By 2023 new technologies will triple the employment rate for persons with disabilities, studies shows.
New technologies are bringing back disabled people to the job market. Recent research conducted by Gartner shows that in a couple of years, AI, especially AEI (Artificial Emotional Intelligence), but also VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality), and other emerging technologies will make work more accessible for employees with disabilities.
Here are some technological solutions for disabled people that are supposed to have a positive impact on disability inclusion:
- Assistive and adaptive technologies
From eye-controlled wheelchair and powered exoskeleton to voice recognition software and screen readers. Assistive and adaptive technologies address specific needs of people with disabilities, helping them complete tasks such as walking, reaching objects, reading, writing, but also getting dressed or eating.
- WT (wearable technologies)
The rise of wearables opens a new chapter for people with disabilities. It is not simply about electronic gadgets. WT provides access to experiences that otherwise would be inaccessible. Some examples of recent wearables: smart glasses that help people with visual impairment to move autonomously or play the piano thanks to the built-in camera, sensors, GPS, and audio output. Meanwhile, wearable-tech gloves use machine learning to translate sign language into text or speech.
- 3D printing prosthetics
With 3-D printers high-tech prostheses became accessible. 3-D printed limbs are cheaper, suitable, and easily replaceable which is important, for example, in growing children that need replacements to keep up with their body growth. It is worth mentioning that 3D printers are compatible with new materials such as lightweight titanium. 3D printing prosthetics can vastly improve the ability of people with limb loss to be independent. Worth noticing the trend of expressive prostheses to transform prostheses into design objects, expressive accessories.
- From Internet of Things (IoT) to Internet of Behavior (IoB)
Not only wearables use IoT. There are plenty of innovative apps that enhance individuals with disabilities. Apps connected to the traffic light system, those that read surroundings or smart houses. With all connected devices in our homes and businesses, it is already possible to track our moves and spot behavior patterns.
By linking a person digitally to its action, this somewhat controversial tendency in technology can improve customer experience and support people with disabilities to live independently.
- Self-driving cars and Disability Robotics
Transportation is often a barrier that limits individuals with disabilities. Autonomous vehicles (AVs), robotaxis, and driverless cars that are supposed to fill our streets may be a step forward for disability inclusion. With recent advancements in disability robotics and information and communication technologies (ICTs), humanoid robots tailored to individual needs and rehabilitation robots to perform non-intrusive rehabilitation therapies at home.