by Patrick Young, guest contributor
As advanced as we are as a society, those with disabilities still face hindrances when it comes to achieving their career goals. Many workplaces are still unavailable to them in some way or another. The entire population has become marginalized because of the lack of access to an array of opportunities and services - but technology is changing that.
If you’re ready to pursue a career or take a stalled one to new levels, consider the following options.
Hearing Assistive Tech
As New Atlas explains, the Uni device watches sign language and translates it into speech. It also hears speech and converts it to text. This tool allows deaf people to have conversations with people who do not understand sign language.
Similarly, Transcense is an app designed to help deaf people participate in group conversations such as business meetings. It uses the smartphone microphones of everyone in the group and translates speech into real-time text. Each speaker is labeled, and it looks much like a group text.
Assistant in Your Pocket
Assistive apps are another way people with disabilities can put their smartphones to work for them. But you’ll need a powerful device to use those apps. If you’re searching for a smartphone, look for options like a generous display, sturdiness, SOS features, a voice assistant, and facial recognition. Worried about the cost? You can save on a new model by exploring seasonal and limited-time deals and offers.
Of course, people with certain mobility issues cannot use a standard smartphone no matter how helpful its standard features are. Enter the completely touchless smartphone The Sesame, which was designed specifically for individuals with disabilities. It works by sensing head and facial movements, and it has voice activation to access all the features on a phone anyone else can.
Visual Assistive Tech
The Dot Braille Smartwatch is a wearable device that helps sight-impaired people access tweets, emails, and messages anywhere they are. It is an affordable solution to e-Braille devices that can cost thousands of dollars. It has a set of dots on the surface that rise and fall to form the words in the messages. Connect it via Bluetooth to retrieve information to read.
Finger Reader is a wearable device that fits on your finger. You point to the text you want to read line by line. It scans the text and gives audio feedback as it scans in real-time. It works on digital and print text.
The Be My Eyes app connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers via video. They can help with everyday tasks such as reading the expiration date on food.
Speech Assistive Tech
Talkitt is a computer program aimed at helping people with speech impairments communicate better. As Abilities.com notes, Talkitt translates hard to understand speech into a clear speech pattern for others. The user's speech patterns are recorded into the program and when he speaks into the microphone his words are translated by the program. It stops speech impairment issues in their tracks.
Mobility Assistive Tech
The AXS Map app is a community-sourced app that shows all the business and community areas that have wheelchair access and ramp facilities. It shows malls, restaurants, movie theaters and more. It shows where handicapped accessible restrooms are as well. For everything from job interviews to meeting clients, it can help users get around more easily.
Assistive technological devices and software programs aid in overcoming the barriers of various disabilities so that people can rejoin the workforce or further stalled careers. Tools like these can help with communication, planning, transportation, and much more. Consider what is holding you back in your career, and tech has a solution.
About the author: Patrick Young created Able USA to offer resources and advice to others with disabilities in an effort to help them navigate the various aspects of life as a person with a disability.