Improvements in modern technology have always led to revolutionary new ways of assisting individuals with disabilities lead independent lives. Here is a list of assistive technologies that this administrator found intriguing in their benefits to the user as well as their use of technological advancements.
Be My Eyes: An incredible iPhone App that uses live video chat so that individuals with visual impairment can request assistance from volunteers from around the world to see on their behalf. NPR had an interesting piece about this gadget. You can read the NPR article about it. Visit the website for more information about Be My Eyes.
Dot: Is the world’s first Braille smartwatch. Using a Bluetooth connection to any device, phone, e-reader, computer, etc. this smartwatch will allow individuals who are visually impaired access to more information. Visit their website for more information about Dot.
Go Go Grandparent: Works with Uber to arrange affordable and on demand rides for Seniors or individuals with disabilities. Why not just use Uber? Not everyone has a smart phone. With Go Go Grandparent just dial the number and they will arrange with Uber on your behalf. Go Go Grandparent has a built in “Family Update” feature that will send alerts to designated family members to inform them of safe pickup and arrival. Visit the website for more information about Go Go Grandparent.
AXS Map: An Android and iOS app that allows users to post reviews of accessible places in your area. Like Yelp! allows user reviews for restaurants and bars, AXS Map is for all businesses stores, theaters, restaurants, offices, apartment buildings, etc. Users are able to search businesses and see their accessibility rating. If a business does not yet have an accessibility rating users are encouraged to rate and comment for future users. AXS Map encourages users to host Mapathons; fundraising events that raise money for a charity of your choice while your teams review the local businesses, thereby mapping entire neighborhoods for accessibility ratings and donating money to charity. Visit their website for more information about AXS Map or download the AXS Map app right to your phone.
Do you think the Pittsburgh Jewish Community should host a Mapathon for Squirrel Hill, South Hills, or other neighborhoods, to review the accessibility of your local synagogues, favorite restaurants, shops, or businesses? Leave a comment, let us know your thoughts about starting a Community Mapathon for Jewish Pittsburgh.
Liftware: A revolutionary new utensil for individuals with Parkinson’s or other fine motor control problems. Liftware uses sensory and gyroscopic technology to detect hand motion and distinguish between unwanted tremors and intended hand movements. With multiple utensil attachments the stabilizing hand can be used for a variety of foods from soups to salads. Visit their website for more information about Liftware.
Video of Joe eating cereal with a regular spoon. His right hand is shaking uncontrollably and all the cereal flies off the spoon. You then see Joe eating with the Liftware spoon. His right hand is still shaking uncontrollably but the spoon stays level and Joe is able to bring it to his mouth and eat without spilling any cereal.