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A man using a wheelchair tries out adaptive controllers to play a video game as another man watches and grins

The power of technology for people with disabilities

One of technology’s most fundamental purposes is empowering people to do more, and that’s why people with disabilities are often the ultimate early adopters. Those of us with more challenges to overcome in work and play may have more to gain by using newly conceived tools or even helping to perfect them. The stories below are about people on the cutting edge of developments in artificial intelligence, gaming, communication and more — all at the powerful intersection between accessibility and technology.

girl uses round gadgets with knobs and linked together by wires to learn coding

 

These curious gadgets can open a new world for kids who are blind

Students across the U.K. got to test this new way to learn how to code by touch. Now a nonprofit plans to bring this powerful tool to kids around the world who are blind or have low vision.

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New controller is making gaming far more accessible 

The Xbox Adaptive Controller allows gamers with a wide range of physical disabilities to customize their setups in whatever ways help them play their best.

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A girl in a wheelchair grins as she plays a video game, a crowd of other kids watching and smiling

A girl who has Down syndrome and her brother both grin as they look at a computer screen as they plan building a robot

 

How building robots together is opening doors and hearts

This extraordinary program pairs students with intellectual disabilities with other kids to create robots for a yearly competition. These teams develop useful career skills, empathy and, often, new friendships.

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Photo of man with his head resting on a pillow, smiling broadly

 

Man living with ALS can now work and communicate – all with his eyes

His business was booming, but his muscles were failing him. This data analyst didn’t think he’d be able to do his work again — until he discovered a new tool.

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How gamers with disabilities helped design this unusual packaging

The Xbox Adaptive Controller was designed for people with limited mobility, so shouldn’t the packaging be as easy to use as the device inside?

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A box is opened wide and flat, revealing an Xbox adaptive controller

A man who is deaf takes part in a classroom lecture

 

AI is making a big difference for students who are deaf

Joseph Adjei, a college student from Ghana who lost his hearing seven years ago, is using technology to help him follow classroom lectures.

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