Google has many different technology products used by millions of users around the world. Over 20% of Americans likely to suffer from a disability during their lifetime. Now Google has vowed to make more assistive technology that can be used by people suffering from disabilities. The company recognises that people with disabilities are sometimes forced to interact and use technology differently. Some of the examples Google uses to explain how assistive technology can help disabled people include screen readers for the visually impaired and people who have motor and other movement restriction which prevents them from using a touch screen.
Here are some of the products Google has in the works to ensure that everyone can take advantage of the many benefits of technology:
- Voice Access Beta: This app lets people control their Android devices with their voices. The app is intended to give people who have a difficulty or an inability to operate touch screen smartphones better access to their Android devices. For example, people suffering from paralysis or who have lost their limps can command their Android device to “click left“, “scroll down“, “open messages” or “go Home” to navigate through their smartphones.
- Accessibility Scanner: A tool for Android that lets developers test and develop assistive technology and apps.
- Voice edit Google Docs: You can type, edit and format Google Docs using your voice.
- Vision Settings: These settings allow the visually impaired to customise settings like magnifying font size and display size. These settings allow disabled users to set up and use their Android devices from the get-go without needing the help from someone else.
Google has other assistive technology products out on the market and plans on continuing to grow this division of its business. Google’s commitment to make technology more inclusive will hopefully prompt other companies to make technology more accessible to users with special needs.