i3 - May/June 2018 - 49
By Anthony Maestri
CT R E P O RTS
Tech Companies Expanding
early one in five individuals today report having a disability, but this
number will rise as the baby boomer generation ages. To help this atrisk population address the lack of accessibility in the disability community, many experts have turned to technology. Tech companies have entered
into this market that represents $1 trillion in annual disposable income.
Google's recent update to
Google Maps allows individuals to now select a wheelchair
accessible route. It is tailored
towards the use of public
transportation in select major
metropolitan areas. These
hubs include London, New
York, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston and Sydney. It
includes information such as the availability of
wheelchair ramps and elevators on the proposed
route. This rollout is on top of Google's previous
update that allowed users to see if a location was
Airbnb has also made it easier to find accessible rentals. Partnering with organizations like
the National Council on Independent Living
and the California Council of the Blind, they
have released 21 filters that can help locate a
rental that fits a person's exact accessibility
needs. The filters let people search for features
like ramps, wide hallways and roll-in-showers.
Airbnb plans to continually improve and
expand the functionality of these filters.
AI Increasing Independence
for People of all Abilities
Artificial intelligence (AI) has become ubiquitous in the conversation about the power of technology to change lives. It also is being applied to
help seniors and individuals with disabilities live
more independently. The possibilities are endless
for a technology as robust as AI to positively impact the lives of people of all
ages and abilities.
Today, 5.7 million Americans live with
Alzheimer's and that number is expected
to more than double to 14 million by
2050. AI is showing promise in being
able to identify the disease before the
symptoms are obvious to loved ones. Machine
learning is being adapted to look at movement
patterns like pacing and wandering which are
indicative of Alzheimer's. The technology, developed by the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology's Computer Science and Artificial
Intelligence Laboratory, is being tested in an
assisted living facility in the state. MIT developed
an unobtrusive small white box that uses wireless
radio signals no stronger than Wi-Fi. These signals bounce off everything in a 30 foot radius and
can detect movements as slight as breathing.
Researchers at IBM have developed a language
processing software powered by Watson that translates complex and lengthy sentences into simpler
text for those with cognitive or intellectual disabilities. They envision the technology having an immediate applicability with organizations that help
high school student's transition to a college setting
by helping students understand complex administrative and educational documents.
Please join the CTA Foundation in connecting seniors and individuals with disabilities to
life changing tech.
Santa Clara, CA
Shanghai New International
Expo Center Shanghai, China
CT Hall of Fame Dinner
New York, NY
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Las Vegas, NV
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on CTA events,
or visit CTA.tech.
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enabling the CTA Foundation to help older
adults and people with disabilities.
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