Tech and Disability News from Around the World - 2024-03-03

First Published: Sun Mar 03 2024
Last Updated: Sun Mar 03 2024

Apologies for missing last week, lack of spoons etc etc.

Lets see what we have going on this week

As always if you have any news, or recommendations for people, organisations, blogs etc to follow then please let me know at any of these:

Email: james AT angrybeanie DOT com



Threads: @purserj

Twitter: @purserj

Honda Rolls Out ‘Extended-Reality’ Wheelchair Meant For All (Disabled Or Not)

What do you get when you give an engineering and design team a brief for a wheelchair without actually including wheelchair users?

You get the Uni-One, a wheelchair and "extended reality" system that supposedly allows the user to drive like a Segway, gently moving along with a little shift of your balance here and there (provided that you've actually got the ability to balance properly).

Global South countries struggling to deliver accessibility tech benefits to population

One of the challenges facing countries in the Global South like India is delivering the benefits of accessibility tech to populations that simply cannot afford them.

According to the 2011 Census, India had 26.8 million disabled people, accounting for about 2.2 per cent of the population. However, experts estimate the number of people with disabilities to be much higher, between 100 million and 200 million. A report by WHO-UNICEF, released in 2022, revealed that access to assistive technology in countries like India can be as low as 3 per cent. 

So with what appears to be a massively under reported population of disabled people and even amongst the recognised grouping only a three percent cohort that can access accessibility tech, what can be done?

Nathalie McGloin: A Driving Force for Inclusion in Motorsports

Nathalie McGloin isn't letting a little thing like a C6-C7 Spinal injury stopping her from driving. Or in fact competing in competitive racing. With driving mods, an automatic gearbox and a custom seat insert she's able to take to the track and compete with the best.

Medicare to Cover Personal Exoskeletons

This of course is an American article, however the use of exoskeletons in the US seems to be increasing. They're transitioning from being rehabilitation tools, to home use where the user can do things like potter around in their kitchen without a frame or chair.

I really need to see what the situation here in Australia is. I don't think we're at the "hey you can get this on the NDIS and go for a walk around the block" stage yet. But possibly in the next years?