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5 Technology Advancements that Were Initially Intended for PwDs that are Now Common to All of Us!

By, The Say Foundation Team
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Technology has been advancing at a rapid rate, and it's bringing along a whole host of new devices, systems, and applications. But what many people don't realize is that some of the greatest technological advances were actually intended for Persons With Disabilities (PwDs)—and now they're common to us all.

Here are 5 advancements that were originally intended for PwDs but have become mainstream!

1. Voice Recognition

Voice recognition is a technology that was initially developed for Persons With Disabilities but is now available to everyone. This technology allows users to control their computers and other devices using only their voice. Voice recognition can be used to perform tasks such as opening applications, typing text, and even controlling the mouse pointer. 

This technology has made it possible for people with limited mobility to use computers and other devices without having to rely on someone else’s help. Voice recognition technology is constantly improving, and it is now possible to use this technology in many different languages. This makes it a useful tool for people who are not native English speakers. Voice recognition can also be used to control smart home devices such as lights and thermostats.

There are many voice recognition software programs available on the market, and they vary in terms of accuracy and features. Some of the more popular voice recognition software programs include Google Cloud Speech-to-Text, Amazon Transcribe, Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services – Bing Speech API and CMU Sphinx… just to name a few!

2. Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is yet another technology that was invented with the intent to help Persons with Disabilities but is now available to everyone. This amazing technology allows users to experience an immersive, three-dimensional environment. It can be used for entertainment, education, or even therapy. There are many different types of virtual reality systems available on the market today.

One of the best things about virtual reality is that it has the potential to change lives by providing new experiences and opportunities for those who may not have had them before. For example, people with autism or other social disorders can use VR to help them practice social interactions in a safe and controlled environment. 

Additionally, VR can be used as an educational tool; students can visit historical sites or learn about science concepts in a way that is interactive and engaging. Furthermore, therapists are using VR to treat patients suffering from PTSD by exposing them gradually to their triggers in a safe setting.

3. 3D Printing

3D printing technology is the third tech on our list that was originally made for the specially-abled but is now available to everyone. This technology allows users to create three-dimensional objects from a digital file, using a variety of materials including plastic, metal, and even human tissue. 

3D printers are becoming increasingly affordable and easy to use, making them accessible to more people than ever before. There are many potential applications for 3D printing technology. For example, it can be used to create prosthetic limbs or other assistive devices that are custom-fit for each individual user. 

It can also be used in the manufacturing process of products ranging from eyeglasses to medical implants. Additionally, this technology has the potential to revolutionize education by allowing students to print out three-dimensional models of concepts they are learning about in class. The possibilities are endless!

4. Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) too is amongst one of the finest technologies that was initially just developed for PwDs. Later on, the hype caught on with this amazing tech which brought in other interested users! This technology allows users to see and interact with virtual objects in the real world. Augmented reality can be used for a variety of purposes, including education, entertainment, and communication.

There are many different augmented reality systems available on the market today. Some of these systems are designed for use with specific types of disabilities, while others can be used by anyone. The most popular type of augmented reality system is the Microsoft HoloLens. This system uses special glasses or goggles to project images onto the user's retina. These images can then be interacted with using hand gestures or voice commands. The potential applications for augmented reality are nearly limitless. 

For example, this technology could be used to create an interactive map of one's surroundings; it could also be used to provide information about nearby businesses or landmarks; it could even be used as a wayfinding tool for people who are blind or have low vision. Augmented reality is still in its early stages of development, but it has already shown great promise. This technology has the potential to change the way we live, work, and play!

5. Spell Check and Closed Captioning

We all know how frustrating it can be when we’re trying to communicate with someone and they just don’t seem to understand what we’re saying. This is especially true for those who have difficulty speaking or are deaf or hard of hearing. But thanks to some amazing technology developments, there are now ways that everyone can better communicate, regardless of their abilities.

One such development is spell check. While this was originally designed as a way to help those with dyslexia or other learning disabilities, it’s now something that most of us take for granted. Whether we’re typing an email at work or sending a text message to a friend, spell check ensures that our words will be understood by the recipient. And for anyone who struggles with spelling, it can be an invaluable tool.

Another great technological advancement is closed captioning. This allows people who are deaf or hard of hearing to follow along with television programs, movies, and even live events like sporting matches and concerts without missing a beat (literally!). Closed captioning has also been found to improve reading skills in young children – so whether you use it yourself or not, chances are you know someone who does!

The Bottom Line

This article has been a great trip down memory lane. It's amazing to see how much technology has advanced in the last few decades, and how much of it was originally designed for people with disabilities.

We can all be grateful that these advances have not only made our lives easier but also made it possible for us to interact with each other more easily than ever before. Now, if only we could get robots to clean up after us… wishful thinking!

I hope you've enjoyed this article as much as I did writing it—let me know what you think via contactus@thesayfoundation.com!

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