09 March 2010

Enabled and well connected

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The high-tech world is gradually catching up with those who have disabilities by providing assistive technology that delivers results

WHEN STUART Lawlor was growing up in Ireland, he had few expectations about the type of career that he would choose. Being totally blind from birth meant that it was pretty likely that he would work as either a piano tuner or a telephonist as these were two of the very few work options open to him as a blind person.

Today, thanks to the arrival of new technology, he is not only a computer whiz but works training others at the National Council for the Blind (NCBI) on how to use the technology of the sighted world and compete on equal terms.

“Without assistive technology a blind person simply wouldn’t have access to the world of work today. Such technology brings access to e-mail, the web and the mobile phone. It allows us to operate in a sighted world on equal terms. We can read an e-mail or text and reply to it.”

Lawlor says the fact that software can be loaded onto standard mobile phones means that becoming connected has never been easier or more affordable for those without sight.

(Irishtimes.com)

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