Technology During Covid-19

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Technology plays a vital role in the world today. In the era before the coronavirus pandemic, technology enabled connections between people and access to information. Those technological functions have taken on even greater significance during Covid-19. In this article, I will discuss the role of technology in detail.

 

With social distancing recommended or enforced and many people encouraged to remain at home, technology can help time pass. This can mean something simple such as seeing what contacts on social media are doing. Or, using technology can keep us informed of the latest news. Technology also has the capacity to open up the world. An excellent example is this article from

CNN: “Google launches balloon-powered internet services in Kenya”.

As the article points out, Internet access can help people with communication. Using technology to communicate more widely also has relevance in the disability community.

 

It is truly amazing the breadth of technology available which can assist people who have disabilities. For years, I as a person who is blind have used devices which convert the computer screen into braille. Braille helps me concentrate because I do not need to rely upon computer voices alone when using a computer. Technology can also be immensely valuable for people with a variety of other disabilities. I recommend this article from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders entitled

“Assistive Devices for People with Hearing, Voice, Speech, or Language Disorders”.

The article makes clear there are a variety of technologies for a variety of disabilities. This includes people who have speech difficulty or those with hearing-related disabilities. I suggest that readers check in their state or country to determine what assistive technology resources are available. In Delaware there is the

Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative (DATI).

DATI offers equipment for short-term loan and assistive technology specialists who can help determine what technology a Delawarean with a disability might find useful. It is important to note that each person has unique technology needs. A technology product which assists someone with a disability might not be the answer for someone else with the same disability. Technology does not need to be designed with people with disabilities in mind for it to be useful.

 

Technology used day-to-day can be beneficial. For example, I use my Echo Dot from Amazon to catch up on the day’s news. Although I do not have the current Echo Dot generation, the one which I received as a gift in 2016 is sufficient. I also use the device to read Kindle books using Alexa’s voice. Due to coronavirus, I have not been to a hair stylist since the beginning of 2020. In may I purchased on Amazon

a body groomer for men.

The first usage was by a family member because I had so much hair. After about 45 minutes of use, all of my excess head and neck hair was removed by the device. It was such a relief to no longer feel and look like a gorilla! I encourage readers with an interest in technology, whether disability-related or not, to learn more about the variety of technologies available in the world today.

 

Question for readers: What technologies do you find useful in your day-to-day life? I will return next week with another article.

 

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