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An iPhone is floating around stars above a hand with and orange and pink glowing background.

How technology saved us from a disability disaster

We love gathering and sharing stories about how to live our best disabled lives. Here's how tech saved the day for some of you in The D*List community.

  • How technology saved us from a disability disaster
    Olivia Shivas
  • At The D*List, we love gathering and sharing stories about how to live our best disabled lives. In line with our theme on technology and the internet, we have been discussing some of our favourite technology and accessibility hacks. But rather than producing another listicle of accessible technology - of which there are many of floating on the internet! - we instead decided to ask The D*List community how technology has saved them from a disability disaster. Here's what you had to say...

  • Tech Saves The Day Insta Replies
  • Image description:

    Instagram question box asks: How did tech save the day?!
    The following answers follow:
    - Honestly just the timer on my phone is an ADHD life saver.
    - My brain is [brain exploding emoji] so I'm always asking Siri to remind me to do things so I don't forget!
    - My partner needed to be rushed to hospital - a rideshare got us there faster than an ambo could have!
    - I love using the CCS disability app to find parking spots!

  • Share location feature

    The share location feature on my phone has been exceedingly helpful on multiple occasions… You can share your location with someone for a specified amount of time which means that you can move around and they can see where you’re moving as well. This is infinitely better than trying to figure out where you are with Google Maps and relay that information back to someone - especially if you’re blind - Áine Kelly-Costello


    While I had Covid the first time, I experienced a huge flare up of my existing conditions and eventually had a cluster of seizures after which I was so weak that I couldn’t even press the button on my medical alarm - oh the irony! It was late in the evening, none of my flatmates were home, and I couldn’t move to use my alarm or phone. I panicked a fair bit, that’s for sure - but then I remembered that Siri exists. I had never really used the AI for anything before and I didn’t even know if it was set up on my devices, but I gave the old “Hey, Siri” a go and she was there. I asked her to call an ambulance, and within half an hour I was receiving help. Let’s just say I have been sure to keep using Siri in case of needing another hand up from her - Cait Ruth Lawrence

    Apple Watch

    Living independently with a mobility disability I manage my life with precautions. I usually just hope on a wing and a prayer to figure how I can conquer life independently. Due to a lack of supports, I manage myself by organising, planning and picking things up - even putting on my own socks; some days can be easier than others. On one particular occasion, I thought I’d be alright getting ready for work, fed, showered and packed ready to go out the door - then nature called. Being in a rush, I slipped on the floor and I forgot to wipe up! Luckily, I had my Apple Watch on and could ring someone to come and help me up. Thank goodness I forgot to lock the door - otherwise no one could come in! - Elinor Niha

    Wireless in-ear headphones

    I was recently introduced to the world of wireless in-ear headphones (finally!) and my life has been changed! Taking phones calls handsfree means I can have a gossip on the phone to my friends and take work calls while also pushing my wheelchair. There's no need to worry about cables getting caught or trying to hold up my phone to my ear and ‘zigzag’ along in my wheelchair with one hand - which has led me to dropping my phone multiple times. If only I’d known how useful they would be earlier! - Olivia Shivas

    Charging my phone from my wheelchair

    It's 8pm, and I'm rolling back to my car after a big day. I arrive at my car, only to find the battery is flat. Adding insult to injury, my phone battery also decided right then would be a great time to quit on me. After briefly shaking my fist at the universe, I remembered that not only do I have a phone charging cable in my bag, but my power wheelchair has a USB port built into it! 10 minutes later (having asked a stranger to plug the cable into my chair, because of course the port was out of reach), my phone was charged and the AA were on their way to charge my car. Thanks for the tech hack, Invacare! - Red Nicholson

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