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Fascinating New Technology Brings Independence to the Disabled

With technology constantly improving it is hard to keep up with all of its incredible uses. In 2013, a couple of devices were given to disabled people for trials, and the results were phenomenal. The articles I found show the power of trying something new, and being surprised by the results. This concept is frequently exhibited by the YMCA.

Both articles I found were on the news website Mashable. The first example of an incredible technology device for disabled people was found in an article titled Innovations That Changed the World in 2013. The device is a new concept that most of you probably have heard of: Google Glass. Tammie Van Sant, a woman who was paralyzed in a car crash 20 years ago, had been limited on activities that she could do on her own prior to trying out Google Glass. Google Glass drastically improved her quality of life by giving her the freedom to navigate on her own, take pictures, and talk on the phone. These activities may seem mundane to most people, but are quite an accomplishment for Tammie since previously she needed assistance with all of those activities. Read more about Tammie here!

The other article is about giving mobility to people who are paralyzed in all four limbs, formally known as tetraplegia. People with tetraplegia are very limited in mobility due to the inability to use their arms or legs. A new wheelchair concept, which is discussed in this article, lets the user steer the wheelchair using their tongue. In order to operate the wheel chair, the tongue is pierced with a piercing containing a magnet. The wheelchair user wears a headset that measures changes in the magnetic field as the user moves their tongue. In addition to steering the wheelchair, the piercing and headset allows the user to control a computer mouse, make phone calls, and play video games. Find out more about this new technology here!

I find it incredible how these new technologies are drastically changing disabled people’s lives. The things we take for granted, such as mobility, are a big deal to disabled people.  My hope is, after reading this article, that you take away two things. First, don’t take anything for granted. And second, don’t be afraid to try something new, because it can dramatically change your life.

Contributed by Meghan Ackerman, Marketing Intern

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