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ICT has proven an essential part of our modern society, and now disabled people are becoming more independent and being fully enabled citizens in the modern information society due to ICT. I will be writing about John Patel who has the unfortunate condition of having to use wheelchair due to the spinal injury paraplegia, other wheelchair conditions could be amputation of both legs, acute multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy and chronic arthritic condition being just a few of the more common reasons.
Professional use of ICT
John Patel has not neglected his life due to his condition, but has tried his best to live like a normal person; with the realisation of twenty-first century ICT enabling him to do so. Mr Patel is a very successful newspaper editor for the paper Eastend Guardian, and has been given the privilege to work at home. As the use of a wheelchair is not sufficient for distant travelling Mr Patel use a carchair to mobilize, which is an upright fully functional wheelchair to comfortable and safe car seat, without the need to transfer the user or remove the wheels and chassis. For Mr Patel a trip to the local library can be very difficult as he might not have some information he would have at the workplace. Now, books, newspapers, magazines, films, music and software can be accessed using the internet without him having to leave his home. The internet can also be use to order taxis and send messages to people.
Personal/Social use of ICT
SMS (Simple Messaging Service) – SMS is a way of sending messages in a text form via mobile phones. As Mr Patel cannot get around very well this makes it easier to contact people such as family and friends. On a variety of operators Mr Patel can get an unlimited number of texts a month with a pre set price and makes this cheaper for him, also if he co-ordinates the operators with the majority of his friends and family he can get free phone calls to people with the same operator as him. This also cuts down the amount of money he has to pay out. The only problem that SMS poses for Mr Patel is that you cannot fit an unlimited amount of characters on a single message. Also it is fairly unfamiliar to him at the moment so it takes him a long time to type a single message also the buttons are very small on the model he has.
Internet – Mr Patel often uses the Internet for purchasing goods as his limited mobility means he cannot get out easily. These helps a lot with many supermarkets in his area offering home delivery and also have Internet purchase facilities. Also he can buy clothes on the Internet and gifts from the comfort of his own house. Another reason why this is good for Mr Patel is that often things are cheaper on the Internet than in the high street. The major problem posed by this facility is the unfamiliarity of the Internet but with time this can become a non-issue.
ATM Machine (cash dispenser) – This aids Mr Patel with transactions when he needs to get money out of the bank, this helps, as it is a quick and easy way to get his money out for whatever reason. It particularly helps Mr Patel as it means he does not have to stand up for a long time waiting in a queue because he can get it from the ATM machine easier and quicker.
E-Mail – E-Mail allows Mr Patel to communicate with his friends and family wherever in the world they may be. The messages that he sends are instantly sent and received; he can also send many of e-mails at a time and does not have to worry about how many e-mails he sends because they do not cost him anything. Another good thing with e-mail is that Mr Patel can send videos, music files, graphics and text. Mr Patel has already got the hang of using this, as it is very easy to use. The amount of characters permitted is not limited to him so his e-mails do not have to be a certain length. The problems that occur are that the e-mails can only be sent while he is connected to the internet which does cost, however the e-mails can be written off-line (disconnected from the internet) then sent when on-line, which only takes a few seconds and does not run up a very big bill.