Valley Life For All column: Everyday technology helps people with challenges

ByThomas L. Elston

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Alice Brouhard | Annie Uyehara

Editor’s be aware: the Put up Impartial, in conjunction with Valley Life For All, publishes a regular sequence about fostering inclusion.

How numerous periods have we seen an advert for Alexa: “Alexa, convert on the lights!” It is this kind of a easy machine.

But couple of of us have considered how this popular family merchandise and other everyday technology can be a match-changer for people with bodily and cognitive worries, or for these who want to age independently.

Alice Brouhard has an adult daughter with cognitive disabilities right after a ski accident at age 5 still left her partly paralyzed and with considerable vision decline and no perception of time. Brouhard is a self-professed technology geek, so when she read about Amazon’s Alexa machine, she was intrigued about how it could support her daughter, Kara, develop into more unbiased. Because of Alexa and personal computer purposes, Kara has lived on her have for 15 several years.

Brouhard, who gave a TEDX talk about how apps gave her daughter a voice, claims technological know-how has “changed by mild many years in the final handful of decades” to support these with disabilities and issues.

With Alexa and Google Residence, persons with worries can transform on lights, thermostats, and get solutions to inquiries both equally verbally and visually, for people who cannot read, like Kara.  Kara also utilizes Apple’s “Pictello” application for cooking and house chores or to build a tale that reinforces how unbiased she can be, Brouhard said. “Technology guides her daily life.”

Purposes like Apple’s “Reminder with Voice” reminds Kara to acquire her medicine. People today with dementia can use “Reminder” for the very same intent. A further app named “Nest” by Google Play, is a remote digital camera procedure that connects properties. Brouhard takes advantage of it to test on Kara, who has seizures. Brouhard thinks “Nest” can be practical for adult youngsters checking on older dad and mom with mobility challenges. “It could make it possible for more mature people to dwell on their possess,” Brouhard reported.

Know-how delivers aid to Brouhard. “A parent’s finest dread for a baby with a disability is what’s going to transpire to them when we’re absent. But we ended up ready to established Kara up with the technology that allows her independence,” Brouhard explained.

Engineering is vital as folks age in location at their households, she included. “It’s thoughts boggling how a great deal is out there to age in area gracefully with engineering. It can guidance, even enrich people’s life.”

We just have to cross the electronic divide, she states. “I taught a technologies course at CMC wherever I experienced a pupil close to 90 decades aged he took to it just fantastic. So any one, at any age — do not be fearful of technology.”

For more facts about obtainable know-how and applications, make contact with Alice Brouhard at [email protected]. Brouhard speaks nationally about the added benefits of engineering.

Local nonprofit Valley Life For All is doing the job to build inclusive communities exactly where persons of all qualities belong and add. Discover us at or on Facebook.


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