The ‘Curb Cut Effect’ is when an invention or device designed for people with disabilities ends up benefiting the masses. It is indeed a win-win situation for everyone when both the vulnerable groups and the general public enjoy the perks of the new invention.
As per the World Bank, around one-fifth of the total world population lives with some form of disability. In order to adapt to how the world works, these differently-abled people require some tweaks or new inventions through which the world becomes better for them. According to the Curb Cut Effect, these inventions end up benefiting everyone. Some of these most popular and widely utilized inventions are as follows:
Did you know that a basic electronic device, such as the keyboard, was also invented to help out a blind friend? An Italian inventor called Pellegrino Turri realized that his friend Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzano couldn’t write letters as she was blind. He developed the first-ever device for entering words through keystrokes, the first-ever form of the present-day keyboard, in 1608. He also invented carbon paper to help provide this typing machine with ink. It was the first prototype that paved the way for the typewriter, and eventually, the modern keyboard.
Good Grip Kitchen Tools:
Today, kitchen tools such as peelers, graters, and can openers feature soft, large handles with a comfortable grip and an easy-to-use mechanism but that wasn’t the case two decades back. The kitchen tools had a harder grip and were difficult to use for the differently-abled people. Inventor Sam Farber realized the difficulties his wife was facing using kitchen tools as she suffered from arthritis and that is when he found the OXO brand of kitchen devices and tools, which featured wide, oval handles, which enabled people with little strength to use the kitchen tools effortlessly. These items were easier to hold, and the Good Grips line of kitchen tools by OXO earned immense popularity among the masses for their usability.
Voice Recognition software
Speech-to-text and voice recognition apps were originally designed for people who couldn’t write down on paper directly and needed assistance. A software invented in the 1990s was created for opening and writing documents using voice commands. Today, the technology is widely applied in a number of fields such as courtroom transcription, smartphones, home automation systems, and military aircraft.
As the name of the Effect suggests, curb cuts are the slopes originally built for wheelchair users. These slopes first appeared in 1945 but were widely accepted and used by everyone for moving suitcases and heavy loads.