The positive impact of technology for individuals with special needs

For this week’s Tech Watch on Women to Watch with Susan Rocco, Mary Manzo talks about the positive impact that unique technologies have on individuals with special needs. As the sister of an individual with special needs, one of Mary’s greatest concerns for her brother, Jeff, is his quality of life. Here are just two of thousands of technologies that are out there that can provide a level of independence and empowerment that Mary also finds innovative and fascinating.

The first technology is geared toward people with ALS, spinal injuries, MS, amputations or any individual whose lost mobility of their hands and fingers. With the application, Open Sesame by Sesame Enable that freedom and control is restored. Using the front-facing camera of any Android device, Open Sesame tracks head movement to unlock touch-free texting, social activity, searching the web and so much more empowering individuals and enabling them to continue to use their mobile devices.

The next technology Mary found fascinating is geared toward individuals who have loss of vision and use braille called Dot. Dot is one of the world’s first Braille smartwatches. Dot helps the blind access messages, tweets, even books anywhere and at any time. Dot can be connected via Bluetooth to any smart phone and has a series of dots which rise or lower to form letters in Braille. Every text message you receive on the smartphone is instantly translated to Braille and forwarded to your Dot watch.

Curious about what else is out there? To learn more about other helpful, innovative technologies for individuals with special needs, you can email Mary at

For Mary’s full segment, listen below:

For Sunday’s full show, click here.