Digital devices are everywhere in people’s lives, even for children and the elderly. This is an inevitable trend, powered by the internet. According to a statistic, 4.88 billion people around the world use the internet in October 2021 – that’s almost 62 percent of the world’s total population, and this number is still growing too.
Earlier, we studied that the elderly and the poor are the most likely to lag behind the technology, and yet we cannot change the trend to make it favorable for them. However, there are some efforts made for another vulnerable group of people, who are vision blind, hearing loss, or needy group, to access the technology and make their life easier.
This Australian startup company launched an app “BindiMaps”, which can accurately locate the user’s location and describe to the user where they are and what is nearby through a simple and natural audio system so that visually impaired people can travel freely in shopping malls. In addition, it can also provide the user plans the best route for the indoor space.
2. Be My Eyes
Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call. Since they launched in January 2015, more than 4,000,000 volunteers have signed up to assist blind and low-vision users. Be My Eyes users can request assistance in over 180 languages making the app the biggest online community for blind and low-vision people as well as one of the largest micro-volunteering platforms in the world! And this App is Apple’s 2021 Winner for Social Impact.
Jeenie is a modern interpreting platform that connects deaf users to a video/audio call with a live, qualified interpreter in seconds. It’s on-demand language assistance, wherever you are, whenever you need it. Jeenie makes it possible to use live interpretation instead of the sometimes-laborious process of writing notes back and forth, to give deaf users an on-demand ASL interpreter.
4. One degree
One Degree is a technology-driven nonprofit organization that helps individuals and families access the resources they need to improve their lives and achieve social and economic mobility. Rey Faustino launched a digital platform in the heart of Silicon Valley, providing disadvantaged people – new immigrants, the homeless, single mothers – with easy access to services that could improve their situation based on his own experiences.
Technological progress is inevitable, and we should follow the trend of making our lives easier and better, including those vulnerable groups of people, and working together to make everyone benefit from technology, not exclude any of them. Moreover, in the user experience design area, some countries have regulated rules to improve the app or web page accessibility, especially for those groups who have special needs. We also would like to see more companies consider those groups and design for them.
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