Dec 03, 2016

International Day of Disabled Persons: A look at tech that's helping

The international day of disabled persons this year (celebrated today) talks of creating an inclusive and equitable world of persons with disabilities.

BYJayadevan PK

There are over 100 million people with disabilities in India. They struggle everyday to access the internet, financial services, television or even to communicate with others.
The International Day of Disabled Persons this year (celebrated on December 3 every year) talks of creating an inclusive and equitable world of persons with disabilities.
We’ve written before how difficult life is for people with disability in India. For instance, Nirmita Narasimhan of the Center for Internet and Society tested 18 government applications and found out that many of them are inaccessible. She also wrote about the moral and business imperative to make technology accessible.
Technology can be a powerful tool to fight disability, like professor B R Alamelu of Delhi University showed us. Over the last six months or so, we’ve covered people and technology that are making a difference to the lives of the disabled. This year, we hope to cover more of them (write to us if you have a tip). Here’s a quick look.
1. Aami, a haptic device for visually impaired

A group of makers at Bengaluru makerspace Hacklab has developed a device to help blind and visually impaired individuals read better.
The device, called AAMI, can identify words using its camera and reads out the text to the user. It provides haptic feedback and audio tones to alert the user about line position and ending.
2. Tiffy Template, a Rs 2 device to identify currency

New notes are out. Which means this device may not work as such. But a modified version of this device could help visually impaired people from getting cheated while making transactions.
3. Rise Legs, low-cost cane prosthetics

These prosthetics, made of cane, are changing the lives of many. When you think of cane, the things that immediately come to your mind are furniture and walking sticks. But that’s not all cane is about. Bengaluru-based startups Rise Legs, a part of Rise Design Labs, has developed different types of prosthetic legs made of cane.
4. Newz Hook, a news app for deaf & blind
Mumbai-based BarrierBreak is a for-profit social initiative that develops technology solutions to help people with disabilities live independently, and one of the company’s latest projects is a news app called Newz Hook.

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Jayadevan PK is a writer of FactorDaily.