December 3, 2019
An Accessible Future Enabled by Wireless Innovation
As we prepare to turn our calendars to 2020, we can’t help but think about how much wireless has changed over the past decade. That’s especially true for technologies that have helped advance communications capabilities and connectivity for those with unique accessibility needs. It seems fitting on a day that we celebrate inclusivity and empowerment – the International Day of Persons with Disabilities – to celebrate the ways wireless is helping to enable a future that is accessible for all.
For millions of Americans with disabilities, wireless has been a critical tool to break down barriers to independent living, employment opportunities, and civic engagement.
4G-connectivity was pivotal in launching a wave of incredible advancement in wireless technologies that benefit all individuals. Wireless providers were able to deliver services with faster speeds and more capacity to enable voice, text and video communications – all revolutionary capabilities for accessibility. For example, you can now find hearing-aid compatible handsets nearly anywhere you look; you can talk, text, real-time text, or video chat with friends, family and co-workers; you can rely on wireless emergency alerts or (“WEAs”) to inform you of an emergency, and leverage text-to-911 in certain areas to reach critical services after a disaster.
Powered by 5G, the future of accessibility will be even more revolutionary. In fact, wireless technology is expected to change more in the next 2 to 3 years than it has in the past 10 years. Think of the last decade as being spent connecting everyone, and now with 5G, we will be able to connect everything. The faster speeds and lower latency of 5G will positively impact a variety of communities with differing needs and the industries we rely on such as healthcare, transportation and e-commerce.
Here are just a handful of the life-changing ways 5G-powered devices and services will make the future more accessible:
- 5G-connected self-driving cars will reduce transportation obstacles for the accessibility community and seniors aging in place, creating new opportunities for employment and civic engagement.
- 5G-enhanced geo-location and navigation technologies will make it easier for people who are blind or low-vision to navigate their communities, identify their destinations, find a seat on the next bus and more.
- Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence technologies can help the one-in-four U.S. adults with disabilities that impact major life activities by assisting with rehabilitation, pain management and improved mobility.
- 5G-networks will support more connected appliances and IoT devices that can automate household work and everyday tasks, allowing for greater personal autonomy for people with disabilities.
- And so much more!
How 5G will Benefit Those with Disabilities | T-Mobile
CTIA is proud of the incredible advancements the wireless industry has made to empower millions of people with disabilities and deliver Wireless for All. Follow along with us in the New Year as we launch the next decade of wireless innovation, powered by 5G.