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ChatGPT and Accessibility

It has been interesting over the last few years dealing with sudden vision loss.

I lost one eye and most of the vision in the other due to a medical error. It has been a challenging and life-altering situation.

However, there are ways to adapt and make use of technology to enhance one’s abilities. Assistive technologies and devices have come a long way in enabling people with visual impairments to access and interact with digital content.

Familiarity with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) while doing direct marketing projects for the Ontario government gave me insights into the importance of accessibility and the tools available to support individuals with disabilities. These tools can include screen readers, magnification software, speech recognition software, braille displays, and other assistive technologies that can significantly enhance computer and device usage for people with visual impairments. I just wish other provinces would follow suit. All of my devices are configured, and with only a few exceptions, I am able to continue using computers, tablets, and mobile devices.

And then ChatGPT came on the scene!

I use it regularly for searches as an extension to Chrome and to “prime the pump” to get me thinking. And I use it when I write but as a career writer, I do not rely on it for content, I need it for editing and proofing.

I have this pinned on my personal Twitter profile. And here is a YouTube short that is a great description of what the blindness experience is to different people. I am dealing with the second and third conditions with only one eye.

The ability to have ChatGPT go over my writing is the most valuable thing AI does for me. No matter how well I try to edit or proofread what I write, I often miss typos. And so far, ChatGPT has done the trick.


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