One billion people across the globe have disabilities, so it’s only right that there should be enough resources and tools made available for disabled persons to be able to live out life and perform the tasks they need to do comfortably. It is a lack of better standards and accessibility that can hold back such a significant portion of the population, more so than the restrictions put into place by their varied disabilities.
Thankfully, we are seeing more innovation these days that have made major strides in progress for assisting different conditions and levels of severity. These helpful inventions include the likes of these:
Visual Impairment Aids
There are powerful aids for visually impaired individuals that aesthetically look like shades but use intuitive technology to feed the user a projection of their surroundings. They expand the user’s field of vision without uncomfortable wires (as it is battery-powered) and in real-time, meaning there is no delay in the feed. It is now seeing widespread use for those who have debilitating peripheral vision problems caused by conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, scotoma, stroke, and more.
The latest variation of these aids is lighter than any other iteration, so you don’t have to sacrifice functionality over comfort during everyday use. Also, it has the tech to enhance the user’s vision based on different modes that cater to varying situations, like full-color video, black and white, color edges, high contrast, super color enhancement, edges, and even a text mode.
Cognitive Hearing Aids
A major issue with hearing aids is that they aren’t that helpful for the user in terms of distinguishing voices apart and filtering out any noise that is interrupting or interfering with what needs to be heard.
Researchers have designed cognitive aids that make use of the brain’s neural networks to send signals to the device so that it can perceive what sound to receive and transmit into the ear. It uses an end-to-end system wherein within just ten seconds, speakers communicate with the brain’s network signals. It captures sounds and separates them into different individual tracks to find which sound or speaker the person is trying to listen to. The device will then relay this to the user.
These suits may bring forth images of science fiction, but today they see practical use with those who are para- or quadriplegic. Using motorized brackets and frameworks, these allow a range of movement and independence that can greatly improve the quality of life for the wearer.
Of course, these robotics are still in the pricier range of things, so while they are available, they aren’t entirely adapted into the market quite yet. However, as changes continue to be implemented to make the build more cost-efficient and lightweight without sacrificing safety and performance, it’s good to know that it is moving forward and that there are options available.
Science and technology have found almost magical ways to cater to persons with disabilities. With more innovations down the road, we may be closer to a society that is genuinely inclusive of everyone.