There’s an assistive technology revolution underway that’s radically different from the rest. Already this decade we’ve seen a happy collision of mainstream consumer and disability tech that makes it hard to remember where we’ve been (speech-to-text once cost how much? Word prediction was AT only?) This time, however, the revolution is not about commercial products with AT potential (iPad!) or AT marketed to a mass audience (Amazon Echo!) In fact, this revolution has little to do with industry; it’s about geeks looking for projects that matter and people with disabilities empowering their inner geek.
Adafruit, an open-source maker electronics company, has even plugged AT making on their weekly YouTube show (Ask an Engineer). “When we started doing this Adafruit stuff,” Phil Torrone says, “we didn’t set out to do assistive technology. But, boy, it sure is working out.” Torrone advises his audience, “There’ll be people that you can potentially change their life. That’s a big deal. Not every hobby has that.”
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