A manual wheelchair sitting on grass

Tech and Disability News from Around the Globe - 2024-01-28

First Published: Sun Jan 28 2024
Last Updated: Sun Jan 28 2024

Welcome to the second Tech and Disability News from Around the Globe. 

For this weeks news we have everything from Stair Assists to new voices for Welsh children.

Remember if you have a story you think would be good here, please let me know at james AT angrybeanie DOT com

Mobile stair climbers for wheelchair users

Exactly what it says on the box. As much as we would like it to be, the world is not accessible. There are many places where, like the Daleks of old, we wheelchair users are faced with the challenge that is the staircase. Some of us are able to shuffle up and down on our bums, but this is both frustrating and humiliating.

Where I can see this being useful is for accessing spaces where it is impractical (either financially or structurally) to include proper mobility access. 

Unlock the everyday

Unlock the everyday is a "global campaign" to highlight the importance of Assistive Technology, especially for people in the Global South who don't have the same sort of access as those in the Global North.

The campaign is being driven by ATScale through partnerships with other NGOs such as Unicef, the WHO and the Walkabout Foundation


No that's not a typo. Rather its a new device that allows people to drive their tech using their tongue. Consisting of a pressure sensitive pad held to the roof of the users mouth by a dental plate, it connects to your devices via bluetooth. Because it presents as just another generic human input device, it doesn't require any new software to be installed.

Now it is important to note that this IS in Early Access, which means that it's not available for general retail, and given the vagaries of the bio tech sector, may never get to that point. So while it appears to be very cool, just be aware.

Welsh Children to get Communication Technology with Welsh Accents

Up until recently the only voices that Welsh children who use High Tech Communication aids (devices that allow the user to input text messages and have them read out by the device) have been able to pick have been either English or Scottish accented, and the only voices that could "speak" the Welsh language were adult ones.

With funding from the Welsh Government, 16 new voices have been developed that have a combination of male and female, child and teenager and English or Welsh language speakers. This means that Welsh children can now sound like Welsh children regardless of how they communicate.