How Can Technology Help Improve Our Daily Lives? Best Apps for People with Disabilities
It’s heartwarming to hear stories about how technology helps people today in ways we might not have ever thought of before. With today’s smartphone and computer technology, there are now a range of disability apps that are incredibly helpful to those who sometimes just need a bit of extra help with everyday tasks, routines, communicating and with life skills. These cutting edge apps can give people with disabilities new feelings of autonomy and the satisfaction of being able to do the tasks they need to do independently.
Apps That Help People with Communication Challenges
One of the most heart-wrenching things people with disabilities may have to deal with is struggling to communicate. Everyone wants to be able to express their thoughts clearly, to be heard and to be understood. It’s a natural human desire, and one that can be helped with the use of certain communication apps. Some of the best apps are:
– Proloquo2Go (iOS) – This app has been used successfully by over 125,000 people throughout the world. The app uses brilliant graphics to illustrate symbols, which in turn lets users put together and speak sentences. The voice is natural sounding, not like a machine. Helpful menus are reported to be very easy to navigate. Proloquo2Go can help people ranging from beginning speakers to those who communicate in a more sophisticated way.
– Dragon Dictation (iOS) – For those who can speak and need to use email and texting, this app is incredibly easy to use. It works by using voice recognition that prints the words you’ve said instantly after you speak. Users are also able to Tweet, write reminder notes to themselves and even update their Facebook status.
– Talkitt – When a person with a disability can speak but words don’t always come out clearly, one of the easiest to use communication apps called Talkitt can help. This app will be released in 2017. By translating pronunciation that is hard to understand or unintelligible into clear sentences, it lessens frustration for people. As user’s words are spoken, the app uses their vocal patterns and turns them into clear communication. This app works in many languages so people throughout the world can use it.
– RogerVoice Caption Calls (iOS and Android) – Phone conversations can be captioned as a person is speaking to you, in real time. This is helpful to anyone who is hearing impaired, but it also helps those who have trouble communicating effectively. It lets you write your words as a text and the app will then read your words to the other person.
– TouchChat HD – This app provides a solution for those with conditions like Down Syndrome, stroke, Apraxia or Autism which can affect a person’s ability to use their natural voice and speech for communication. There is a voice synthesizer built-in to the TouchChat HD. Users can use it in English and in Spanish. By simply tilting the screen, users can fill the screen with their words, letting them use the app in noisy surroundings.
– Avaz (iOS and Android) – This app was specially created for children who have difficulty communicating due to conditions like Autism and for those who are non-verbal. Picture symbols can be used to express ideas and formulate messages which help in communication and with learning language skills.
Apps that Help Users Create and Maintain Daily Routines
People with disabilities can be helped to be more independent when daily routines are listed, guided and clearly spelled out. Daily routines apps can also help with skills like cooking and identifying denominations of paper money so users can be more independent in a marketplace. Street navigation apps can also help with independent movement. Here are some cutting edge daily routines apps:
– i Get… Cooking (iOS) – This app uses pictorial images to help with basic kitchen tasks, recipes and cooking advice. There’s help with kitchen appliances, cooking supplies and with specific cooking actions. Users can even create their own recipes with this app.
– Stepping Stones – Daily Routines (iOS) – An app that was thoughtfully created to be easy to use for learning the skills essential to independent life. These skills include managing daily routines, organizational skills, creating visual images to be used as guides, and scheduling to help people with disabilities to manage their time more effectively.
– Ariadne GPS – Helps users with street navigation and with walking. Users not only find out where they are on a map, but also discover things that are around them, giving them visual cues for more reliability. Things in front of you are located on the top half of the screen, and things that are behind you are at the bottom. With just the touch of a finger, a voice will tell you about the street. This app is also convenient for bus and train travel.
– Look Tel Money Reader – An app that reads out loud the denominations of paper money by using the camera of an iPhone. This app is helpful for those who are sight impaired and who have trouble identifying denominations of money. It can help enhance independence for people with disabilities when they are shopping in a marketplace.
Helpful Apps for People with Hearing and Sight Impairments
People with hearing and sight impairments need disability apps that were designed specifically for them. Here are a few of the best apps for available to help:
– Be My Eyes (iOS) – This connects people with visual impairments with sighted people who have volunteered to help. It works through a video connection, and can help with issues like checking expiration dates on products or coupons, or with reading small print on medication bottles. This app is currently available for iPhone. It should be available for Android soon.
– HearYouNow (iOS) – This app works by letting users plug their headphones into a smartphone so they can lower the volume of sound that’s around them, eliminating distractions and confusion often caused by background noise. It can be used by those who have iTunes already on their phones. The app is made for people who could use a hearing aid but have not gotten one yet.
– My Smart Hands Baby Sign Language Dictionary – An app created especially to help parents learn signs in ASL that can be used to communicate more effectively with their kids. This can be used when communicating with hearing and non-hearing children. It’s a big help for babies who are still too young to communicate their needs verbally, as well as an aid to parents of a deaf child.
Helpful Apps Improve Life Experiences
Technologically advanced disability apps provide ways to enhance the lives of people living with disabilities as well as those who love them. Being able to communicate one’s feelings and needs is a common human need. It’s also a need that is brilliantly addressed by apps that help people with disabilities function more effectively.