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Accessibility Inventions We Simply Cannot Live Without

Essentials for some, these accessibility solutions invite more people to take part in regular, everyday life.

Inclusive, accessible design is just that; it opens the doors to all. While these products and developments were originally created for people with disabilities, in truth, they make life that much easier for us all.

Over the years, more and more assistive technologies and solutions have evolved into indispensable everyday items. Take the dropped curve as an example. Designed to help wheelchair users navigate through city life easily and independently, dropped curves are now regular staples of urban living, helping everyone from stroller-pushing parents to luggage-toting travelers make their way from one sidewalk to another.

Here are some other accessibility inventions that make everyday living so much smoother for all, that they’ve become must-haves as part of an active, engaged, and social lifestyle.

#1 - Subtitles

Subtitles were originally invented to enable the hearing impaired to read the lines spoken by actors and presenters on television and movies. In this way, they could enjoy the world of entertainment, stay up to date on the latest news, and be able to keep up with water cooler chit-chat the next day at the office.

Today, subtitles also appear on all kinds of digital content, such as social media film clips and webinar broadcasts, as well as on screens at some live performances, and are translated into languages other than those spoken in real life or on-screen, inviting foreign language speakers to enjoy the events as well. How else would we know who died, got married, or is having a baby on our favorite telenovela?!

#2 - Alexa

Amazon designed Alexa to make it much easier for people to interact. "For a long time in speech and language, we said the ultimate application is when you are liberated from eyes and hands," Rohit Prasad, Amazon's Head Scientist, explained. That’s why Alexa was designed to provide useful services, such as turning on your lights, calling a cab, and searching the internet on your behalf, in addition to roughly 12,000 other available action items. It’s no wonder the virtual home assistant market keeps growing and enriching, with more and more competitors seeking to invite the public to speak up and enjoy swift solutions and easy interactions.

#3 - Automatic doors

Automatic doors, whether sliding, or forward-opening, were originally conceived to enable people with physical disabilities that prevent them from opening doors themselves, to independently enter and exit buildings and rooms, as they please. Sensors at the top of the entryway identify when someone is in close proximity to the doors, and open them accordingly, making it an ideal accessibility solution for people in wheelchairs, as well as for those who use crutches or have low muscle tone that inhibits their ability to easily and safely open doors.

Today, automatic doors are enjoyed by a far wider audience: those pushing strollers, carrying shopping bags, transporting heavy or bulky items, and even people who simply do not want to touch door handles, out of a fear of contracting someone else’s germs. The latter became even an even more pressing user demand in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

#4 - Tunefork

The Tunefork app was designed to offer an improved quality of life by providing those with hearing loss to enjoy an enhanced quality of hearing. Both of the company’s founders, CEO Tomer Shor and CTO Yoav Blau, have people close to them with hearing disabilities – Tomer’s father and Yoav’s wife. Watching them struggle with everyday activities, such as phone conversations, watching television and listening to music, motivated Tomer and Yoav to seek ways to improve the quality of life for people affected in similar ways. It was only after developing the app that the two discovered that Tunefork holds vast potential for inviting EVERYONE to participate in everyday listening and engagement, from tuning into their favorite beats and lectures, to hearing their loved ones’ voices over the phone through an optimal hearing experience that protects their ears against loud noises and their associated damage.

Tunefork can be integrated into any operating system and can optimize all audio content: phone calls, rings and alerts, TV shows, voice messages, music, video, GPS instructions, in-car infotainment, smart assistant response and much more. This way, anyone, anywhere, can safely experience sound like never before.

What are you waiting for? Accept your accessibility invitation and start tuning into life, with Tunefork! Download the app today! >>

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