Technology has shaped society into a compelling digital platform where everyone can buy almost anything, book a table at a restaurant, or even make an appointment at the simple touch of a button. It’s fair to say that the way people interact and engage with each other has dramatically evolved since the introduction of digital and interactive technology. But, ultimately, when it comes to thinking about the impact of high tech on handicaps, the general public tend to think of wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and earring aid. It is difficult to bring together in the same image a person with a handicap – whether it is mental or physical – and your preferred digital gadgets. The main reason for this obstacle of the imagination is that, unfortunately, digital devices tend to be advertised only for and by able-bodied and mentally healthy individuals. In reality, if you dived in the potential of digital and AI technology, you can rapidly understand how it’s changing forever the way handicaps are perceived by society.
Mobility issues don’t exist anymore
In a world where remote work is becoming the new workplace culture, it’s easy for companies to ignore everything about the handicap of their employees or contractors. There’s been an ongoing discrimination practice in workplaces, that isn’t a reflection of what the company thinks but of what the company can provide to facilitate the access to work for disabled employees. Small corridors and narrow rooms are difficult for wheelchairs, for example. The lack of specialized equipment on the workforce can impact productivity. But remote workers for happen to live with a handicap have set up their environment to match their needs. Similarly, the gaming industry can give disabled players their lost ability back, such as this Pokemon Go hack on your iPhone which lets you play in remote areas with a joystick. Behind a screen, everybody assumes you’re able-bodied.
How can blind people manage their household effectively? It’s a question you don’t need to ask anymore. They can now rely on the best of technology to ask their virtual assistant to come to their rescue. Siri has introduced the idea of audio command back with the iPhone4. But it’s truly the apparition of Amazon Echo, and the voicing control Alexa, that has transformed the lives of many people with a vision impairment. From getting the news to controlling your home appliances, there’s almost nothing a blind person can’t do with Alexa. Besides, a VA doesn’t need to know about your disability.
Autism is an advantage
If you think that working with autistic colleagues is difficult, you need to wake up to the reality of digital life. Interestingly enough, people with autism are key employees for companies that need to rely on long-term memory and high concentration in repetitive tasks. Programming solutions prefer to work with autistic QA testers, for instance, as these are better at identifying bugs and issues. Additionally, autistic workers are exceptionally gifted when it comes to thinking outside the box and coming up with creative IT solutions.
Ultimately, the 21st Century is the first century if the history of humanity where handicaps don’t need to be known. Our digital lifestyle paints a society that is more accessible for all.