Advancements in assistive technology are bringing enormous benefits to the lives of disabled persons. © Robert Kneschke, Shutterstock
The use of technologies for the inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities is not new – from the creation of Braille and the first hearing aid to the invention of the wheelchair. For disabled persons, new assistive technology can make all the difference.
To coincide with this year’s European Day of Persons with Disabilities (2-3 December) and the International Day of Disabled Persons (3 December), Horizon Magazine takes a look at how research, technology and innovation are breaking down the barriers to achieving full participation.
We reached out to Professor Eilionóir Flynn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy (CDLP), National University of Ireland, Galway, who is training a new generation of European researchers to respond to the challenges facing persons with disabilities.
We also explore how technological innovation is transforming the lives of people with disabilities. We find out how scientists working in the fields of neuroscience, engineering and machine learning are developing exciting new aids such an advanced visual prosthesis, or a bionic eye. We speak to researchers developing a smart computer interface that can help deaf-blind persons ‘see’ by feeling. And we also look at some new and exciting changes happening in wheelchair technology that will help improve mobility, safety and accessibility.
Researchers give voice to disabled persons
Smart tech gives a new spin on the classic wheelchair
Vision tech developments give a glimpse of the future