, Switch Control, head tracking, and sound actions.
- Live captions: Transcribes all content playing through iPhones, iPads, and Macs, into real-world speech, and for those who use their Macs to make phone calls, they can type a response and have it spoken out loud to the caller.
- New door detection feature: Helps those with visual limitations or disabilities identify entryways and read signs or words through their iPhones.
Partnering with You to Serve Those Living with Disabilities
It’s our mission to work alongside the caregiving industry as they support individuals living with disabilities. We are all working together for the same goal — to intentionally improve and enhance the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. Learn more about our sustainable and state-of-the-art healthcare management platform by contacting us at (480) 295-3307 to request a sales demo. Our care management tracking SaaS can be customized to your particular organization and includes various modules such as electronic visit verifications, payroll time and attendance, billing software, and vendor payment and employer reimbursement.
Source: ” Engadget: The Tech Industry Still Has a Long Way to go When it Comes to Accessibility.” Blog article. Disability:IN. 17 Jan. 2023. Web. 03 Mar. 2023.