Jean Twinge, argues that smartphones have destroyed a generation by creating an addiction that can cause people to become less independent, have trouble communicating properly, and. Although smartphones can become addicting the accessibility that it has created for those with a vision disability is wonderful and has made lives more accessible, made living independently easier on those with a physical disability that affects vision and has made so that the blind are now able to interact with the public in a more fulfilling, engaging and productive manner.
Although statistics shows that teens are less eager to drive, this does not show lack of interest in becoming independent due to smartphones but can actually be contributed to the fact that prices of driver education classes have increased and are no longer included in high school curriculum, this research is also biased by excluding those who cannot drive due to a disability. Smart technology has actually increased the amount of independence in those who have a disability. Smart homes have made independent living easier on the blind and visually impaired by being able to control a home environment by a simple and accessible phone app.
This technology can control lighting in the home, control heat and air conditioning and creating a schedule. Before the use of smart home technology, the blind population would rely on others help to place tactile dots around the home in order to be able to use some simple devices such as a microwave or oven, however, because of smart home technology, it is now possible to use a smartphone or other piece of modern technology to use these devices.
Jean Twinge observes that smartphones have created communication issues. However, for the worlds blind and visually impaired, population, they have created Communication opportunities. Tools such as screen readers use a speech synthesizer to be able to read the screen to users. Screen readers work by telling the user about what’s on the display when an item is tapped and offers instructions on how to navigate using vision. Braille displays can connect to a computer desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone, allowing a user to read the screen in real time by displaying an average of eighteen braille characters.
Braille readers can now use a braille printer to print off digital files using braille translation software to create printed versions of files that are not accessible auditorily. With braille as the only true written method of communication, you can get spatial information that is unavailable auditorily. Take Mathematics, for example. You can do multi-line equations that require you to look at previous lines. With a braille display you do not have multiple lines to work with, so cannot get a sense of where you are on the page.
Apple devices contain powerful built-in accessibility tools for those with vision disabilities, such as, VoiceOver, magnifier, support for Bluetooth braille displays and display accommodations that can make a screen easier to read with a visual impairment. Although the dot smartwatch is not yet on the market it is a great improvement to wearable technology, this smartwatch will connect via Bluetooth to any smartphone that is Bluetooth enabled, instead of using a screen reader this smartwatch uses braille allowing the user to read, instead of listening to a speech synthesizer.
However, this device only shows four braille characters at a time, so it is not as productive as an Apple Watch which uses a screen reader. In addition, smart technology has also made it possible for users with hearing loss to use their own hearing. A new startup company called HZ Innovations is working on making a device that can essentially function as a human ear for the deaf. It can record sounds and send notifications or alert to the users’ smartphone or another smartwatch about this sound, such as a microwave, smoke detector or the doorbell.
In addition, Apple has MFI certified hearing devices that automatically transcribe speech into text, hearing aid compatibility settings and is also able to switch between mono and stereo audio. Smart technology has made many advances to make the world a more accessible place, such as crosswalks that make crossing the street safer by using auditory cues and vibrating or smart devices that can be used alongside an already existing mobility device, such as, a white cane or be used independently to help the blind travel more independently with fewer run-ins with objects that they may have missed.
These are just some of the many ways that smart technology has been able to make lives more accessible. In conclusion, smart technology has made the world a more accessible place and the research that shows that smart phone addiction is easily debunked, because it is all correlation research and correlation does not mean causation, due to a logical fallacy, that when two events take place a cause and effect relationship is not established.