Google showcases Israeli innovation helping people with disabilities

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Google showcases Israeli innovation helping people with disabilities

Technology industry experts learn how firms from the Jewish state have been developing assistive technology

Israeli technology being used in the classroom
Israeli technology being used in the classroom

Tech entrepreneurs have heard how Israeli innovation is helping people with disabilities access today’s technologies, at an event at London’s Google Campus.

The gathering of industry experts last week, organised by charity Beit Issie Shapiro (BIS), learned how Israeli firms – and international firms based in Israel – have been developing assistive technology to “make things possible” through universal design.

The charity, which uses innovative therapies for adults and children with disabilities, described how many of today’s tech features – including vibrating alarms, touch-screens and voice-to-text technologies – were designed for people with disabilities.

The principles of universal access are now being taught at Israel’s most prestigious design courses, such as at Google’s 200-student Android course at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya.

Tech leaders learn of Israeli innovation at Google headquarters
Tech leaders learn of Israeli innovation at Google headquarters

Delegates also heard about an Israeli accelerator specifically helping firms develop technologies to assist people with disabilities, a world first. The work between BIS and Google has already seen the launch of the Sesame Phone, which works in response to head movements.

Other speakers told how robots were helping children with autism, and how wheelchair-users can now use smartphones to navigate their way around obstacles.

BIS director Jean Judes said: “Assistive technology allows people with a disability to exercise their rights and achieve personal goals of development and growth. There is a great demand for these technologies, and entrepreneurs who work in this area have the opportunity to reach a large market while having a significant impact on society.”

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