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Digital Accessibility and Assistive Technology Spotlight: Joe Carr

Joe Carr smiling and sitting outside house in wheelchair

Accessible360 periodically showcases a digital superuser with personal insights into the digital landscape and assistive technology. By getting to know them, we learn more about the importance of digital accessibility, borrow their knowledge, and gain insights into important personal preferences.

Joe Carr, Adaptive Sports Athlete

Would you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a 14-year-old boy and am a freshman at Richfield High School. I have spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy. I like playing adaptive sports with my friends, riding horses, riding my bike, and going downhill skiing. I like to go on my laptop and my iPad and play games.
What are a couple of your favorite websites or mobile apps? Why do you like them and what, if anything, makes them particularly accessible?
I like Roblox [a multiplayer online game]. I like to drive on this app, buy houses, and I can play with other friends online. I also enjoy news and weather websites and apps. I like the Netflix app too. I can navigate these on my laptop or iPad.

The Proloquo2Go app helps me talk and communicate at school and in the community. I also like to look at Google Maps and look up places I have been to and that I want to go to. I like to use my navigation app on my iPad when we are going somewhere new.

How is digital technology critical to your daily life? Or how does technology improve your life experience on a regular basis?
My Proloquo2Go app helps me communicate with others at school and in the community. I am hard to understand when I speak due to my cerebral palsy and this helps me. SnapType takes pictures of my homework and then lets me type the answer on it and email it to my teacher. The Keeble keyboard is a good app also that has a special keyboard that has word prediction, so I don’t have to type so much and get tired.
What assistive technology do you use when visiting websites or mobile apps?
I use Keeble, the SnapType, Read2Go and Easy Reader apps for reading, and Proloquo2Go for speaking. I have a Mount’N Mover mount on my power chair that holds my iPad. I also use an adaptive joystick and large keyboard at home on my laptop.
Can you name some companies or non-profits that have given you the technology support you wanted, either supplying tools or training when you needed?
I heard about the assistive technology I use from the Richfield School District, Gillette Children’s, and my family/friends.
What are the most important accessible elements you look for in each website or app you use? Or what are the most common accessibility blockers you find when using websites or apps?
I look to see how easy a website/app is to navigate and understand, and if there are not too many keystrokes to get to what I am looking for.
If you could change one thing about the way all websites and apps behave or operate, what would it be? And how would that one change affect the way you use them?
I would make them easy to use and understand for all people with disabilities. It would be great if my iPad could understand me when I talk.
Can you imagine an assistive technology that you would find useful but does not exist today?
Something to make all places accessible for me and my wheelchair. Sometimes it is so hard getting in and around places.
Are there any websites or apps you avoid, have a particularly difficult time using, or just want to call out as being inaccessible? What about them is inaccessible?
I would like to play more games, but they are hard to do, even with my adaptive joystick.

Thanks so much, Joe! We really appreciate you taking the time to educate us on digital accessibility/assistive technology!

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