Seven Apps for a More Accessible Life

Amicus Amicus News, blog

At Amicus we welcome all initiatives that help to create an inclusive community and society. With the rise of smartphones and advances in technology, we are seeing fantastic apps being developed across Android and iPhones that may benefit you or someone you know with a disability.

From visual and reading assistance apps to ones that can help to reduce sensory overload, we’ve rounded up seven apps that may help you or someone you to know to get more out of their smartphone whilst living an easier, more accessible life. Plus most of these apps are free!

  1. Be My Eyes

Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call.

The sighted volunteers lend their eyes to solve tasks big and small to help blind and low-vision people lead more independent lives. As a blind or low-vision person, whenever you need visual assistance, volunteers are there to help. Through the live video call, people can communicate directly and solve a problem, such as guiding which direction to point your camera, what to focus on or when to turn on your torch.

Available on Apple and Android – free.

2. Voice Dream Reader

Voice Dream Reader is a very diverse and effective app for people with learning differences that make visual reading difficult for them, or for people who have troubles with their eyes. 

The app uses synchronised highlighting of words in time with the text-to-speech aspect, so the reader can follow along more easily.

Available on Apple and Android – $22.99. 

Example image of Head Pad App
Heat Pad

3. Heat Pad

This app simulates various heat-sensitive surfaces reacting to the heat of your fingertips, creating a simple, yet surprisingly relaxing and entertaining surface.

Heat Pad can be used as a calming app for those experiencing sensory overload. 

Available on Apple – free.

4. Avaz

Avaz is a picture and text based Communication App for children and adults with communication challenges.

For people with difficulty communicating, engaging with others can be challenging and often frustrating. Avaz offers those with Autism, Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy a picture-based communication option, which can be a lifesaver for those who are non-verbal.

The lifetime subscription to the app is more costly, but it has been noted as being very effective to ease frustration and enable better communication for some, making it worth the investment.

Available on Apple and Android – $149.99

Avaz text based Communication App

5. Live Transcribe 

Live Transcribe is an accessibility app designed for the deaf and hard of hearing, and usable by anyone. Using Google’s state-of-the-art automatic speech recognition technology, Live Transcribe performs real-time transcription of speech and sound to text on your screen, so you can more easily participate in conversations going on in the world around you. You can also keep the conversation going by typing your response on the screen.

Available on Google Play – free. 

Screen example of TapTapSee

6. TapTapSee

TapTapSee is a mobile camera app designed specifically for blind and visually impaired users. The app utilises your device’s camera and voiceover functions to take a picture or video of anything and identify it out loud for you.

Double-tap the right side of the screen to take a picture or double-tap the left side of the screen to take a video. TapTapSee can then accurately analyse and identify any two or three dimensional object at any angle within seconds. The device’s voiceover then speaks the identification aloud.

Available on Apple and Google Play – free. 

7. Cash Reader: Bill Identifier

Cash Reader identifies banknote denominations for people that are visually impaired. To use this app, open the app, point your camera to the money in hand and hear, see or feel its value.

Large contrasting characters will appear on the screen and the banknote denomination is instantly read aloud via your device’s speaker. If your phone is on silent mode, the denomination will be transformed into vibrations to help you to quickly identify and count bills even in noisy environments or when privacy is needed.

Without the Internet, Cash Reader can still be used. After you download the currency database, you don’t need an internet connection for reading the paper bills. Plus there are 33 languages available on the app so you can use it at any time and anywhere.

Available on Apple – 14 Day Free Trial or $9.99 per year.