Technology That Helps Travelers With Disabilities
If you are disabled, that shouldn't mean that you can't see the world. Unfortunately, there are still many challenges in finding fully accessible tourist options. In our vlog last week, safetravelRX focused on tips for people traveling with a disability. We showcased cities globally that are working hard to make it easier to get around. We offered ideas for planning ahead to ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible. And we showcased how the safetravelRX app can give you peace of mind. In part 2 of our series, we focus on five cutting-edge technologies that allow disabled persons to realize their next adventure.
1. OrCam MyEye – Visual Data Converter
OrCam My Eye is a voice-activated device that makes it possible for blind or vision impaired people to convert visual data into spoken words. It attaches to virtually any glasses and can translate text from a book, smartphone, or any other surface into an earpiece. For disabled travelers, it can be beneficial in many different situations, such as reading signs, restaurant menus, or getting information at museums. It can also translate text into other languages.
2) iBot Mobility System – High Mobility Wheelchair
Although the iBot wheelchair was invented in 2001, it has gone through several significant upgrades, which allow for even more user functionality. Built initially to climb stairs, the iBot can now also navigate through rocky and challenging terrain and even sand and snow. The evolution of this wheelchair now allows disabled travelers to experience locations that would previously have been off-limits.
3) Voiceitt - Speech Translator
Voice recognition software has often been inaccessible for people who have problems with their speech and motor skills. However, Voiceitt’s innovative voice recognition software translates unintelligible pronunciation in any language into understandable speech. Designed to help individuals with dysarthria, atypical acoustic control, and other speech disorders, the mobile application is hands-free and enables face-to-face, real-time communication with other individuals.
4. The Handy Bag – User-Friendly Storage
Many bags that hang from the rear handles of a wheelchair prevent easy access for the user. The Handy Bag Company has designed bags that solve this challenge. For example, their Hybrid Bag uses a holster-like system that is actually strapped around the body to enable items like a wallet, keys, or phone to be within easy reach. The Side Bag attaches to a wheelchair and is a little larger to fit things like a laptop. Because it connects on the side rather than the back, it still allows easy user accessibility. And the streamlined design allows passage through doorways because the bag is not bulky even when fully packed.
5. Access All – Accessibility App
Millions of places around the world are still inaccessible to people with disabilities. The founder of Access All, who has muscular dystrophy, is determined to change that. Her company’s goal is to connect everyone to inclusive and welcoming places through their app. Using their proprietary technology, they are mapping locations worldwide while also inviting users to participate by submitting their own reviews of sites they visit. The app not only identifies easily accessible areas but it is also building a community where people with disabilities can connect.
6. WhatsApp – Global Texting App
Sometimes texting is the most effective way to communicate with a hearing person or a speaker of a different sign language. While WhatsApp was not specifically designed for deaf people, it can be a helpful tool for them while traveling abroad to ensure that they can be understood. It's also free of charge to download.
So, while it’s still not simple for a disabled person to travel the world, it’s now possible. It requires much more planning, the right equipment, and technology support, but disabled travelers can finally take advantage of trips that might previously have been impossible.
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