These Travel Technologies Are Helping People With Disabilities
Traveling with a disability is an activity that can pose specific challenges, making it so that affected people have to plan things carefully and be mindful of their limitations before going on journeys. Many manufacturers and engineers have kept these realities in mind and offered advancements to facilitate hassle-free disabled travel.
Wheelchair users often hang backpacks from the rear handles of their chairs to carry needed items while on the go. Unfortunately, those bags make it difficult to access possessions when people need them.
The Handy Bag is an innovation from Yair Zur, an Israeli designer and the father of two disabled sons. It lets people carry things with a holster-like system that keeps a bag secure but allows a user to grab items from it with the help of looped straps on the sides.
There are Handy Bag designs for both manual and electric wheelchair users. The Side Bag gives a person an alternative to hanging the carrier from the bag and has a feature that makes it stay thin while packed with items, allowing for easy passage through doorways.
Traveling with others can be frustrating for deaf people. However, the Unitact Vibrating Bracelet empowers them to use their sense of touch, combined with a messaging system, to communicate with one person or several.
Each vibration given by the accessory has its own rhythm and intensity, so it’s similar to Morse code. Users link a vibration to a message known to others. For example, a vibration consisting of three short pulses might mean, “Turn around,” while two long ones might mean “Look at me so I can sign something to you.”
3. Speech Recognition Apps or Gadgets
Some disabilities compromise fine-motor skills, making it difficult to write legibly or quickly. However, the benefits of speech recognition technology help people with disabilities by removing the communication barrier with translation software. Individuals with disabilities can have streamlined experiences while booking hotel rooms online, composing emails to learn more about accessibility at attractions, finalizing flight details and more.
iTranslate Voice is an app that detects what a person says and automatically translates it to the desired language. It can be helpful if a disabled individual cannot flip through a phrase book while in a foreign country since it supports over 40 languages.
Also, the Amazon Echo Dot is perhaps one of the most well-known gadgets that recognize voices. Many disabled people use it to enhance their everyday lives, and it could be advantageous while traveling too, especially when people equip it with travel-related skills before departing.
People who are blind or have low vision expertly use their other senses to skillfully weave their ways through crowds, travel around busy cities and do many of the same things fully sighted people do. Even so, unfamiliar environments can include obstacles that they cannot possibly anticipate without help.
In those cases, the sighted volunteers associated with the Be My Eyes app help through live video calls on smartphones. If a person needs assistance reading a street sign or a restaurant menu, for example, they can use the app to get help without disrupting a trip.
The Handy Bag mentioned lives up to its name by helping people carry essentials, but it’s not large enough to be a main piece of luggage. Plus, most duffle bags don’t have wheelchair users in mind.
The Unstoppable Gear Bag is different. Its long, slender shape is ideal for sports gear, and the wheels on the bag let a person turn corners, lift up the wheelchair to get onto curbs and move backward without worrying about the bag falling off or the mobility aid tipping over.
These purposeful tech tools and gadgets make it easier for disabled persons to travel — whether around their neighborhoods or on faraway continents — without feeling limited or overly stressed. They can be life-changing for people who love to stay on the go.