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Wed05242017

Last updateSun, 06 Nov 2016 10am

Back You are here: Home Home Site Sections News Top Apps for Disabilities

Top Apps for Disabilities

Image result for appsLiving with a disability always poses many challenges, but in many ways, life has been made easier, or at least more practical, by technological advances and new  Apps, which have in many ways enabled us to rely on our tablets and smartphones in order to complete some of the most pressing tasks of the day. Many of us have these gadgets around us for most part of the day and don’t know what we would do without them, since they have become much more than a means of entertainment. Depending on your disability, Apps can be more or less useful, but we have compiled a list of just a few that may make your day a little easier, and at the very least, more entertaining.

  • Be My Eyes: This App was created as a non-profit startup by visually impaired craftsman, Hans Jorgen Wiberg (from Denmark), who wished to connect those who are blind, with a plethora of volunteers who are willing ‘to be their eyes’. The blind user and the volunteers are connected via video camera. The blind person can ask the volunteer for information such as the expiry date on food, or whether or not particular colours match! The App enables good-willed yet busy people to give even just one or two minutes of their time to help out those who cannot see. The App already has over 200,000 volunteers and close to 20,000 blind users. Why not sign up and begin to avail of useful connections with others?
  • RogerVoice: This App aims to facilitate phone conversations for the deaf. “Read what you cannot hear. Type what you cannot say,” says its motto. Just install the App and start calling. RogerVoice has advanced text-to-speech integration so you can type out a sentence and the App will speak for you. It also transforms voice into instant messages, so you can read anything you did not understand. The App recognises over 80 languages, so feel free to change the app language if you are speaking to someone in a foreign language.
  • Proloquo2Go: This award-winning App uses symbols to help individuals who cannot speak, such as children with autism or those who are non-verbal. It aims to increasing communication skills and helping develop language through research-based vocabularies. The App covers various levels of communication, catering for a wide range of cognitive, visual and fine motor skills. There are 23 different grid sizes and three vocabulary levels, so users can continue to advance as time goes by. The App is available for English and Spanish users. As you click on the images, a natural voice speaks out the word or message, and you can build new sentences, storing them for later use.
  • Visual Schedule Planner: This is a great way to remember all the things we have to get done in the course of a day. The app uses visual representations of events and helps users create an activity schedule or rely on video clips to help model the task that needs doing. Users can customise images and sound, as well as take notes about one’s day for future reference.
  • iReward: This is a special education app that made it to Parent Magazine’s selection of Beat Back-to-School Apps. It seeks to reward positive behaviour via star charts and has been found to work well with children with autism, developmental delays, anxiety, and ADHD. Give stars for chores well done or for good behaviour, and allow your child to reward themselves via smiley faces, checks, etc. The App also has a transition component that invites the child to complete the next task after they are done with their current task. The App helps children focus on the task at hand and gives them clear feedback which motivates them to stay productive throughout the day. It is a great App for all parents of little children, not just those with special needs.
  • Autism Speech Diego Says: This App has been used successfully with children with autism. It has one button that says “I want” and a host of visual representations of actions and things (for instance, food or toys). It helps children express what they want and encourages them to use their voice. Children love the app and many parents report that it has helped their children be more vocal and take on a more positive attitude to language.

Post written and submitted for publication by Anne Smith