Travelling While Disabled: 3 Advances in Assistive Technology

Updated on June 12, 2020

If you have some disability that’s slowing you down and preventing easy mobility, you’re probably distressed because your travel plans may have been derailed by it. 

However, you don’t have to be cooped up at home just because of your mobility issues. Assistive technology has become so advanced that you can easily travel with minimal assistance.

Here are 3 advances in assistive technology that may help you to travel with relative ease.

1. Driving Despite Being Blind

If you’re blind, the normal implication is that you won’t ever be able to drive your car. This may suck, but it may soon change. An engineer named Dennis Hong is currently working on a new kind of car that may allow blind people to drive. 

The car works by using cameras fixed to various places in it to check the surrounding environment for the driver. The driver will also rely on sensory inputs “felt” by the car through the cameras that’ll be translated into sounds and vibrations for the driver. Though a working prototype is yet to be finished, this kind of assistive technology may eventually allow blind people more mobility and independence in their daily activities.

2. Maneuvering Around Malls and Airports Will Get Easier

If you need assistance going around public places, you should get one of the Rolstoel folding wheelchairs. The wheelchair will give you more independence and confidence to move around public places with little or no help. 

A folding wheelchair will help you immensely if you want to roam around malls. You’ll be able to window-shop easily like anyone else. If the mall has access for disabled people in its comfort rooms, you can use those comfort room by piloting your wheelchair into the toilet area.

The same holds true if you intend to catch a flight. Everyone knows that airports can be difficult for disabled people. But with a folding wheelchair, you can get your luggage and navigate your way around without help. Once you get to the plane, the airplane personnel can help you get into your plane seat and will fold your wheelchair for you. The folded wheelchair can then be placed in the overhead compartment for use when you get off the plane.

As you may be aware, wheelchairs are not just for the physically disabled but also for senior citizens. Seniors may find it difficult to move around but may need to travel anyway. One answer to their problem is the use of folding wheelchairs. It’s wise to get an electric wheelchair if, as a senior, you don’t want your caregiver to push you around the mall or the airport. Instead, you can just use the joystick to go where you want. The joystick will make maneuverability easy and smooth. 

Seniors can also use a Segway so that they needn’t walk around in malls or airports. This will make the experience less tiring and more enjoyable. You may also do your research about the most popular power wheelchairs to see which one is appropriate for you. Remember, wheelchairs have numerous features and the price varies accordingly. So, select the one with the appropriate features that suits your budget. 

Side view photo of old woman moving in wheelchair and looking at airplane through the window . Copy space in right side

3. Helping People with Hearing, Voice, Speech, or Language Disorders Travel

This category encompasses hearing, voice, speech, or language disorders because these kinds of disabilities may be experienced by a person at the same time. You may have noticed that a person with a hearing problem speaks differently from the average person who has perfect hearing. There are also some people who may have trouble understanding a language. A person who has these disorders needs assistance through assistive technology.

One type of assistive technology for people with these kinds of disabilities is closed captioning for TV shows and movies. This enables the user to understand and communicate despite being hard of hearing or totally deaf. The airport may rely on videos to make announcements regarding your flight at the airport. This means if your hearing aid doesn’t work, you won’t be at a loss by missing audio messages. Instead, you can follow the directions through the closed captioning function.

Final Takeaway

Disabled people and senior citizens are not second-class citizens. They have a disability that they need assistance with. The good news is that assistive technology has been advancing, thanks to various diligent researchers. If you’re able to use assistive technology to help you travel, that’s like breaking out of prison to enjoy freedom. Yes, there may still be aspects of travelling that you need assistance with, but at least you’ll be able to travel more independently. Your quality of life and happiness will increase with the use of assistive technologies. And your family will be happy with your new-found freedom. Therefore, you must explore various assistive technologies to find one that fulfils your needs.

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