Typewriters: A device for vision loss

Close up of an old fashioned typewriter.Did you know that the typewriter was first invented by a woman who was losing her sight? This is a good example of how an invention for a disability can be good for everyone. The flexible straw and the touchpad are other such inventions. These are just three things in Kat Holmes’ book, Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design. You can read a review of the book published by MIT Press 
“Designing for inclusion is not a feel-good sideline. Holmes shows how inclusion can be a source of innovation and growth, especially for digital technologies”. It expands the customer base and boosts the bottom line. And this goes for any product or service, building or dwelling. 

Technology and smart cities for everyone

graphic showing hand drawn and coloured buildings in a child-like format.If you ignore the medical perspective of this article and the language, that starts with the title, “The future holds smart habitats for people with special needs”, there are some interesting ideas about smart cities and technology for everyone. The article provides some examples of how technology can enable the creation of smart living environments for people living a health condition or disability. The article is published in the Medical Futurist website, so the next step will be to have the journalist take a social view of people with disability. Special Needs? No, the same needs as everyone only designers aren’t inclusive with their designs. “Suffering from…?” No, living with …   “THE elderly”? No. Not an homogeneous faceless group. Need more talk of mainstream and inclusion instead of othering. However, for particular disabilities assistive technologies are necessary, but are often good for everyone.