It is imperative for people with disabilities to make their homes accessible in order to foster self-reliance and have the opportunity to live life as they choose.
Much to the relief of individuals with disabilities, making a truly accessible home has become relatively easier in recent times owing to smart home technology.
We no longer need to rely on disability-specific devices to carry out simple tasks. Today the Internet of things (IoT) and a smartphone offers tools that are capable of favorably revamping our surroundings.
These conveniences for people who have no disabilities can change a person's life in a substantial way. As is the case with several new technologies, smart home devices can come bearing a steep price tag.
Thanks to integrated systems such as Amazon Alexa, people with disabilities can now expand their smart home capabilities bit by bit, starting with what they need most.
Those who have a chronic illness or some sort of disability and have been thinking of transforming their homes into smart homes, here’s a list that should come in handy.
1. Amazon Echo
Alternatively, you can download the Amazon Alexa app on your handset and control your devices while on the go. You can use it to set alarms, reminders, timers, shopping list and also carry out internet searches and refrain from using your hands excessively.
2. Smart Lock
A smart lock is a relatively safer alternative to a keypad especially if you need to give a housekeeper, nurses or therapists access to your home.
A keypad lock does not divulge details such as whom and when used it, and changing the combination could prove to be laborious. Plus, anyone with bad intentions can easily get his/her hands on the combination.
The August Smart Lock, on the other hand, uses a user's smartphone as a key, allowing you to give others a temporary, guest or admin access, and even restrict the number of times and days they can have access to your home.
The app monitors who have entered your home and when by keeping a log. In case that you decide to stop someone from coming over, you can simply remove their access in a flash.
3. Smart Doorbell
Those who are confined to bed due to advancing years or sickness, or are unable to see out of their windows from their wheelchairs, a smart doorbell is an ideal solution. The Ring smart doorbell comes with a motion-sensor camera and shows who is at the door, allowing you to decide whether or not to answer.
4. Smart Thermostat
Smart Thermostat keeps your house at the exact temperature you want. This particularly proves to be useful for people with cerebral palsy as they prefer to keep their homes warm.
Changing the temperature isn't strenuous either. You can change it using your smartphone, even when you are out. The device allows you to lower the heat and save energy before heading out of your home and switch it back on as you reach home.
5. Smart Lighting and Outlets
Lack of visibility in your home can prove to be risky. You can use smart lighting to not only address this concern but also to enhance accessibility in your home.
With the help of a smart light bulb or plug, you can transform a considerably inaccessible appliance to a fitting that can be used with just a tap of your phone screen.
The internet is brimming with all sorts of light bulbs. Among others, Philips Hue light bulbs provide several options aside from just "on" and "off." They can change hues and can even be dimmed to decrease sensory overload.
The Mighty's Karin Willison recommends Philips Hue starter kit. You can start with a room that is currently least accessible or the one you use most frequently and gradually extend to more areas. You can also use a smart power strip to plug in multiple devices where possible.
6. Smart Curtains, Shades or Blinds
Operating curtains and shades can be really hard for individuals with restricted mobility. This is where smart window coverings can help. Some options include My Smart Blinds, Soma smart shades, and Slides for curtains. You can open and close your curtains using the Slide App.
7. Smart Garage Door Opener
Smart garage door opener allows you to open your garage from anyplace. It is crucial for you to first check the brand of your current garage door opener to pick a compatible smart add-on.
Numerous brands including NexxGarage, LiftMaster, and Chamberlain are compatible with most of the systems that do not come with their own branded smart add-on.
Smart homes can allow individuals with disabilities to live without needing a lot of support. Smart home technology will hopefully become more extensive and inexpensive to those who really need it most. If this comes to fruition, our world will certainly change into a more accessible place.
(Image Credits: paulbr75 / Pixabay)