Israel, with its thriving start-up scene and large number of military veterans, is a natural incubator of technology for the disabled, some of which is proving useful to able bodied users as well.
               
"That's the secret sauce to go to scale," said Andrew Johnson, an analyst with market research firm Gartner Inc.
               
A phone for the blind developed by Project Ray also allows drivers to operate a device without taking their eyes off the road, while Sesame Enable's hands-free phone, crucial for paralysed users, offers convenience to all.
               
Voiceitt, which developed an app for people with speech impediments, is exploring ways to help voice-recognition software understand a more diverse range of accents.
               
Johnson added that phone manufacturers are beginning to incorporate disability technology as standard, providing a platform for more specialised apps.
               
iPhone and Android phones already include features for the disabled, while Samsung's Galaxy is the first to incorporate eye-tracking technology for hands-free use.
               
Disability has inspired innovation for centuries. Alexander Graham Bell's invention of the telephone grew out of work on hearing and speech products for the deaf, while Thomas Edison envisaged the phonograph as a means of recording books for the blind.
               
More recently, many developments in screen interfaces, robotics and voice recognition were test driven by disabled users.