Disabled Americans Have Rights Too

Added 24 April 2018

Prosthetics for the 21st century

David Gow, inventor of the world's first bionic hand.

An episode of the BBC television programme called ‘Tomorrow's World' inspired David Gow to leave his job working for a Scottish defence contractor. Aired in 1980, the show featured scientists who developed electrically powered artificial limbs. It rekindled the early fascination with prosthetics Gow had developed as an engineering student, sketching designs for bionic arms and legs.

Fast-forward to the present, and Gow has made a name for himself as the inventor of one of the world's most sophisticated patented prosthetics.


Added 23 March 2017

Some good news for the hard-of-hearing
The Sound Shirt
The Junge Symphoniker Hamburg orchestra has a lot of ideas to bring music to life for people who would otherwise have little access to classical music. The musicians have come up with a revolutionary idea: a “sound shirt” for people who are hearing-impaired. (Video length 4:33)

This shirt expands your senses
You can feel and see the music. The intensity of the music is experienced through vibrations and LEDs. A unique way to engage with music - especially for people with impaired hearing. (Video length 0:48)

Added 3 February 2017

Brain-computer interface allows completely locked-in people to communicate
Completely locked-in participants report being “happy”
A brain-computer interface that can decipher the thoughts of people who are unable to

communicate could revolutionize the lives of those living with complete locked-in

syndrome according to a new paper published in PLOS Biology. Counter to expectations,

the participants in the study reported being “happy” despite their condition.


Added 1 December 2016

DynamicBracingSolutions™ is The National Network of Clinicians dedicated to a 21st Century approach to HOLISTIC bracing for neuromuscular disorders.

It is DynamicBracingSolutions'™ purpose to provide solutions to deficiencies in locomotion on an individual basis. Providing solutions that enable a person to reach their potential outcome. Rehabilitation is to restore to a former capacity; state of efficiency; condition of health or useful and constructive activity. The most important factor is caring to make a difference. DynamicBracingSolutions™ is really about people helping people to regain function otherwise lost to disability.

Unity of purpose is the primary motivation. Orthotic services cannot be separated from Physical Therapy services. Every member of the team is responsible to the goals of rehabilitation. The client is ultimately responsible for the outcome with the help of the team clinicians.

To enable the ultimate goal of efficient walking requires much more than making a brace for

a limb. It requires a greater understanding of the Individual in need. Efficient walking must be

planned. There are a plethora of issues that must first be recognized before they can be

solved. The bracing of the future will no longer just be molded materials around a limb ...

Read about it here:


Added 20 October 2016

Cybathlon: Battle of the bionic athletes
By Lara Lewington Presenter, BBC Click TV

10 October 2016
Competitors had to cut bread, unwrap a sugar cube and open a a jam jar as part of a breakfast-themed task in the powered arm prosthesis race

Bionic arms, robotic legs, powered exoskeletons, brain-controlled computer interfaces and supercharged wheelchairs - all took centre stage to compete at this weekend's Cybathlon.

Dubbed as the world's first "bionic Olympics", you might assume this to be a mini-Paralympics with some cutting-edge technology added to the mix.

But the focus of the event was less about athletics - and you could argue, less about competition - and more about what the future could hold for those with disabilities.

Full story:


Added 13 October 2016

Paralyzed man feels touch through mind-controlled robot hand
By Associated Press
October 13, 2016

WASHINGTON [D.C., we assume] — A paralyzed man is regaining a sense of touch while using a mind-controlled robotic hand, feeling subtle pressure in his own fingers when the artificial ones are touched. The experiment reported Thursday is an early step in the quest to create prosthetics that can feel.

How it works: Tiny chips implanted in Nathan Copeland’s brain are bypassing his broken spinal cord, relaying electrical signals that govern movement and sensation to and from that robotic arm.

Full story:


Added 10 September 2016

Surgeons use robot to operate inside eye in world first
British surgeons hail successful procedure to remove membrane 100th of a millimetre thick from retina. Professor Robert MacLaren praised the success of the world’s first robotic operation inside the eye.
Friday 9 September 2016 21.20 EDT

British surgeons have successfully performed the world’s first robotic operation inside the eye, potentially revolutionising the way such conditions are treated.

The procedure was carried out at John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, where surgeons welcomed its success.

Story here:


Added 2 June 2016

Sign Language Glove
Monica Lin(mjl256@cornell.edu)
Roberto Villalba(rdv28@cornell.edu)
 "A glove that helps people with hearing disabilities by identifying and translating

the user's signs into spoken English."


"We designed and built a glove to be worn on the right hand that uses a Machine Learning (ML) algorithm to translate sign language into spoken English. Every person's hand is a unique size and shape, and we aimed to create a device that could provide reliable translations regardless of those differences. Our device uses five Spectra Symbol Flex-Sensors that we use to quantify how much each finger is bent, and the MPU-6050 (a three-axis accelerometer and gyroscope) is able to detect the orientation and rotational movement of the hand. These sensors are read, averaged, and arranged into packets using an ATmega1284p microcontroller. These packets are then sent serially to a user's PC to be run in conjunction with a Python script. The user creates data sets of information from the glove for each gesture that should eventually be translated, and the algorithm trains over these datasets to predict later at runtime what a user is signing."

Added 1 May 2016

Blind Boy Sees Mom For The First Time, And It’s Magical (excerpt)
04/29/2016 05:27 am ET
Lee Moran
Trends Editor, The Huffington Post
It’s a heartwarming moment this mom will never forget.
Marquita Hackley’s son Christopher Ward Jr., who has been legally blind since birth, saw her clearly for the very first time.  
Christopher was born with optic nerve hypoplasia, which means he can only see objects from really up close.
“As a mother going 12 years with your child not being able to clearly see, I don’t really have words for it,” she told the New York Daily News.
Full story:

In this YouTube video [see link below], Shubham Banerjee explains his low-cost Braille printer created from Lego. He designed the printer at the family kitchen table in Santa Clara, an hour south of San Francisco. The idea is to print Braille reading materials from a personal computer or electronic device on to paper using raised dots. His startup, Braigo Labs, has received undisclosed seed capital from backers who think it could shake up the market for the visually impaired.



On this page we will present new technology of interest to the disabled community as we learn of it.