Least Favourite Word; All Technology is Assistive

Least Favourite Word & I’m not your inspiration
I don’t follow the Paralympics, I’ve never even seen an amputated person before. I don’t know how I would react to them, but it seems to me that ‘inspirational’ is a good word if you’re in the same shoes. Or similar shoes. We take it for granted that they suffered in the past without talking to them, maybe the person was born without sight and doesn’t even know what it feels like to be “normal”. As Stella Young mentioned: “We are not real people. We are there to inspire.” What she means is that we don’t meet a disabled person everyday, they don’t do ordinary jobs where we could come across. So people, focusing on the negative side of life, see only their physical appearance, and assume that the person must suffer a lot. I really liked another opinion by Jarryd Wallace: “When someone says they’re inspired by me, I don’t hear, ‘Oh, my gosh, you’re this incredible person,’” Wallace said. “What I hear is, ‘You’re relatable.’” Because that’s what they are, an example how one can shake off hardships and make a better life than they had before. Or an example what to do when you are as different from everyone else as they are. Overcoming obstacles and the constant sense of being difference one needs strength, what can be found in these athletes and their behaviour and point-of-view on the world can serve as a motivation. However, I agree with Stella on that society objectifies disabled people, makes them to serve as a counter perspective: look at them, your life could be worse. Setting very low expectations for them isn’t fair, just because they can’t everything a not disabled person can, doesn’t mean they are incapable of doing anything.

All Technology is Assistive
“But are you sure your phone isn’t a crutch, as it were, for a whole lot of unexamined needs?” This article changes my attitude towards technology; suddenly I feel instead of assisting my everyday needs, it rather creates dependence and addiction. But there were many inventions I really liked, for example the squeeze chairs. I’ve seen some in action, and I honestly think it’s a great idea. Not just for autistic people, but for people suffering from depression, anxiety, panic disorder, etc.

Design Meets Ability
This excerpt is describes an overall framework for understanding the role of commercial design in Assistive Technologies, how the objects should be designed for a person and not the disability. When we meet a disabled person, we shouldn’t just consider his difference, but his personality.

Function Exploration
Interestingly I couldn’t find an option in the settings where all the functions aimed for helping disabled people are listed. I found only one, adjusting the colours for color blind people. There are of course options to enlarge the letters, and the phone can convert speech into text. But these options are not in a separate menu point. And I also broke my laptop, although I would be curious to see the Toshiba options for accessibility as we explored in class the MacBook  ones.

Leave a Reply