A BusinessWeek Guide to Assistive Technology

iPad includes Accessibility Features“Jonathan Avila uses his iPad in ways most people might not realize are possible: The device reads e-mail to him while he’s traveling to work, tells him which way to walk when he is lost, and even lets him know if there’s a sidewalk on the other side of the street. Avila needs these features because he’s visually impaired.”  (Read about iPad’s Secret Abilities from Rachael Kin’s BusinessWeek article…)

In the article, Rachael describes how the iPad helps people with disabilities by reading e-mails, voicing directions, and zooming in on text. Her recorded interview with SSB Bart Group in this (listen to the audio podcast) seems to support our view that the Apple iPhone & iPad are ideal accessibility devices and also make for good home health gateways between medical sensors and monitoring services.

Getting People with Disabilities Back to Work

There’s strong evidence that unemployment has gotten disproportionately worse for workers with disabilities. Some hiring managers worry about hiring someone with a disability and wonder if it will lead to more absenteeism or fear that they can’t be fired without a lawsuit. But advocacy groups and companies like Apple, IBM, Google, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft are starting to take steps to provide jobs for people with disabilities and increase awareness of tools that help them work productively. (Read the rest of the article…)

ELegs and the Bionic Woman

Recently Amanda Boxtel walked again with the help of eLegs, bionic technology from Berkeley Bionics. She was in a wheelchair for 19 years. (Video from Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

Ten Technologies to Assist Workers

  1. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5 Premium, $179.95 speech-to-text software for PCs
  2. HeadMouse Extreme, $995 head-tracking replaces mouse on PCs
  3. JAWS Professional, $1,095 screen reading software for PCs
  4. Music Link, $39 alternative to stereo headphones for people with hearing loss
  5. Pogo Stylus, $14.95, helps people with dexterity problems use an iPhone or iPad
  6. Proloquo2Go IPad App, $189, helps people w/ speaking difficulty communicate in phrases
  7. Skype Premium, $4.49/mo higher quality video so deaf people can sign
  8. soundAMP R, $4.99 app lets you discreetly amplify & record the world around you
  9. VGo Robot, $5,000 robot brings telepresence to people with disabilities
  10. ZoomText, $595-$995 PC Magnifier/Reader for visually impaired workers
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