Mobility impairments range in effect and severity. Some individuals experience difficulty with stamina or fine motor skills, while others may be unable to walk or be completely paralyzed. Mobility impairment can come from conditions present at birth, from an injury, or from an illness. With the proper resources and attention there is no reason those who are mobility challenged should not be able to lead lives that are similar or identical to anyone without a physical handicap.
Benefits of Audiobooks
The benefits of audiobooks are endless. Whether young or old, typical or differently-abled, for those experiencing mental, emotional, or physical challenges, audiobooks are proven to have beneficial effects on all types of people.
- Audiobooks improve listening skills and literacy. According to the Audio Publisher’s Association, audiobooks help readers improve vital skills such as fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, and allow readers with learning disabilities or ELL students to “demonstrate increased literacy skills and reading ability”
- Audiobooks stimulate the brain like traditional text. Scientists have observed that listening to stories activates the same cognitive and emotional areas as reading a book.
- Audiobooks reduce negative thinking. We may not realize it, but listening to someone else tell us a story can disrupt negative thinking patterns, replacing our own negative thoughts with something else to focus on. This can be especially helpful to those with anxiety or depression. There are tons of ways audiobooks help us relax and feel better.
- Audiobooks are easy on the eyes. Spending all day looking at screens has resulted in many Americans having blurred vision, eye strain, and nearsightedness. On top of that, the websites and apps we look at, typically social media and news sites, can cause feelings of depression. Give your eyes and mind a break and let the audiobook do the work for you. As an added benefit, listening instead of looking can help your brain relax and help you sleep better.
- Audiobooks make life more enjoyable. Bibliotherapy, aka reading, can go a long way to making a person, a day, or an experience better. It can even help alleviate depression. Audiobooks stimulate all the same cognitive and emotional areas as reading, producing the same joy and entertainment. In addition, it can make menial tasks like cleaning, exercising, or commuting far more enjoyable and less stressful. Audiobooks combine the author’s words, the narrator’s voice, and the listener’s mind to create an immersive mental world, allowing readers to richly experience a story as well as an escape from daily worries and issues
As book lovers ourselves, we understand and appreciate the power of audiobooks. The ability to immerse yourself in a story, to live a thousand lives, should be available to anyone, regardless of physical handicap. Our hope is that by spreading the easy-to-use audio players to readers with poor eyesight, with degenerative disorders, with chronic fatigue, or any condition that makes it difficult for them to read traditional print or audio books, we will eliminate the obstacle that exists between these readers and timeless stories, whether classic favorites or new adventures.
Resources (for the mobility challenged community)
Mobility impairments will range in effect and severity. Some individuals experience difficulty with stamina or fine motor skills, and others may be unable to walk or completely paralyzed. Mobility impairment can come from conditions present at birth, injury, or illness. With the proper resources and attention, there is no reason those who are mobility challenged should not be able to lead lives that are similar or identical to anyone without a physical handicap. Here are some helpful resources to anyone who is or cares for someone mobility challenged.
The Mobility Resource Guide (https://www.unitedaccess.com/mobility-resource-guide/)
Struggling to find accessible resources designed for your individual needs? United Access is acutely aware of the many issues that low-mobility individuals can face, and provides a helpful guide to assist with all aspects of accessibility.
Tips for Caregivers (https://nmeda.com/tips-for-caregivers/)
Each year more than 65 million people provide care to a person with a disability, someone who is chronically ill, or an aging individual. While caregiving can prove to be rewarding, there are many challenges these individuals may face. If you provide care for a person with a disability, here are some important tips to ensure your own well being.
Educating Students with Mobility Impairments (https://www.disability.illinois.edu/instructor-information/disability-specific-instructional-strategies/mobility-impairments)
Keyboard Accessibility for Individuals with Motor Impairment (https://otswithapps.com/2015/11/08/keyboard-accessibility-for-individuals-with-motor-impairment-for-computers-and-mobile-devices/)
A breakdown of how new software is helping the motor impaired navigate the technical landscape.