Smartphones have become essential in everyday life and with Apple’s unwavering commitment to creating a platform that is accessibility-friendly they are also ensuring that there are an entire suite of features for disabled users too.
If you’re struggling with a disability, or you have a friend or family member who is, we have some great mobile apps for you. Let’s take a look at our top five mobile apps that can help people with disabilities below.
Dragon Dictation for Improved Communication
For those suffering with hearing loss, or deafness, communication can be incredibly difficult. If you, a friend or family member isn’t able to lip read or understand sign language, then Dragon Dictation is going to be a godsend.
The app works similar to dictation in an iPhone’s keyboard, whereby speech is converted to text in real-time so that those with hearing issues can simply read what’s being said. The app works instantly, which means the moment someone speaks a word, you’ll already have it spelled it for you on the app!
The iPhone also has this feature built into the keyword, without an app, so if you need just a quick few moments of voice-to-text conversion, just open your notes app and tap the keyboard’s microphone icon. More information is here for you.
Be My Eyes for Vision Impaired Users
Your smartphone has an incredible rear-facing camera. If you’re vision impaired or blind, this camera can be your eyes with the Be My Eyes app.
This application works by sharing your smartphone’s camera feed to a volunteer on the Be My Eyes app where they will be able to help you out with just about everything you can imagine. If you need help finding out if a food has an expired date, or what food options are available in a store, you’re able to find out with Be My Eyes.
The best part of this app is that you’ll have someone answer your request within 30 seconds and also be able to speak with the person on the other end.
For an AI-assisted alternative to this app, choose TapTapSee. You’ll be able to hold your smartphone up to objects, tap the display and your phone will tell you what you’re looking at.
Hey You for Reduced Store Wait Times
When standing issues and other physical disabilities come into play, a task as mundane as standing in line at a cafe for a few minutes might be agonizing.
Mobile applications like Hey You give you the power to bypass waiting in these lines by ordering and paying for your food while you’re still at home or on your way. There’s no longer any need to painfully stand in line to order. You can simply show up to your chosen cafe, collect your meal and leave.
Wheelmap for Wheelchair Accessibility
Finding wheelchair friendly accessible entrances, parking or even public transport options, can be extremely difficult. This is where Wheelmap comes in handy. You’re able to simply take a look over the continually updated map and find everything you need to know.
This app is particularly useful in that it rates locations by wheelchair accessibility from one to three or ‘fully accessible,’ ‘partially accessible’ or ‘not accessible.’ That said, this information could be integral in determining whether the type of wheelchair you’re using will be able to access a store, cafe, restaurant or public transport platform or not.
The app’s maps are updated frequently which means you’ll be able to rest assured that you’re getting the most up to date look into your town or city’s wheelchair accessibility.
Apple’s Live Listen for the Hearing Impaired
If you own an iPhone, this app or feature is entirely built into your device - all you’ll need is AirPods or a Made for iPhone hearing aid.
The Live Listen feature relays the audio coming from your iPhone and amplifies it to your AirPods or hearing aids, which works wonders if you’re hard of hearing. At only $249, AirPods are a far cheaper alternative to hearing aids.
When it comes time to have a conversation with family or friends, simply put your AirPods in, enable Live Listen - here’s some help - and you’re good to go. There are even environment options for you to use, so if you’re in a restaurant your iPhone will adapt what you hear to suit that environment.
The best part of Live Listen is its ability to work no matter where you iPhone is, which means if you’d like to watch a film without raising the volume too high just set your iPhone next to the TV speaker.
The controls for Live Listen are fairly simple. Just use the volume buttons to raise or lower the amplification to your AirPods until you hit a volume that works for you.
Image credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/wheelchair-disabled-pram-legs-help-1629490/