by Carrie Jade Williams | Carrie is an Assistive Tech obsessed person who recently appeared on the Guilty Feminist Podcast and has a Netflix documentary coming out about accessibility and assistive tech. She is 32 and living with a degenerative, neurological illness and relies on assistive tech to communicate.
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Assistive Tech is technology designed to make life easier for us all. As someone living with a disability, I rely on Assistive Tech to communicate. I am passionate about highlighting how technology can make life easier for everyone. Whether you are looking for a way to integrate assistive technology into your own life or are looking to make a project or workplace accessible to everyone, below are 10 recommendations to consider.
#1 Bring words to life with assistive technologies
If you are a busy mom or looking to utilize your time differently, being able to record notes or send an email without having to sit at your computer can save valuable time. Talk to text technology enables you to use your voice to dictate directly onto your phone or laptop (I wrote a lot of my novel from the shower!). Dragon is the PC market leader while both windows and mac have their own solutions. With a phone, headphones and your voice, your daily walk or busy ironing time, can suddenly become the time you send emails.
#2 Assistive Technologies can make life easier
If you like the idea of voice activated technology, consider making the full switch by using full speech recognition software. That way you don’t ever have to touch your keyboard again. Applications such as Braina and Voice Finger are worth investigating.
#3 Assistive Technologies help tired eyes
Try Text Mode App, as it makes screen reading easier. F.lux limits the amount of damaging blue light emitted from your screens. While EyeCare reminds you every 20 minutes to take a small eye break from staring at a screen.
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#4 Want help to focus throughout the day?
Notability App is a great way to capture your ideas as they come to you. Brili.com allows parents and caregivers to create visual to-do lists for children and it is a fun way to organize the family.
#5 Looking to organize your ideas better?
There are lots of Assistive Technology options to organize your thoughts on a screen. Inspiration-at.com is great for those who like a visual mindmap (kidspiration maps is the version designed for younger visual learners). Ideamapper.com is also great especially as it has a 3D option. If you want to integrate talk-to-text, mindmeister.com allows you to use your voice to capture and share ideas visually.
#6 Losing Post-It Notes?
If you are able to physically write, but are always losing post-it notes consider a switch to a Remarkable Pad. This is the thinnest tablet on the market and the only one that feels just like writing on paper. You can write all of your notes, ideas, and projects on this one tablet. It integrates with popular document software like Google Docs and it saves all of your notes as a PDF. You can even write in handwriting and it will turn that into text.
#7 Screen Readers
These pieces of technology read out anything on a screen. If you are looking to ensure a work project is accessible, ensure your website is readable with a screen reader. This is an important starting point. Learningally is a great option for human-style, read out loud options, for children and students.
#8 Read a lot? Smart pens are worth the investment
Scanningpens.co.uk is arguably one of the best- it will read the words on a page in a portable fashion. They can even be used by students, as there is a data protected exam feature. Livescribe is also another alternative.
#9 Read and Study Software
Beelinereader adds color to words for easy reading. While Rewordify explains challenge words in real time. Mercury Reader makes articles cleaner and less distracting to our brains. There is also Focus and Read, which is designed to make digital reading easier to focus on; there is now a tech solution to make your life easier.
#10 Charitable ways to spend less time on technology
I am extremely grateful for technology, as it gives me the power to communicate. But we are all looking to spend less time staring at screens. Forest App plants a tree for time spent away from your tech which can be a motivator! Wysa.io is also a great tool for mental health support.
Assistive Technologies have the power to remove stress from everyone’s lives. The more we all use them, the more we normalize the technology that some people, like me, rely on. Assistive Technologies are no longer just for those within the disability community. It can change everyone’s life by making life easier, simpler and less stressful.