The CDC estimates that one-fifth of the U.S. population has a disability. With approximately two million new wheelchair users each year, that’s a lot of people who work extra hard to complete simple day-to-day tasks. Fortunately, recent technological developments are on your side in the form of smart home devices. Let’s take a look at three of these high-tech tools and how they can be used to improve your quality of life.
Everyone can attest to the Echo’s ability to make life easier. As a starting point for your smart home setup, this affordable device makes any number of tasks a lot simpler by removing the need to use your hands; you can set times, reminders, alarms, shopping lists, and even search the Internet for answers to questions. All you need to take full advantage of Alexa’s wide range of features is your voice. Best of all, you can install several devices around your home to ensure she’s always within reach.
Operating curtains, blinds, and other window treatments is one of the things able-bodied people take for granted. If you’re in a wheelchair, it can be hard to reach the strings or twist the wand; this can be incredibly frustrating no matter what your day-to-day schedule looks like. In general, homeowners choose their window treatments for three reasons: decoration, function, or both. Motorized blinds can fulfill that functional role with ease, allowing you to set the brightness of each room with full control and precision — and all with just the touch of a button.
Many people living with disabilities rely on the help of personal care attendants, nurses, therapists, and housekeepers to assist them with their daily needs. Since getting to the door isn’t always an option, smart locks can ensure they can enter and exit, and are much more secure than keypads; thanks to an app on your phone, you can give users admin, guest, or temporary access, and can even limit the days and times they can enter your home. Smart locks also keep a log of everyone who has come into your home and when, so you can be sure there’s no funny business going on.
Living independently — and successfully — with a disability is definitely possible. If you’re willing to take advantage of the technology available to you, you’ll be amazed at how quickly and wonderfully your life can change.