Disability Topic of the Month: Technology
Hello Readers! My name is Toni-Marie. I will tell you just a little bit about my disability as I feel it is relevant. I have cerebral palsy quadriplegia and scoliosis of the spine. This means I am a full-time electric wheelchair user.
For me, there is just one word that sums up technology. And that word is POWER. It creates a freedom, choice and an independence — particularly for those living with disabilities, that should never be underestimated. A POWER that is created without the opinion, judgment or bias that can often be a factor when working with individuals, as opposed to technology.
The positive effects of having such a life-changing piece of technology when you have a disability should also not be undervalued. Now imagine your same set of circumstances and there being absolutely no technology available to help you create a life of your choosing?
Technology is undeniably so important. However, when it ceases to work properly — or is unobtainable or unaffordable — it can be catastrophic. Especially when you think of how the lack of such equipment can affect those who need it to create a positive life. One that is both fulfilling and independent.
Here are just a few providers and resources of some of the best technology available to help those with disabilities:
Neatebox WelcoMe and Button Apps
WelcoMe by Neatebox is the customer service app of the future for those with disabilities.
The WelcoMe App aims to:
Enhance disabled customers’ experience, showing nearby accessible venues
Inform venues of your specific requirements
Create bookings with venues to let them know when you’re visiting
Help customer service teams give you the support you deserve
Neatebox’s Button App provides users a button on their mobile phone to safely open doors and operate pedestrian crossings.
Read more ways in which Neatebox is can help with accessibility and inclusion, read Disability Topic of the Month: Fashion and Beauty
Remap is a charity who tailor-makes equipment/technology. They’re aimed at supporting the individual with a disability by crafting bespoke equipment to suite their unique needs.
From their website:
“We design and custom-make equipment to help disabled people live more independent lives. This includes mobility, help in the home, managing personal care, enjoying sports and hobbies and much more. All our work is carried out and checked by expert engineers, carpenters, technicians and occupational therapists.”
If you feel you could benefit from their services, why not give them a call? Their number is 01732 760 209.
The goal of AbilityNet is to build skills and accessibility in inclusive design.
They believe in a digital world accessible to all, by supporting disabled people to use technology to achieve their goals at home, at work and in education.
The technology that is potentially life-changing today is only what it is because of the people who are totally committed to driving their vision forward. With an unwavering passion and dedication to helping those with disabilities pave the way to their fulfilling and independent lives.
I have had my own issues with technology that have left me feeling unsupported frustrated and not listened to. Just over a year and a half ago now, I got locked out of Facebook due to my severe dexterity problems as a result of my physical disability. Despite there being some much appreciated initial contact, whereby they requested identification from me, I have since heard nothing back from them at all.
This for me has been particularly sad given that we are and have been in the middle of a pandemic. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have also been separated miles away from my family. To lose a facility such as Facebook, especially at a time like this, has been very difficult. They are memories that I simply can’t replace due to the fact that my friends are not with us on earth anymore. I feel that more needs to be done to support people who find themselves in situations like mine through no fault of their own.
Technology is EVERYTHING to those who rely on it. And it definitely shapes the world in which we live in, now more than ever before.
So! Research your way to finding the best technology solutions starting now!
Always see your ability in disability!
Thanks for reading!