By: Victoria Johnson
ICT, opens up great opportunities to improve the quality of life of disabled or physically challenged people.
There is enormous potential for the use of ICT to help promote equality of opportunity for disabled people, through enhanced access to information and services, and improved communication. For example, screen readers or dedicated text to- speech software applications, which enable blind people to use other software, such as word processing, database, spread sheet and email applications, and web browsing software.
Some screen readers work well with Braille display devices to allow the output of on-screen content in Braille. ICT has contributed towards the greater independence of disabled people. However, only some of these developments have benefited this particular audience locally. This is because the new systems and products may not have been designed with the disabled or elderly in mind.
There should be a commitment to ensure that ICT, including generic software, web sites and e-learning applications, are designed with accessibility for the disabled in mind. This ought to be proactive means ensuring that accessibility considerations are of the highest prominence in specification, I development, evaluation, support and maintenance of ICT provided by-institutions for use by its people.
More Involvement is also needed in an ICT context, those involved in the project development for the disabled should create an awareness and understanding of the capabilities and opinions of disabled people so that they can respect ICT. For example, a positive action should ensure that disabled people are included in user scenarios and testing when developing specifications for a new ICT.
The ICT industry is to use inclusive design principles to create offerings that will be usable by disabled and older people are able to be creative in reaching out beyond their traditional customer base so that ICT equipment and services are available and affordable for the disabled. They should also make sure that staffs are aware of ICT solutions that meet the needs of disabled. Our ICT policy needs to articulate guiding principles relating to ICT and accessibility for disabled persons.
Strong partnerships and ties with public organizations are needed to help us assess the current, situation and identify the existing barriers, which disabled persons encounter when using ICT. The government needs to harness new technology to create a more equal society for all citizens and consumers.
In addition to making sure the local and national government, services are fully accessible and usable; it should provide a better funding framework for access and for the subsidy of specialized access technologies. We need to see change that can make a positive step forward, lo inclusion for disabled people and maximize the potential that technology has to offer everyone.
Assistive technology, also known as Adaptive Technology refers to technology used to maintain, increase or improve the abilities of individuals with disabilities. Assistive technology includes computer programs or electronic devices. It doesn’t have to be high-tech, but. It should serve the purpose of “assistance”.
These technologies are dedicated to helping disabled people overcome their disability and assist, them to compete in an even basis with their non-disabled peers in the work place.
Such technology enables people with disabilities to accomplish daily living tasks, assist them in communication, education, work or recreation activities, in essence, help them achieve greater independence and enhance their quality of life. One such technology is the Dragon NaturallySpeaking. This particular technology gives the use the power to create documents, reports, e-mails and more—all by speaking! Fast, easy and amazingly accurate, and is over three times faster in typing.
One just needs to use their voice to dictate and edit it. It is faster and fun as one can create letters, reports, and e-mails all by speaking. Just talk, and you can surf the web, open and close applications, even control your mouse and the entire desktop. Dragon Naturally Speaking is available for purchase online.