Disabilities

  • BlindPAD’s tablet makes visual information tactile for the vision-impaired

    BlindPAD’s tablet makes visual information tactile for the vision-impaired

    It’s truly amazing, the wealth of information we all have at our fingertips — that is, of course, unless your fingertips are how you have to access that information. An innovative new tablet that uses magnetically configurable bumps may prove to be a powerful tool for translating information like maps and other imagery to a modality more easily accessed by the visually impaired. Read More

  • Making VR less painful for the vision-impaired

    Making VR less painful for the vision-impaired

    You don’t have to have perfect vision to enjoy VR, but brother, it helps. Otherwise you’re looking at having to worry about accommodating glasses, eye tracking not working, ocular distances maxing out and so on. Stanford researchers want to make things easier for people with vision problems to use VR, but it’s not going to be easy. Read More

  • App lets visually impaired in India hear books in their native language

    App lets visually impaired in India hear books in their native language

    For the millions upon millions of visually impaired people in India, it can be difficult getting hold of the audiobook they want in the language they need it in. A project from Carnegie Mellon University and partners aims to fix that with a free, easily extensible Android app that can be quickly trained to read texts aloud in local languages. Read More

  • Furenexo’s SoundSense is a simple, open-source gadget that helps deaf people stay aware of their surroundings

    Furenexo’s SoundSense is a simple, open-source gadget that helps deaf people stay aware of their surroundings

    People with deafness have plenty of ways to navigate everyday situations as if they had no disability at all, but there are still situations that present dangers unique to them — not being able to hear a smoke alarm or gunshot, for instance. SoundSense is a small wearable device that listens for noises that might require immediate attention and alerts the user when it detects one. Read More

  • Marrakesh Treaty will limit copyright, easing book access for blind and print-disabled worldwide

    Marrakesh Treaty will limit copyright, easing book access for blind and print-disabled worldwide

    It’s difficult enough already for the visually impaired to read the books and publications sighted people take for granted, but it’s downright impossible when the content isn’t even available in accessible formats. Fortunately, a global agreement aimed at alleviating the problem passed a major milestone today and may take effect before the end of the year. Read More

  • Depth-sensing walker monitors and connects the elderly and mobility impaired

    Depth-sensing walker monitors and connects the elderly and mobility impaired

    The so-called Internet of Things is often underwhelming — who really needs a tweeting oven? — but inspiring applications of embedded sensors and ubiquitous connectivity still appear, and sometimes from the most unexpected places. Take this smart walker, for instance: The same tech that goes into tacky toys and frivolous appliances could help an aging generation regain its mobility. Read More

  • 3D-printed bespoke wheelchair debuts at Design Week in London

    3D-printed bespoke wheelchair debuts at Design Week in London

    For all their being motion-enabling platforms, wheelchairs are themselves rather static. A frame of steel and aluminum supporting foam-filled leather or plastic, with a handful of settings that may or may not accommodate the user’s specific condition. A London design firm has worked for two years to create an alternative: a 3D-printed wheelchair made to fit the shape and needs of its rider. Read More

  • Future Transhumanist Tech May Soon Change The Definition Of Disability Crunch Network

    Future Transhumanist Tech May Soon Change The Definition Of Disability

    Radical technologies around the world may soon overhaul the field of disability and immobility, which affects in some way more than a billion people around the world. MIT bionics designer Hugh Herr, who lost both his legs in a mountain climbing accident, recently said in a TED Talk on disability, “A person can never be broken. Our built environment, our technologies, are broken and disabled. Read More

  • GPS System Helps Blind People Mosey Around Town

    An Italian company has developed a GPS system that helps blind people easily and safely get around town. Called Easy Walk, the system is comprised of a Symbian cellphone, a Bluetooth GPS receiver and special speech-to-text software. Not surprisingly, the developers at Il Village made Easy Walk simple to use: the user has only two buttons at his disposal, one of which gives the user’s… Read More