Even in today’s inclusive culture, the disabled still tends to be pushed aside when corporations think of a new product or service to launch. While there are now a myriad of devices that help make the disabled lives’ easier, their everyday challenges still persist, and in some environments, they still face a stigma.
If you’re an entrepreneur who advocates for the rights and privileges of the disabled, you’ve gone to the right place. This article will help you cook up business ideas that will benefit people with disabilities, be it the hearing-impaired, blind, crippled, and others.
But first, let’s understand the challenges they face daily, as well as their most crucial needs.
Challenges and Needs of the Disabled
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following are highly essential for a disabled person’s well-being:
1. Healthy Living
Everybody needs and wants to live healthily, but for the disabled, access to healthy living isn’t always easy to reach. Some of them are unable to participate in a city or community’s health program or find the healthcare services that they need.
Disabled people also need to be active, and to enjoy wellness products. To obtain them, they require tools and information that help them make healthy choices and prevent illnesses.
Persons with disabilities are at a higher risk of injuries and abuse. Hence, they need to be taught how to stay safe, and what to do in the face of threat or danger. They’re particularly vulnerable to bullying, violence, and accidents. While it’s society’s job to educate themselves about the disabled, the latter still needs to learn how to defend and take care of themselves.
3. Assistive Technologies
Wheelchairs, hearing aids, mobility aids, and other assistive equipment are fortunately available. Even the most low-tech devices, such as a magnifying glass, can already change the life of someone with vision problems. But those with more complex needs will benefit from more high-tech devices, such as an AI tool that will facilitate communications for them.
Disabled children who cannot attend regular school may be eligible for the 504 plan, which lists the accommodations related to a child’s disability. With this plan, disabled children will be given the opportunity to perform at the same level as their peers. The 504 plan will allow them to use their assistive technologies while attending classes, and change up their plan if they’re taking special education classes.
5. Independent Living
To become independent, disabled people often need to modify their homes to make them safer. But household tasks such as cleaning, cooking, and maintenance may be hard for them. In that case, they may require supported living arrangements.
Business Ideas to Help the Disabled
Now that we know about their most crucial needs, let’s gather the products and services that will help the disabled access those needs:
1. Healthcare Facility
If you’re a medical professional specializing in disabling conditions, like an audiologist, for example, you can offer your services and make them easily accessible. You may sell your practice to a bigger company, and prepare your audiology practice for a business valuation to ensure that it’d be fit for acquisition.
2. Home Safety
Home safety equipment, such as grab bars, wheelchair ramps, and stair lifts are a genius idea if those aren’t available in your area yet. Research the most unmet needs of your target market first to determine which home safety equipment should you offer, because there are many.
3. Helmet for the Blind
A Chinese organization called CloudMinds actually designed this device. The helmet for the blind, called Meta, looks like a cycling helmet but equipped with sensors and cameras that transmit information to a cloud server, where an AI technology processes it. In turn, the information will be converted into speech. The helmet helps blind people navigate streets, recognize objects, and move through traffic because of the real-time information they are hearing.
4. Next-generation Hearing Aid
Hearing aids are nothing new, but the next-generation hearing aid, which was designed by researchers from Columbia University, doesn’t just magnify audio but also monitors the user’s brain activity. It allows the hearing-impaired to identify which voice they are focusing on and cancel out background noises.
5. Dyslexie Fonts
If you’re a tech genius, you might be able to create an app that changes an ordinary keyboard into a “dyslexic” one. This will help dyslexic people read and spell words correctly and recognize letters easier.
6. Stabilizing Spoon
People with Parkinson’s Disease struggle to eat because of their unsteady hands. By offering them a stabilizing spoon, they’ll be able to enjoy their meals without aid and feel more in control.
By being an entrepreneur that caters to the disabled, you can raise more awareness about disabling conditions, and help break the stigma toward them. Don’t stop developing your idea, because you are a beacon of hope to those that are suffering.