From my point of view: Views from our voice activation analyst.

13/07/2016 Edited by Mike Taylor Senior Accessibility Analyst (DAC.)

Introduction

Welcome to the third post in our series of ‘my point of view’. The point of this series is to give a true indication of how we believe society and the technological advances have improved our lives. Our post this week has some comments from our voice activation analyst.

During my lifetime I have seen technology move on in leaps and bounds. Without these developments I would not have been able to achieve what I have in my life so far. Technology meaning computers, has allowed me to do my GCSE’s, A-levels and do my degree. Without computers I would not have been able to do these due to the amount of writing that would be required, as I have difficulty writing because of my disability.

Unfortunately voice activation software was not up to the standard that it is today, meaning that I was not able to use it at a time when it would have been the most useful. As a result I had to build up my skills using a computer without assistive technology doing such things as learning to touch type, and learning to use an ergonomic mouse. Even if voice activation software was up to the standard that it is now, I would not have been able to use it for the majority of my education. This is because my primary and secondary schools were both welsh medium, meaning that most of my education was in welsh, and As things stand currently there is very little welsh language support in the assistive technology world.

Increasingly we are living in a digital era, where more and more of our lives involve the internet and technology. This has allowed me greater freedom and control, as it allows me to do things such as shopping and banking from the comfort of my own home, instead of braving it in all weathers to do so. Also this means that planning a day out becomes less daunting as less phone calls are required to find out about the facilities for people with disabilities, (so long as the information is accurate and the facilities are usable.)

We are living in the 21st century, where things keep changing and progressing more and more each day. Yet still the progress of how disability is viewed is going slow. Things such as the Paralympics have brought disability to the forefront with increased awareness of it, but from my experience people’s views still have not changed. I go through town and still get stared at for being in a wheelchair, and on occasion I still get people talking loudly and slowly to me. Things have come so far, but from what I can see they have a long way to go.