The Advancement of Technology for People with Disabilities

Essay by rhillUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2005

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The Advancement of Technology for People with Disabilities

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, about one in five Americans have some sort of disability, while about one in ten Americans have a severe disability. With this many people in our country suffering from some sort of disability or impairment, the advancement of technology to help these people is a very big concern. However, just about seventy years ago, these very same people were cast aside and put in freak shows so that some capitalists could make money. With the invention, and the rapid advancement, of computer technology people with disabilities can now communicate and participate in activities that they were otherwise unable to do. For example, a deaf person can talk over the phone with family across the nation using a TTY phone, a blind person can send email using a Braille keyboard on a pc, a person who cannot control their hand movements can type using a laser that is attached to their head and communicates with the computer.

All of these advancements have happened within the last twenty to thirty years, but not without a huge fight. A fight that is still going on today by the disabled community for equality and freedom.

To understand how far back this fight has gone we must first know some of the history of the advancements, whether they be technological or just a stepping stone into better understanding of what these people go through everyday. For example, in "1817 the first school for deaf students in the United States was established in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1829 Louis Braille invented the raised dot system for the blind known as Braille. 1903 Helen Keller published her autobiography, The Story of My Life. 1929 the first seeing guide dog training school in the...

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