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How Technology is Enhancing Life for People with Disabilities, Part 2 of 2

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Today’s program features technological advances for those with mobility impairments. In the past, the primary technological solution was the wheelchair. While they do provide basic mobility, wheelchairs have several disadvantages, including their inability to climb stairs and their instability on uneven surfaces. Another major drawback is that they don’t encourage people to get back on their feet again. Researchers around the globe are exploring many alternative ways to help, including the use of robotics. For example, the French company, Wandercraft, is developing a robotic exoskeleton for those with severe ambulatory limitations.

However, scientists from Lausanne, Switzerland, may have discovered a way to restore trunk and leg functioning for people paralyzed from such an injury. The results were promising, with the study reporting that “Within a single day, activity-specific stimulation programs enabled these three individuals to stand, walk, cycle, swim and control trunk movements.” In other research, scientists are exploring ways to use AI to improve the lives of those wearing prosthetic limbs. One discovery can provide the wearer with a sense of touch.

Another disability that affects many people, especially as they age, is hearing loss. However, modern technology is making things a whole lot easier for those with hearing impairments. One advancement is the growing number of apps available for iOS or Android smartphones. Rogervoice, another highly-rated live transcription app, can transcribe telephone conversations in 80 languages. Other apps enable hard-of-hearing users to watch television or engage with other media.

For those who communicate using sign language, scientists are hoping to improve their lives, too. Researchers from several countries, including the UK, USA, and China, are developing prototypes of gloves that can translate sign language into speech.

Our Most Gracious Supreme Master Ching Hai (vegan), states that humans have made remarkable scientific advances in the past few decades and explains how this technological progress is related to spiritual practice.
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