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Accessibility and Technology for blind people

Blind person listening to audio book on his computer.

Talking about accessibility and technology, many people may think about the method of accessing something by advanced approach and innovation. For me as a person with visual impairment, this means much beyond what other people may have thought. These two simple terms provide a great opportunity to me; I can have a good education, decent job and live with dignity in the society.
There are many people try to define “Accessibility” and “technology”, but for me, these simply refer to ability to efficiently access some system or entity with in the timely manner.

After I became disabled when I was 12 years old, I had to adjust myself, get accustomed to daily activities, and learn many new assistive devices, such as touch typing, screen reading software, magnification tools, optical character recognition software, and so on. Apart from these high technological devices, the low technology or innovative approaches can also address needs of the disabled, such as the use of abacus to help with calculation or painted cards with animation for communication. In addition, we cannot rip the optimal benefits of these two terms if service providers and the disabled persons themselves are not aware of these advantages or use them correctly. Last, I would like to emphasise the importance of accessibility and technology for persons with disabilities along with the understanding of their appropriate usage in order to truly enhance the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in the inclusive society.

About the Author

Dr NantanootSuwannawut
Dr Nantanoot Suwannawut

Dr. NantanootSuwannawut is a researcher at the Bureau of Special Education Administration, Thailand Ministry of Education where she has been working on the issues of inclusive education and access technologies for persons with disabilities