A teen-ager in Melbourne is showing how technology can help improve the lives of the disabled. Bree Synot, a 16-year-old with osteogenesis imperfect (or brittle bones) used to shuttle between two wheelchair-friendly respite homes to get the caring she needs. Thanks to the support of the non-profit Summer Foundation, however, Bree has found a new home that uses internet technology to facilitate some basic functions and abilities that many disabled would otherwise have difficulty performing on their own.
As reported in The Age, “Thanks to her iPad app connected to her home’s locks, airconditioning and blinds, she could let visitors in without moving from her bed, the couch or her chair. On one occasion she was able to let a support worker into her apartment from her hospital bed.”
Indeed, the UK-based website, Disabledgo.com, which is dedicated to information on disabled people in the UK, cites a new report that says advances in mobile computing technology is giving the disabled more opportunities to find employment, as well as have better access to more products and services than before. As more businesses and individuals now make use of the Internet and internet-based applications and technologies, disabled persons whose mobility is impaired have better opportunities to work and interact with businesses and other individuals from the comfort and safety of their homes.
While the development of disabled-friendly devices and equipment still has a long way to go, advances in smartphone and mobile computing devices, such as laptops and tablets, have allowed many of the disabled to gain more independence. Internet access also has a lot to do with this development. Through broadband services, many homes now enjoy access to the Internet any time they want, which then gives way to communication with practically anyone in the world, and the remote control of certain activities.
In Melbourne, Telstra has been the leading provider of telecommunications services to homes and offices. Their bundled plans and affordable deals have made it easy and convenient for homes to have all the telecommunication channels they need at affordable rates, including home phones, mobile phones, and mobile internet.
Families of disabled persons who want their loved ones to have better access to the outside world while remaining safe in their homes may look into the various Telstra Melbourne packages that include phone lines and internet access. With these technological advances and the right support, persons with disabilities can find many different ways to optimize their potentials and their productivity.
(Source: Tech-enabled homes give people with disabilities independence, The Age, April 12, 2015)