Digital developments have made life easier to navigate for many, but accessibility is often an afterthought*. Fortunately, some app developers have created apps with inclusivity in mind and are continuously improving the world of mobile apps for people with disabilities. We have curated a list of four mobile apps currently available or coming to market soon for iPhone/Android. These may serve to enhance the lives of people with disabilities using modern technology.
- Be My Eyes – This a free app that helps connect blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers through a live video call. As a sighted volunteer you can help just by installing the Be My Eyes app. A blind or a low-vision user may need help with anything from checking expiry dates, distinguishing colors, reading instructions, or navigating new surroundings. With more than 4 million volunteers, Be My Eyes’ hopes to make the world more accessible to people who are blind or have a low level of vision. Learn more.
- Wheelmate – WheelMate gives you an instant overview of your nearest wheelchair-friendly toilets and parking spaces on an interactive map. It is powered by wheelchair users who add and verify every single location themselves, ensuring it works the way it should. It is easy and simple to use, and it is free! The WheelMate app currently has more than 35,000 locations across 45 countries – and more are being added every day. Learn more.
- Voiceitt – Voiceitt is designed to understand dysarthria speech, caused by congenital or acquired conditions, including Cerebral Palsy, stroke, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, brain cancer, or Traumatic Brain Injury. Voiceitt is committed to inclusion and independence, helping children and adults around the world communicate freely, spontaneously, and naturally by voice. Voiceitt believes in making speech recognition technology accessible and will enable tens of millions of people to express themselves and be understood. Learn more.
- AbilityApp – The Ability App provides critical details, ratings, photos, comments and more, in a convenient, searchable app. Users can search mobility, vision, hearing, and cognitive accessibility features for hotels, restaurants, banks, and much more. With more than 15 (and growing!) rateable accommodations per each of the four main disability categories, people can simply search for restaurants with Braille menus, cafes with accessible seating, stores with low ambient noise levels, and so much more. Learn more.
These apps are an example of the meaningful impact that digital developers and the content they create can have to better the lives of people with disabilities. Every year we see that new ideas are emerging, and more developers are viewing inclusivity as an integral part of the process, rather than an optional consideration. Mobile applications like the few listed above allow people with disabilities to live more independent and inclusive lives.
Mobile apps like these may not be at the forefront of people’s minds, or as popular as Facebook and Instagram, but they should be common knowledge. Technology has been a very useful tool for people with disabilities, and with it evolving so rapidly it is difficult to keep track of it all. We can do our part by having conversations about these apps and informing people of their utility.
By doing this, we can help the intended users augment and better the efficacy of the apps. Many of these apps are crowdsource-based, meaning the input of the user is crucial to the quality of the app. Word of mouth will play an essential role in increasing the number of users and the demand for more innovation like this.
“The one argument for accessibility that doesn’t get made nearly often enough is how extraordinarily better it makes some people’s lives. How many opportunities do we have to dramatically improve people’s lives just by doing our job a little better?”― Steve Krug
*Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Sunrise Community, Inc. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion.