A new Guide on Assistive and Inclusive Home Technology claims that recent technological advances are creating solutions to everyday challenges for people with sight loss.
Launched today by Thomas Pocklington Trust, the cutting-edge Guide covers a broad range of high- and low-tech products used for a variety of activities around the home, from online shopping and reading to health and fitness.
Assistive technology is designed with the visually impaired user in mind, from sock-locks to peg your pairs together, to reading machines with text-to-speech software. In recent years, design innovation has made much mainstream technology highly accessible and inclusive, including fingerprint recognition to unlock your smartphone and washer-dryers with auditory feedback to confirm programme selection.
Modern smartphones offer much more than just a phone line. For many people mobile devices are becoming the single point of access to connect with an immense range of technologies including lighting control, object identification, writing, banking, shopping and much more. As app creators finesse the design of software, accessible home technology is becoming easier-to-use and more affordable.
The Guide includes:
- Hints and tips on getting to grips with technology for the uninitiated, including what kinds of products to purchase
- Information on available funding and a wide range of useful resources, both in-person and online
- A handy checklist and questions for occupational therapists and support workers to identify the needs of their clients and help plan a way forward
- A section specifically for designers, highlighting the need to work alongside visually impaired people in the early stages of the product development process
Looking ahead, Guide author and Research Consultant Jay Stow states: “With the rapid evolution of assistive and inclusive technology, it can be difficult to know where to start! That’s what this Guide addresses, and we hope it will be a great asset to technology users, professional advisors and designers alike. The Guide will form the centrepiece of an online portal with a comprehensive product database that will be launched in Summer 2017.”