Assist Leaders

The BOSS Magazine|November 2019

Assist Leaders
NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY THAT ARE PROVIDING INDEPENDENCE TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Matthew Flynn

For many, the latest tech devices are little more than nice gadgets to have to show off to friends, play the latest video games, or simply add a bit of convenience to everyday life. However, for the 61 million adults in the United States living with a disability, assistive technology means much more — it represents the opportunity for increased communication, mobility, independence, and inclusion.

As assistive technology gains new capabilities, it is becoming even more valuable in providing for a more inclusive and diverse workplace. The devices are usually not cheap, but employers and those with disabilities can often secure funding for necessary equipment. The Assistive Technology Industry Association is a resource for makers, users, and distributors of assistive technology that also provides a list of organizations that help those in need to acquire funding for devices.

EYE-TRACKING AND ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION DEVICES

The inability to effectively communicate wants and needs can be a major frustration for people with autism, ALS, cerebral palsy, and Rett syndrome. For years, Dynavox has been making assistive technology devices that allow users to select pictures or a series of pictures which are then converted to speech by the machine. Recently, Dynavox has made its devices more accessible by incorporating eye-tracking technology that allows users without control of their hands to select pictures on the speech-generating device by looking at them.

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November 2019