How ICT Can Help Disabled People

By Ollie Randall

Visually Impaired

Individual PCs can be equipped with software that power speakers that can tell you what's on the screen at any time. Braille keyboards have small bumps and each key that can be felt by the user so they know what key they're pressing. Braille printers are also available so documents can be printed in braille. These would be most suitable for people that are seriously affected by bad eyesight or are even blind. A combination of the two would be especially helpful for blind/severely visually impaired people.

The font of documents can be increased for the mildly visually impaired people and colours can be changed to form more of a contrast to the background, making the text stand out more. This would also be helpful for people who are colour-blind. The size of the whole screen can also be increased anytime to make viewing a whole page easier.

Auditory Impaired

If you are auditory impaired or deaf, most video sites will have subtitles to read. You could also use headphones if you are only slightly impaired as the sound will be directly transferred to your ear, rather than coming out of speakers which the sound may become muffled once it reaches you.

Most everyday computer tasks will not involve a great amount of listening, but if you are doing something like downloading/streaming a movie, make sure there is an option to display subtitles.

Motor Impaired

When motor impaired, doing everyday things like shopping and travelling from one place to another can be quite difficult. Most supermarkets have an option to have your shopping delivered to your door and they can even bring it inside if you can't manage.

If you want to go somewhere but no-one's available to take you, taxis, coaches and disabled buses can be booked online to take you.

If you don't have much/any movement in your hands and arms, a foot mouse would be suitable for you. By moving your feet along it, you can navigate the screen and click on things just as you would with a normal mouse.

If you are unable to use your arms and legs to control a mouse, you could use an eye typer. This device responds to your eye movement and can click things with a slow blink.

A puff-sip/puff-suck switch is a piece of equipment that is activated by breathing down a tube. Only specific software are programmed for this device.