Inclusiveness 4.0

Modern advances in technology make employment of people with disabilities possible beyond limits
Apr 1, 2019 11:55 AM ET
Blog

Modern advances in technology make employment of people with disabilities possible beyond limits

Climbing to the summit of Mount Everest—the highest point on Earth at 8848m above sea level—requires human beings to endure some of the harshest possible conditions and definitely counts as an extraordinary achievement. A successful ascent demands tremendous physical stamina and strong willpower. For Xia Boyu, a sixty-nine-year-old Chinese national who successfully reached the peak in May 2018, this was only part of the answer. What makes Mr. Xia’s story different is that he has no legs. He hiked Mount Everest on prostheses, in a clear example of how technology can supplement solutions where good will and good hearts just are not enough.

Leaving high altitude alpinism aside to consider the realm of employment potential for people with disabilities, there is substantial common ground with Mr. Xia’s story. What was deemed impossible for a person with constrained physical or intellectual abilities a decade ago is now an afterthought across many workplaces that hire people with disabilities. Armed with custom-made, built-to-suit semi-automated machinery or tools, people with autism, down syndrome, severed limbs, or eyesight impairments are enabled to produce high-quality output—at a reasonable price, good quality, and safe from any harm.

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