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The Chicago Tribune has a great piece today how technological innovation is creating new opportunities for disabled people. And boy, are they:
“Sophie Prunty has a rare neurological disorder that makes it difficult for her to get around and communicate. But fastened to the front of the teen’s wheelchair is a computer that has changed her life.
Looking like an overgrown iPad, the touch-screen tablet allows Sophie, 16, to control devices such as a television and an MP3 player. Most importantly, when she pushes buttons on the screen, a robotic voice speaks for her.
‘She can hold a conversation, although like most teenagers she likes to keep it short,’ said her mother, Jody Prunty, of Wheaton. ‘It has opened up a new world.’
Technology is creating new opportunities for countless people with disabilities, and many of the latest gadgets were on display last week at a Schaumburg trade show, where the Pruntys were browsing for educational software.”
The article also touches on other factors that need to be taken into account: for example, they question how revolutionary these kinds of innovations are when the cost of such inventions only allow those who can afford it. There’s also the reminder that this kind of progression doesn’t mean that non-disabled people will be free from responsibility. To me, that’s not even a question; this technology isn’t to make non-disabled people’s lives easier, but to make disabled people’s lives better.
Make sure to check out the rest; it’s definitely an interesting read.

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