Life-Changing Assistive Technology for the Workplace
Assistive technology plays a major role in creating an inclusive and diverse workplace. With the proper technology and resources, people with disabilities can work independently and efficiently. “It’s important to get the word out about assistive technology to employers so they know that they can hire people with disabilities and they can be just as capable and productive as any other employee, if not more. This information is also important for employees so that they know how the technology can enable them to do things that they may not realize they can,” said Patrick Andrade, Senior Assistive Technology Manager at The Chicago Lighthouse. The Chicago Lighthouse Tools for Living Store offers a wide array of resources and devices that enable people with vision loss to perform many functions, from computer work to hands-on tasks.
- The OrCam MyEye2 is the most advanced wearable device on the market designed for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. This small, lightweight device can be snapped onto any eyeglass frame and has many extraordinary features. It can read text aloud from any surface, such as a book, document, or screen, and can also recognize faces, money, colors, products, and more! The device also supports 19 additional languages besides English.
- For individuals with low vision, a video magnifier (CCTV) or a long arm camera can be used for tasks such as reading documents, writing, or doing tasks with your hands.
- Software such as ZoomText enlarges and enhances everything that appears on a computer screen and has the ability to read text aloud. Computers can be made accessible for people who are blind through screen reader software such as JAWS.
- Handheld magnifiers are also available, such as the Humanware Explore 5, which allows for up to 22x magnification and customizable enhancement modes.
The Chicago Lighthouse offers both in store and at home demonstrations for assistive technology devices. The Lighthouse is also available as a resource for employers to learn more about the options available to make their workplace more accessible for all employees. To learn, visit, https://chicagolighthouse.org/programs-services/assistive-technology/