Author: Michael Janger

Assistive technology is big business, which can only benefit people with disabilities (PwDs) – one of the largest market segments in the world. Yet, for all the research and investment into developing better assistive technology products, many PwDs (who I also prefer to call “consumers with disabilities”) do not feel the products fully satisfy the…

Read More Wanted: More Choices for Consumers with Disabilities

This week, my Facebook feed, which includes a substantial amount of friends who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, was full of chatter about the opening of the first Starbucks signing store in the United States, in Washington, DC. It is just a few blocks from Gallaudet University, where I teach. For those who are not deaf…

Read More Signing For Latte: Starbucks Marketing to Deaf Coffee Drinkers

After my last blog post on incorporating the input of consumers with disabilities in development of innovative products, I came across this timely and very detailed article: Autonomous driving is here, and it’s going to change everything. Self-driving cars will eventually displace manual driving, and as in the 1920s when “horseless carriages” hit the roads,…

Read More Self-Driving Cars and People with Disabilities

My wife recently sent me a link to this provocatively appealing Indiegogo crowdfunding project, named Titan Note. According to its developers, Titan Note listens to what is being said in a lecture or meeting, and take notes for you. Besides the obvious benefits to anyone of not missing out on lectures and speeches, a deaf student or…

Read More Awesome Cool New Stuff…If It Works

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As a resident of New York’s Upper East Side, I was very surprised to read Monday’s article on about local opposition to the installation of audible signals for the blind at Upper East Side street corners. While the article, also on Gothamist, pushes unflattering local stereotypes about my neighborhood, and the New York Post’s article is littered with awful puns, the more relevant discussion is why anyone here on the Upper East Side would be bothered about noise at traffic intersections.

Read More Crossing The Upper East Side

Sometimes, when people think of accessibility, they picture wheelchair ramps running up side entrances of buildings, on-board lifts on public buses, and large toilet stalls in many public bathrooms. If these features are usable only by a person with a disability, the wider community does not typically appreciate the value of inclusion for this person. If everyone else also uses this accessibility feature, it has two dramatic effects: it increases the market reach for the business that sells and markets this product, and increases awareness of the economic and cultural value of the disability market.

Read More Access For People Without (Yes, Without) Disabilities