The internet has become a basic part of our daily lives. It is a rich source of discussion, fun, facts, and community that is home to an endless number of ways to kill boredom and share thoughts. The internet has helped people make their lives easier as it enables communication, easy access to online services, the ability to work at home, and improved access to education.
For many people, including people with disabilities, the internet has proven to be truly life-changing. If you wonder how the internet has become a life-changer for people with disabilities, keep reading the article.
Below are five ways in which the internet has helped people with disabilities:
1. Online support groups
The internet has provided space for people with disabilities to form communities of people sharing similar problems online. People with disabilities have formed communities where they can interact, share their problems, and encourage one another. The online support groups created by people with disabilities help them connect and help them navigate through life. Given the availability of the internet throughout the world, people with disabilities can connect globally and feel at ease because they are not alone. People with disabilities have also formed online organizations to create awareness of different types of disabilities and fight for the rights of people with disabilities all over the world. Other online organizations are designed to help reach out to people with disabilities living in poverty and no access to adequate healthcare services.
The internet has created the possibilities for people to communicate globally, which would have otherwise not been possible. Growth in technology and the advent of the internet provides endless opportunities for communication among people with disabilities. For example, individuals with hearing loss disability can communicate through emails, text messages, or other social media platforms through writing. Also, with specialized technology, some apps such as Instagram have on-screen text and commands read aloud to enable the users to use the services without being dependent on sight, which is advantageous to people with vision loss. People with disabilities can engage in virtual meetings, which would have otherwise not been possible without the internet. The internet enables people with disabilities to communicate effectively using communication gadgets that meet their needs. For instance, hearing loss people can have their gadgets translate the speech to text, while those with vision loss can have all the information translated into audio. People with physical disabilities, on the other hand, can sit in the comfort of their homes as they follow through the meeting proceedings.
3. Increased chances of employment
The internet has made it possible to work virtually from home. People with disabilities are taking advantage of the internet's presence to apply for jobs that do not require the individual's physical presence in the workplace. Fear of stigmatization and discrimination has seen most of the people with disabilities not enter the job market. However, the internet has made it possible for them to apply for the numerous jobs requiring internet use from the comfort of their homes. Additionally, the internet has created room for people with disabilities to create job opportunities for themselves. For instance, YouTube pays people for their content, and people with disabilities are not limited to creating content such as documenting their daily life.
4. Ease of learning
The internet has become a fundamental factor in education. The internet has provided people with disabilities access to learning materials in the comfort of their homes. Additionally, some technologies have been devised specifically to enable learning among people with different types of disabilities. The internet enables the learners to proofread their essays using text-to-speech. There is also a voice recognition software that allows students to fully express their ideas, helping people with cognitive and learning disabilities. Individuals with low vision disabilities are not left behind as the internet allows them to access learning materials online. The materials are then fed to the optical scanners that can read printed material and store them electronically on computers. The materials can be read using speech synthesis or printed using Braille translation software and Braille printers. People with physical disabilities can learn in their homes' comfort as long as they have access to the internet. Online courses have become prevalent in the contemporary world, enabling people with disabilities to learn from home. This makes it possible for people with disabilities to be on the same level as their peers in education.
5. Access to services
The internet has made it possible for people to access services through online platforms, and people with disabilities are no exception. People with disabilities can access all kinds of services from the comfort of their home, such as banking and shopping, including food and groceries, among other essential items. People with disabilities are taking advantage of the benefits brough by internet, ordering products and services online so that everything gets delivered to their doorstep. Just a tap on their communication gadgets and the services are delivered. Accessing information has become easier, so even if someone does not have the physical ability to find the information, they can find it online. Government services directed towards people with disabilities have been available online, and people with disabilities can access them without visiting government offices. Information can be sent through email or made available on the government website.
The internet has created endless opportunities for people living with disabilities. Everything has been made easier from communication, learning, employment access, access to services, and networking through online support groups. With the internet, people with disabilities feel a part of the world, which was initially absent. Therefore, the internet has helped people with disabilities in many ways.