Technology

Technology has been improving our lives for decades—especially in the realm of disabilities. AMS Vans stays up to speed on innovation, and we bring that progress to you in articles that reveal how designers and engineers push the envelope to improve wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Advances in technology have enabled AMS Vans to provide you with an easy-to-operate wheelchair accessible van that gets you where you need to go. In our Technology section, we give you the scoop on disability and accessibility technologies—emerging technologies, mobility equipment, adaptive equipment for auto and home, and medical tools that help people with disabilities live and work independently. We also provide information about organizations and assistance programs that may help you pay for this technology. Definitely a good read!

Aimee Copeland Is World’s First to Use State-of-the-Art Bionic Hands

Just over a year ago, Aimee Copeland captured the world’s attention after a zip-lining accident left her with a deep gash and a flesh-eating bacteria. To save her life, the University of West Georgia graduate student underwent multiple amputations to stop the infection. Now, thanks to the help of the latest technology in prosthetics, she can chop vegetables, pick up Skittles and fix her hair on her own.

The “i-limb ultra revolution” bionic hands are made by Touch Bionics, and run a hefty $120,000 each. The hands can be controlled remotely with an iPad application and a blue-tooth connection. According to a spokesperson for the company, the “bioism” software can be downloaded to an iPhone or iPod, as well.

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futuristic wheelchair

4 Futuristic Wheelchair Models You Simply Must See

Up until the present day, the typical design of the wheelchair models used by persons with disabilities has generally followed a somewhat dedicated commitment to function over form. From the introduction of the first lightweight, steel, folding, portable wheelchair in 1933 — a model known as the ‘X-brace’ — advances in the design and technology of newer machines have come periodically.

Factors in the advancement of wheelchair models — including propulsion method, control mechanism, and technology — are generally influenced by purpose and price. Newer wheelchair model categories include manual self-propelled, single-arm drive, reclining, standing, sports, and all-terrain designs that serve to enhance mobility freedom for their users.

As the focus on improving the mobility and lifestyles of persons with disabilities continue to garner attention, newer technologies and evolved creativity are responsible for four truly unique wheelchair models. Our post today highlights some remarkable wheelchairs — and how these designs enhance the mobility freedom of the people who use them. Continue reading

disability mobile apps

Top 8 Mobile Apps for Persons with Disabilities

When 12-year-old Alexander Knoll saw a man in a wheelchair struggle to get through a heavy door in his hometown of Post Falls, Idaho, he was struck with an ingenious idea. What if there were an app or website that could communicate to persons with disabilities which stores in the area had automatic doors? And from that simple consideration, an adaptable solution was born.

The young entrepreneur went to work, developing the Ability App — a free accessibility application akin to Yelp which helps people with disabilities navigate public spaces by providing information about wheelchair ramps, disabled parking, braille menus and more. One visit to the Ellen DeGeneres show and a check from Shutterfly for $25,000 later, Alex’s idea is on its way to completion.

In fact, mobile apps for Android and iOS smartphones are rapidly helping people with disabilities to find their way around the world much better — and helping to live better lives in the process. From travelling guidance to accessibility hacks — even personal dating — here are the top 8 mobile apps for persons with disabilities. Continue reading

physical disabilities

New Research Methods Empower Persons with Physical Disabilities

If you haven’t been keeping up with the latest advances in research for solutions to enhance the lives of those with physical disabilities, you might be surprised at what’s become possible. From improvements in prosthetic options to advancements in employment psychology, let’s run down the list of how science is working to enhance the lives of this unique community.

With the recent spotlight on physical disabilities — both from legal and functional standpoints — a great deal of progress has been made in improving capabilities and enhancing lives. The combination of science and technology has brought about advancements in both quality of life and the ability of persons with physical disabilities to contribute in the workplace. Continue reading