Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Global Accessibility Awareness Day (#GAAD) is dedicated to commemorating and raising awareness for the digital access and inclusion of more than one billion individuals with disabilities worldwide.
As someone who has Cerebral Palsy, assistive technology plays a major role in my daily life. I use my iPad every day to check emails, pay bills, schedule appointments and stay in touch with family and friends. Assistive technology has also allowed me to be more proactive with my medical care.
Telehealth has been invaluable to me since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m able to see doctors without leaving my apartment. I’ve seen my primary care physician and my physiatrist via telehealth. I don’t have to rely on my PCA to take me to doctor’s appointments if they are virtual.
One of the essential programs I use to increase my ability to access materials is Bookshare. Bookshare allows me to access thousands of e-books in an accessible format. Bookshare allowed me to read the same books as my classmates in school. E-books have allowed me to read a lot more than I could before. I am more independent and no longer have to worry about inaccessible reading materials. I don’t have to deal with bulky textbooks or have sections photocopied for me.
I also utilize Google Docs to take notes and write papers. In high school, I used Google Docs as my primary note-taking software. I no longer had to rely on somebody else to take notes. Google Docs also allowed my teachers to provide feedback on my writing. When I was a senior in high school, one of my English teachers provided feedback on my college essay through Google Docs.
In my life, assistive technology is beneficial. Without it, my access to the rest of the world would be much more limited. On Global Accessibility Awareness Day and every day, I am grateful for the assistive technology that allows disabled individuals to live more independent lives.
Aquino, Steven. “Apple Honors This Year’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day by Previewing ‘Innovative’ New Assistive Technologies.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 18 May 2022, https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenaquino/2022/05/17/apple-honors-this-years-global-accessibility-awareness-day-by-previewing-innovative-new-assistive-technologies/?sh=9e77a7578c0f.