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The benefits of the internet

The internet opens up a world of possibilities for people with disabilities. People who can't speak suddenly can communicate all over the world. People that are not as mobile have unlimited information to explore.

Life is easier with access to information. You can better check if places are accessible before you go. Other people that have disabilities can even give you tips beforehand. If somewhere has particular access issues you can band together to push together for change at local venues. This is the basic economic rule of supply and demand. If enough people demand something, it has more chance of being done.

It gives groups of people such as those with disabilities an opportunity to work together and network. This gives us additional power if used correctly. It also means that you can be confined to a bed and parti

The internet is not fully accessible but life is better with it. If you own a website; read more about how to make websites accessible.
Posted at 27/10/2017 19:11:45 EDT 0 comments

YouTube and online video

Never before in history has the ability to beam yourself into people's home been more accessible. TV has been a barrier in the past but these days anybody can create a YouTube channel and share their story with the world. Even people that cannot talk can do this if they use text to software. If you are camera shy your vlog (video log) can be just seeing what they see. Some people may find this easier than doing a blog.

Sharing our stories is important to further normalize disability; we need to be on the same platforms as everybody else. However you should consider being entertaining if your goal is to be a star, add humour to your videos if you really want an audience. Perhaps find some locals to collab with, this can extend your audience. Alternatively you can also collab with people all over the world through video conferencing.

Reactions from the audience can range from viewing you as an inspiration to trolling you. As somewhat of a public figure myself I get more annoyed at the people calling me an inspiration, but I don't really get trolls. People can be blocked or the comments can be turned off entirely if the reactions bother you.

Many portable computers have cameras and mics built in or you can find a second hand one. You can start whenever you like!
Posted at 15/10/2017 00:57:29 EDT 0 comments

Automated Cars

The automated car could potentially revolutionize how people with disabilities move. Yes there are taxis but the technology promises to offer further independence which could be useful if people are visiting a special someone and don't want anybody to know. Taxi drivers also tend to gossip with their clients. While this normally isn't a problem; some people are anti social and really don't like talking to people. An automated car could have its benefits over a taxi driver.

However the technology needs tweaking, and not just the driving. There is the issue of tie downs. This can be automated but would require a mix of engineering and artificial intelligence. Of course it should not drive until tie downs are administrated. Manual tie downs are an option but this would defeat the purpose for people who can't do this themselves.

There's also legal obstacles in some countries they are suggesting having compulsory manual controls. This will obviously not work for people that have disabilities. I imagine this will be less of an issue when driving is more reliable.

How there are drawbacks to this technology. Car manufacturers must safe guard from hacking, errors from external vehicles and glitches. Hacking in the age of increased cyber warfare must get particular attention. There are ways; obey human instructions after the person confirm the instructions first and unchangable maps. However security holes happen all the time in computers; automated cars may be no exception and people governments and corporations to take care.

Automated cars have potential. I hope that I have raised some things to think about in the upcoming journey. Pun wasn't intended.
Posted at 10/08/2017 17:44:54 EDT 0 comments

Taxis: vans vs people movers

There are two types of wheelchair taxis. The first are vans with hoists at the back. These are obviously on the bigger end of the spectrum. Internationally I have noticed move away from these vehicles. For some reason New Zealand where I live has not got with the program, all mobility taxis are vans. It is also worth noting that vans are more useful for school runs.

The other common type are people movers. These have ramps at the back or the side; some may even have hoists at the back. Obviously the floors must be a good weight to hold the wheelchairs. These have a smaller initial cost but may wear and tear more than vans. Ultimately these would still appear a cheaper option.

Some wheelchair users would appreciate more space but to me it is more important to have more accessible taxis on the road. I also prefer cheaper fares. If smaller vehicles achieve both of these things I say they're the best solution.
Posted at 01/06/2017 18:51:42 EDT 0 comments

The future must be accessible

I was sitting at McDonalds and I wondered how people with blindness can use the automated ordering Kiosk; they probably can't. The future must be accessible to the maximum number of people. If this is not the case it is a wasted opportunity.

It would be cheaper to integrate accessibility in the start of your project but if the technology is in the testing phase you can program it later while asking what the accessibility issues are. Ensure your project is tested by people with a wide range of disabilities.

It is important to be as cross platform as possible when you create software/apps/websites. For websites specifically if you use things like flash or javascript/JQuery consider creating a plain text and image only version too. Click here for more website accessibility tips.

Future technologies must be accessible otherwise people will be left behind. If your competitors are accessible and you are not idea it could be you that is left behind.
Posted at 16/05/2017 19:01:34 EDT 0 comments

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