While doing XO demonstrations at iDEF in Melbourne I had an interesting conversation with a man involved in disabled services. The discussion centred around accessibility and it brought to my mind things I hadn’t thought about before – specifically, where do disabled kids fit into the OLPC picture? Well, that’s partly answered by this fantastic article, quoted below. Once again, by virtue of the open source platform, a solution is being developed without government, without big companies, without having to wait. Read for yourself:

Cynthia, the daughter of my friend Sue, has cerebral palsy and uses a small touchscreen with picture icons to speak. Sue explained that this is a costly piece of equipment at $6,000, with a $400 fee when it needs service – expenses that many middle-class families with special needs children in even the developed world cannot afford. I had just received my OLPC through the Give One Get One program and had a sense of curious excitement about this new platform, and little idea of the possibilities. “Hi Matt, what’s that thing?” asked Sue. The green laptop had caught her eye. After I explained, she immediately thought, “Could this help my daughter?”

Free Icon-To-Speech: Open-Source Speech for Disabled – One Laptop Per Child News