The world is currently undergoing a quiet revolution, a revolution that is changing the way we live, think, and communicate. This revolution is known as the Accessibility Revolution, which implies that technology has a vital role to play in assisting people with disabilities. The revolution is also based on the fact that the world is becoming more conscious to the needs of all, not just the majority. Companies like Microsoft declare that their goal is to become more inclusive and disability aware.
Accessibility, however, is about more than simple declarations. It’s about creating opportunities for all, while empowering abilities.
So what exactly is Assistive Technology?
Assistive technology (AT) is the process of taking cutting-edge technology and applying it in the service of people with special needs. It can be computer-vision to track patient movement, prosthetics that substitute a missing limb, solutions for visually impaired people allowing them to better orientate in indoor spaces, or mechanics that help people stand up.
We are currently witnessing a lot of accessibility efforts around us – companies developing innovative solutions for the visually impaired, and communication aids, improving people with a stutter. Just recently, Accomable announced its new vacation-rental market for people with disabilities.
“Accessibility allows us to tap into everyone’s potential.” – Debra Ruh”
Providing the equal opportunity for anyone to use a smart device was our vision when we founded ‘Open Sesame –Touch Free Access .’ Voice control is helpful to a certain degree, but it is not generally used extensively, and in any case it is limited in what users can accomplish – i.e. People are unable to partake in social media (such as Facebook and YouTube), play games, or use productivity apps (such as drawing and office apps). Sesame’s technology focuses on the user’s face through the front-facing camera of the smartphone or tablet. The user’s head movements control an on-screen cursor, allowing one to either tap or swipe, effectively making the entire phone or tablet accessible without touch. Sesame offers more advanced options as well, including OK Google integrated voice commands, helping to create even more user independence. Our users can download any app from the Google Play Store and use it with the same interface; no additional modifications are necessary.
Game changer for millions
This is a game changer for ten’s of millions of people with mobility impairments worldwide.
As reported by the U.S. Census, every 1 in 4 Americans has a disability. People with disabilities make up 20% of the population. 53.9% of those are school aged children, while 9.9% are aged 16–64. This large number means that, more than likely, you know someone with a disability, or have interacted with someone with a disability, even if you don’t realize it.
The world is constantly changing. Apps are already forming our lives and habits, as we enter a new era of connectivity. A new generation of innovators are setting the tone for tomorrow’s breakthroughs as inclusion and assistive technology becomes more prevalent in our mindset. The only question is – will we embrace the change – or not?