From screen readers and voice recognition apps to neurodiversity aids and pain management wearables, assistive technologies have the potential to transform the personal and professional lives of millions of people around the world.
Although assistive technologies are increasingly finding their way into mass market consumer applications, a lot of people are still missing out. Only 1 in 10 people in need have access to assistive products, which impacts their ability to work and develop long-term careers.
“Virtually everyone is capable of doing everything with the right tools and aids”, said Dr Nasser Siabi, CEO of Microlink, which specialises in assistive technologies. “We have to reframe the conversation about disability – there is amazing untapped potential.”
Empowering people to achieve their best
Artificial intelligence is the driving force behind many assistive technology innovations – from smart reading and real-time captioning to facial recognition and posture correction. Research company Gartner estimates that by 2023, the number of people with disabilities employed will triple due to AI and emerging technologies reducing barriers to access.
“Making your organisation more inclusive starts with understanding an individual’s strengths, skills, and challenges,” said Nasser, who is a founding member of the British Assistive Technology Association. “Assistive technologies can help to reduce condition related absence by 76% and increase productivity by 82%*.”