Technology has changed us over years and in most of the cases it is for our own good, ergonomically we are building better alternatives. We are growing holistically as a community through the assistive and adaptive part. Technology has become an inevitable part of our lives, it is equally important for the disabled as it is for any non-disabled peers, be it at the workplace or for one’s creative expression. Technology has not only evolved but has somehow generated a need for the excavation and elevated hopes for the future. We can’t imagine our lives with it or can we?
Assistive technology had made lives easier at the workplace through the use of specially designed apps, tablets, and phones, workers with visual, motor and sensory Impairment can work efficiently and productively. Next-generation computer screen readers like JAW and window eye are now available to enhance the user's experience. Assistive and adaptive technology compliments each other. Assistive technology is specially designed technology for a specific disability in order to perform the task with efficiency. Screen reader has been helping people with visual impairment to view their screens better, not only affiliates the user with speech feature but also gives braille output, the magnified and enlarged text feature results into better viewing. The non-visual desktop reader comes with improved functionality and is almost free to use.
Accessible technology, on the other hand, is for a larger group and is designed accordingly. ORCAM, I.e. a device with a camera that is used to convert visual imagery or information into words or speech, also is well programmed to take voice commands. It can read text or printed surfaces like books, screens, signages and a lot more, my eye feature also keeps a database of the faces you have met. Not only ORCAM but there is another technology too which are helping workers work efficiently, like color or currency identifier tools.
VRS or Video Relay Services at workplaces not only makes communication easier but also allows the use of sign language as a medium to communicate for the people with hearing-aid. Speech recognition software like dragon naturally speaking allows people with motor skills to use their voice as a medium to communicate and to give input as an encoder which can later be decoded in the form of text or reports. X-AR, specially designed for people with upper-body limitations like amputations or dexterity provides an exoskeleton arm to makes the motion a bit more natural.
Not only these but adaptive technology at workstations like:
Ergonomic keyboards to reduce discomfort in wrist, hand, back and to minimize strain, screen readers-magnifiers for enhanced reading, voice recognition apps for better communication, screen clips to make the process less cumbersome, and microphone headsets to set a standard back position, all these tools are into use today and are searching for more functional and efficient alternatives.
Disability employment programs on their way provide assistance to the workers in the work environment and build a relationship with them. These programs or training modules aim towards developing a skill set for the workers and also helps them get through the hiring process, one can identify what they want to do or are they willing to invest their time in the work they are being trained off. The program demands the person to retain employment and to restrain from getting discriminated. It focuses on individual growth and they're overcoming their fear related to work. The program not just brings out the best but also support the processes of interviewing, hiring and job training to develop a productive and prospective model.