Being a ‘social model’ advocate I’ve spent a lot of time enjoying my differences (like having SMA) and educating society to remove disabling barriers. On the topic of empowering technologies, I do use a hoist, electric bed and wheelchair as enabling devices. Otherwise I’m very dependent on people.
More recently I have been thinking about all the new technology and apps and I ask myself: ‘Does it have to be this way’? In reality, I will need people around a lot (for friendship and fun if nothing else). However, with some innovation, I believe I might not need to be as dependent as I might have once thought.
In the true spirit and trend of ‘list’ articles, here are my top technology wishes. I’m sure some solutions already exist, in which case please share any links for everyone to see. (Also, I’m apprehensive of the costs, so if you’ve found any bargains or have any funding tips, please share these too.)
- Turning me at night – At present I need help to move and get comfortable in the night. Instead of waking my PAs it’d be nice to do it with a remote control. (Unless someone is in the room with other intentions…)
- Holding my urine bottle – Too many people have had to see ‘mini-me’. I’d love to have a wee in private.
- Bum wiper – Enough said already!
- Shower support – I like to sing, especially in the shower. It’d be great to be thoroughly clean and all sung out without an audience.
- Dressing me – I’m thinking Wallace and Gromit now. I’m not a morning person, and making small talk while having my trousers put on gets tedious.
- Lifting into wheelchair – Continuing the Wallace and Gromit theme, it’d be so cool to go from bed to wheelchair without assistance. Hey, maybe they could be the same thing?
- Support for arms – I used to be able to scratch my head by crawling my hand up my nose. My step brother and cousin still recreate the amusing tactic. Unfortunately the SMA has bit hard and I can’t do that. What if my arms were supported or my wheelchair had arms? The opportunities would be endless.
- Cooking food – Truth be told I probably have a good excuse with my disability to avoid this chore. What if I planned a nice dinner for my chef robot to prepare?
- Opening doors – this one’s pretty obvious. Something I’m going to look into at home after my accessible tourism roadtrip.
- Going on sandy beaches – Most wheelchairs don’t go on sand. Why not? It’s 2015. Invacare, Sunrise Medical and so on… R&D time!
- A flying wheelchair – Remember Inspector Gadget? “Go Go Gadget Wheelchair Helicopter”! Invacare and Sunsrise Medical, call me… This could be huge!
- Perfect and instant voice dictation – This will be more and more necessary for me in the future. I’m wary of getting started because I remember Dragon Dictate as a kid. It took ages to train my voice to the computer. Is this still the case?
- Stretch my limbs (carefully) – I always hated physio but I need it more and more. Roll out the robot physio…
- Mixing cocktails – This would be used by everyone – disabled or not. Mojito por favor!
Feel free to email me with your stories and thoughts at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Martyn Sibley is a blogger aiming to inspire, inform and change the world. www.martynsibley.com
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