Tue, Dec 21, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Exhibition focuses on devices to help disabled people

Staff Writer, with CNA

A recently concluded exhibition has for the first time displayed specially designed gadgets catering to the disabled, with hundreds of the devices aimed at helping them perform everyday tasks more easily and therefore live more independently.

Among the devices showcased at the fair was a hoist that enables wheelchair users to get up and down stairs by themselves. Another was a computer controller with an eyeball detector that allows users to select items on the screen simply by staring at them.

“If disabled people can take care of themselves, they will feel more confident and more useful,” Sleeve Yu, a disabled woman, said on Sunday at the Taipei World Trade Center where the exhibition was held.

Yu was a travel agency employee and part-time model before she was diagnosed with a mysterious disease in 1998 that left her unable to walk. She said she spent a year-and-a-half crying at home, but finally realized the importance of learning to deal with her disability.

Yu said she was pleased to see that many people were willing to come forward with creative ideas, like those on display at the fair, which would make life more convenient for the disabled.

“Sometimes it is just a small and simple idea, but that is what we need the most,” she said.

According to figures on the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics Web site, as of the end of September there were 1.07 million disabled people in Taiwan, or about 4.6 percent of the country’s total population.

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