Technology has advanced mankind in many ways in the last hundred years, from the light bulb to cell phones, it has enhanced our daily lives significantly. Innovations in technology are expanding at a rapid pace allowing for more areas of our life to be done more efficiently. Functional purposes like heat and food production but also for leisure and entertainment. Assistive technology is the equipment we use to help carry out daily functions including vision, communication, and mobility.
Just like any other type of technology, there is assistive technology that can be used for recreation and entertainment purposes. The entertainment industry is growing more inclusive and accessible, so everyone can join in on the fun.
- Adaptable Gaming Controllers
- This year, Microsoft created an adaptive controller for Xbox. The controller includes a set of customizable switches and buttons, so the gamer gets to decide what is easiest for them and their needs.
- iPad Games
- iPads and tablets offer so many accessible apps, including games and puzzles. Many games on the iPad have the dual purpose of entertaining while practicing cognitive and motor skills. There’s a wide variety of difficulty and involvement levels. From idle games to competitive logic puzzles. These games are relatively cheap or free for download.
- Board games
- Brands like MaxiAids offer a large range of board games adapted for people with disabilities. Such as low vision and braille monopoly and tactile textured chess and checkers.
- Adaptive toys
- These toys can be used as both a learning device and entertainment, using large accessible buttons attached to your favorite toys. Remote controlled cars, a moving stuffed animal, or a speaking doll, the accessible buttons allow you to easily play with the toy.
- Outdoor accessible equipment
- Accessible outdoor equipment such as paddle boards, kayaks, hand cycles are a great way to enjoy the outdoors and exercise while having fun! FAAST is teaming up with the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association in September for a free event for people with disabilities to enjoy the outdoors and try out recreational tech. "Live a Day; Live your Life" will be at St. George State Park in late September and Manatee Springs State Park in mid-November. Be on the lookout for more information. Adaptive fishing poles, sports gear, and pool lifts are also examples of assistive technology for enjoying the outdoors with your friends and family.
- Accessible Art
- The arts have a way of connecting people no matter the language or disability, the beauty in art brings joy to the creator and the audience. Devices like the Bite Switch camera helps you capture and save your memories, biting down on a mouthpiece to take the photo. There are adaptive art supplies that can aid in gripping and balance for arts and crafts. Such as rubber grips, fingertip crayons, handles and dozens of DIY adaptive art supplies you can make at home. Accessible musical instruments are also to create your own music.
Assistive Technology can take on many forms from a magnifying glass to a Bite switch camera, helping aid us in our daily life. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses and enjoy life, and if you need help, there’s probably AT for that.