Living with a Disability

I have a hidden, albeit temporary, disability that affects almost everything I do in daily life. My concussion has limited my abilities to read, exercise and socialize for the past five months. I am much improved now, but over the summer, managing my concussion took over my life, as I couldn’t walk, read, or talk to anyone without feeling very dizzy. Stuck in bed, it was often challenging to think of ways to pass the time. Many concussion guides online have great tips to cope with a concussion, but the paradox lies in that concussion patients don’t even have the capacity to go online and access those resources. These concussion guides also have very real stories and medical tips that can help a patient cope psychologically and thus heal faster – if only the patient could read them. I didn’t even know about Android’s TalkBack feature, which allows blind patients to use their phone. Such a feature could have saved me some agony and given me access to the online world, helping me in both medical and psychological ways. My point in writing this post is not to elicit sympathy, but to draw attention to the fact that not only is it important to make assistive technology, but to also make it accessible to those who need it. This includes the dissemination of information (ie making concussion guides available as books), or adequately publicizing technology so that those who are disabled can know about their options. Oftentimes, assistive technology seems to be purposefully hidden, which parallels the effect to which society attempts to hide their disabled individuals. Hopefully one day, assistive technology can be as public and glorified as technology for healthy individuals.

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