Best Accessible and Assistive Technology
The groundbreaking work of engineers, scientists and everyday people has produced life-changing technology for individuals with spinal cord injuries.
AI assistants have improved the independence of some people who would have previously had to rely on families and carers for certain tasks. While there’s still a lot of work to do, some of the advances have been truly outstanding.
Cheap and Effective Solutions
From apps and computers to home automation and communication devices - there are technologies available to help with all kinds of everyday tasks. We’ve researched accessible products that are easy to use, give real value to the user and don’t cost a fortune.
Here are our top five picks for accessible tech.
1. Communication Devices
Devices that help people with reduced hand mobility to independently use a smartphone, tablet or computer have been revolutionary for networking - and they’ve played cupid in inspiring love stories.
Google Assistant, Alexa and the Amazon Echo are just a few of the affordable and accessible home devices that use speech recognition to type text into search engines and send messages.
Assistive products like Tecla help people with reduced upper body mobility to communicate and connect with the world. The hands-free assistant interacts with mobile phones, computers and smart home systems to support school, business and social activities.
2. Environmental Control
An Environmental Control Unit provides a hands-free solution to controlling appliances - including lights, fans, doors, window latches, TVs, radios and heating.
Environmental controls help people with SCI to manage the running of their homes. The system can be operated in various ways - from switches and chin controls, to suck-puff controls and even controls directed by eye movements.
3. Home Automation
Some insurance plans will cover this expense because it's a personal safety issue.
With this piece of assistive technology, all home appliances can be automated - even curtains can be controlled to open or shut at a set time. Once an automation system has been installed, it can be controlled with voice commands.
Apple and Google, along with many other big tech companies, are serious about accessibility and inclusivity. The iPhone has deep accessibility options for people with limited mobility, like touch range and time controls, voice control and compatibility with specialist apps.
All smartphones feature at least some customisable accessibility settings.
Apps like Wheelmap and Wheelmate are building awareness of accessible locations, improving confidence and social connection for everyone.
Finding cafés, shopping centres and train stations that cater for wheelchairs is a primary concern when planning a holiday or a day out. Wheelmap (iOS and Android) provides useful information about the places that do (and don’t) have access for wheelchairs.
We’ve previously covered the SCI Health Storylines app - an amazing piece of software that supports the recovery process of patients following spinal cord injury.
Microsoft is making amazing progress with accessible software for people with all levels of ability. The Windows operating system (found on most PCs) has a built-in voice dictation system, but for browsing the web, Dragon Naturally Speaking is recommended.
A voice dictation system is one of the best accessible technologies available. With a desktop microphone and an eye-tracking mouse system (run through the computer’s webcam), people with reduced upper body mobility have complete hands-free control of their computer.
How Aspire Law Helps People to Access Funding
What Kind of Assistive Tech can You Get with a Spinal Cord Injury Compensation Claim?
Every client is different - but we work through a process, starting with an assessment visit to your accomodation to recommend the types of Assistive Technology most suitable for your needs.
We give expert advice on maintenance costs and the lifespan of assistive products, storage requirements and any additional assistance and insurance that may be required.
Examples of the Assistive Technology we can source include:
1. Environmental control: Pilot Touch and Era
Environmental control systems can focus on specific assistance for the claimant by providing independent control over all facilities of a home - from illumination, to door locks and chair reclining.
2. Buddi telecare service
The waterproof, wrist-worn device automatically contacts a 24/7 call monitoring centre in the event of a fall and can open an audio communication channel through a button.
3. TEK RMD standing robotic mobility aid
To aid pain in the back, shoulders, legs, arms and hands, the TEK RMD standing robot is recommended to support greater standing activity and allow multiple levels for daily activities.
4. Segfree i2 and X2 wheelchair models
The all-terrain Segfree is controlled by movements in the rider’s upper body, which helps those who want to further develop their core strength and visit outdoor woodland areas normally inaccessible by other modes of assistive mobility.
Read our spinal injury client stories to find out more about how we have helped them with their claim.
We’re dedicated to offering advice and support to everyone affected by spinal cord injury. If you need further information on spinal cord injury legal advice, please give us a call on 0800 030 20 40.