Assistive Technology

Assistive tech startup led by former NASA engineer uses an AI ‘parrot’ to help people with disabilities

BY CHARLOTTE SCHUBERT David Hojah is a former NASA engineer, but his real passion is healthcare. Growing up, he saw his family members taking care of his aunt, who had multiple sclerosis, and his uncle, who had a spinal cord injury. Now, he’s developing tech to help people with disability have more independence. The company …

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Improving STEM access for those with disability

Customised electronic toolkits designed to improve STEM accessibility for those with intellectual disabilities have been developed by Monash University researchers. TronicBoards, created by researchers from the Faculty of Information Technology (IT), are a range of customised colour-coded printed circuit boards with large controls and recognisable symbols adapted to facilitate easy circuit-making for diverse intellectual abilities. …

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The world’s most lifelike bionic hand

Comfortable, intuitive and precise, bebionic continues to transform the lives and abilities of amputees around the world. From helping them perform simple tasks like tying their shoelaces, to giving them back their control and pride. With 14 different grip patterns and hand positions, the bebionic artificial hand is designed to handle almost anything that you …

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The Apps That Are Redefining Accessibility

For people with disabilities, the digital divide predates the pandemic. But new tools are opening new pathways for participation. Last year, Google introduced a virtual Braille keyboard for Android to allow the visually impaired to read and write on smartphones. When Covid-19 catapulted society into a new age of remote work, school and life, educators, economists, and …

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Doubling down on accessibility: Microsoft’s next steps to expand accessibility in technology, the workforce and workplace

Written by Brad Smith, Microsoft President More than 1 billion people around the world live with a disability, and at some point, most of us likely will face some type of temporary, situational or permanent disability. The practical impacts are huge. Employment and education rates are lower and poverty rates are higher for people with disabilities. And …

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Zoom commits to making its platform more accessible

Zoom says it is enhancing its service in order to be more accessible to users with disabilities. The video conferencing platform that’s become ubiquitous as the COVID-19 pandemic has kept people from meeting in person said it will add automatic closed captioning to its free accounts. The functionality, which will be called “Live Transcription,” is …

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6 apps for people who are deaf or have hearing loss

As technology develops, the number of communication options available to persons with total or partial hearing loss grows. In particular, advancements in automatic speech recognition (ASR) have made a dramatic difference to millions of people’s lives. Everyone has a right to an education and access to information, and technology is now making this right a …

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Grasp Switch

An adaptive switch is an access device that allows people with movement-limiting disabilities to use technology and operate electronic devices. Instead of the person performing complex actions such as turning a knob, adaptive switches offer easier movement solutions. One such option is called the Grasp Switch, a tube-shaped switch with a simple pinch that releases …

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