For a long time people living with serious mental and physical disabilities had to be with constant care, the thought of living independently was impossible. ‘Assistive Technology’ is a generic term that describes anything which is designed to help a person living with a disability lead a normal life. Simple forms of Assistive Technology include hearing aids, wheelchairs, large print text and Braille.
Recently various companies have been developing technologies which can help people with serious disabilities to live with minimal care. These technologies include iPod/iPad apps that can open doors/windows, operate TVs/Radios, control the heating and turn lights on or off. Other technologies include computers which use a specialised interface that can monitor eye movements to make selections and write text.
Assistive Technologies are not only beneficial to users by giving them an independence which they wouldn’t normally have, but also the family and friends of the user are also granted peace of mind knowing that their loved one has the help they deserve. The council and local government also benefit from having assistive technology installed in certain homes as it reduces the need for around the clock assistance and can therefore ether assign carers to people who are in desperate need of constant care or focus their resources into other areas of local government.
Assistive Technologies are not just for the physically disabled, they can also be used by the mentally disabled, such as an old person living with dementia. They could have a system installed which will remind them when to take medicine and alert the authorities if a fire starts for example. The list of benefits from Assistive Technology is endless, it can have a truly positive effect on the lives of many.