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new technologies for the disabled.
Article By Karl Poire
November 22, 2020, 12:54 pm
Accessibility to new technologies for disability in this digital age is a valuable technical aid. But what do we mean by accessibility for people with disabilities?
This concept essentially consists of making the digital ecosystem (Internet, applications, tools and terminals) accessible and usable by all, including persons with disabilities - persons with physical or mental disabilities. The goal is to make everyone evolve at the same pace, without anyone being sidelined. This means that new technologies for disability are alleviating the difficulties of people with physical or mental disabilities.
Disabilities can be physical and sensory (motor, auditory, visual), mental (intellectual, psychic, cognitive) or both (polydisabilities). "One web everywhere and for all"! The mantra says a lot about what the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a standards-setting organization, requires of Web platform designers. The concept of the "web for all" means access to all, regardless of their material, or their personal and physical situation. The issue of citizenship is obviously not to be outdone. The digital tool is part of everyone's daily life, in professional and private life. In other words, it has become a means of integration and autonomy in all spheres of society. Hence the importance of bringing technology to the service of people with disabilities.
Some examples of innovations in the service of disability
With the advent of voice technology, the web giants (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft) are taking full advantage of artificial intelligence, specifically deep learning. Operating thanks to an artificial neural network, this branch of machine learning allows GAFAM (Google and others) to develop intelligent assistants like Google Now, Alexa, Siri, Cortana to understand the voice of users and thus respond effectively to their queries. From the above, it can be seen that voice assistants can facilitate the daily lives of persons with disabilities in many situations. In practice, they allow you to associate a series of actions simply with the voice without having to move or manipulate the device. You just have to say, "Okay Google..." for example, to open shutters or turn on lights. By 2020, there are about 24 billion connected devices in the world. That's four devices per person. According to some studies, we should expect to reach 50 billion by 2030. This is a real explosion of technologies. A frantic race to the 5G is engaged by Nokia, Huawei and Ericsson who share the world market cumulating 60.4% of the world shares to them three.
With voice synthesis, you can now give voice to your websites, digital documents or mobile applications. Concretely, your textual content is transformed into more real words to promote accessibility. Phonetic transcription is a collection of application fields, including the vocalization of computer screens (screen reader) or web vocalization tools such as Readspeaker. In the second example, your online content is instantly converted to speech synthesis, giving access to seniors, the blind, the visually impaired and those with reading difficulties. Ultimately, speech synthesis technology perfectly meets the accessibility standards set by the World Wide Web (WCAG).
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New technologies have enabled the integration of automatic subtitles to help people with hearing or visual impairments. Two concrete examples: PowerPoint and Skype, as they will soon feature real-time, automatic subtitles. For example, Bill Gates’ firm is making a strong contribution by providing a solution capable of providing a written transcript (in real time) of the people speaking.
Robotics is an important technological asset, to ensure accessibility for people with reduced mobility, particularly those suffering from paralysis. The invention of external exoskeletons or skeletons allows paralyzed persons (lower limbs) to resume an active life.
This motorized prosthetic device, originally intended for the rehabilitation of injured soldiers, helps to restore mobility to people who have lost their leg.
Another example of paired walking: The Rewalk is a device that allows people to cover their legs and thighs. In addition to facilitating walking, the exoskeleton brings many benefits on both physical and psychological aspects.
Article By Karl Poire