In todays data driven world people are figuring out how to use data for far more than just profit. Data can be used to help bring about change and encourage social good in our world. With so many new digital tools accessible for the blind and deaf we have mountains and mountains of new and important data on how this part of the population interacts with the digital world. In an ethical and safe way we can look at this information to help improve the lives of those facing such disabilities.
A company called Benetech is using this data to help improve services for those affected but such disabilities. However, ethical questions must be raised as part of the conversation. The same information that is being used to help these people, can also be used to hurt them. What safeguards are being put into place to help prevent such abuse? Is this not a question in big data as an entire industry? Yes, in some ways it can be seen as social engineering. But as long as it is being done responsibly following specific guidelines there should be no issue.
Historically services such as closed captioning and audio versions have been used to solve such issues related to content accessibility. The services still have a very large place in our society. However there are always new and innovate approaches that can’t even be fathomed prior to their discovery. As a result it is important to continue investing in those looking for such solutions. An example of this is the new app Braille Buddies that helps teach children braille through an android phone.
As we begin to learn more about how those facing disabilities interact with technology we can use this information to help. This information will allow is to greatly reduce pain points and increase functionality.