5 Useful apps that help with communication for people with disabilities
It is almost impossible to ignore the impact technology has had on our lives in recent times. The field of digital and mobile technology is breaking new ground at a rapid pace and changing the way people interact and communicate.
These technological advances are making a big difference to a lot of people; they are portable, accessible and affordable. In particular, app technology for mobile devices has allowed communication for people with a disability that may have difficulty expressing themselves.
Here is a list of some of the best apps on the market that assist people with communication:
Designed for: Anyone with a disability or impairment affecting their speech or language use, as well as motor diseases. This includes Motor Neuron Disease, cerebral palsy, stroke victims and people with autism.
How it helps: The app recognises patterns in user’s speech and translates words that may be difficult to understand. The words are then displayed on a mobile device to assist in clear and easy communication.
Designed for: People who cannot speak, or where communication through speech is extremely difficult.
How it helps: The app allows users to build words into sentences from an easy-to-use interface. The I Can Speak App acts as a voice for people who cannot speak and allows communication to occur with others. It is a viable option for assistive communication as it is relatively affordable and can be accessed on a mobile device anywhere.
Designed for: People with a hearing impairment who use mobile devices
How it helps: RogerVoice is a clever app that uses voice recognition technology to instantly translate a phone conversation into text. Users with a hearing impairment can then have the text displayed to them on the screen of their mobile device.
Designed for: Primarily for children with autism, Proloquo2Go is fully equipped with text-to-speech capabilities, wide ranging vocabulary and uses symbols for ease of use. Although it is quite expensive for an app, coming in at around $190, it is a comprehensive Augmentative and Alternative Communication platform.
How it helps: It has a very easy to navigate interface, meaning children are more likely to embrace it and find it immediately useful. The app has the ability to conjugate verbs automatically to ensure everything goes smoothly and is also designed to assist in the development of fine motor and cognitive skills.
Designed for: Blind people and severely vision impaired people maintaining independence in their lives.
How it helps: Be my eyes is an innovative app that draws on a community network of volunteers to provide visual assistance to those in need. For example, a use of the app may need help reading the label on some medication. They use the app on their mobile device to connect with another volunteer user online, and through their devices’ camera, they can display the problem they need solved to the volunteer, who communicates the answer back to them.
These are just a few examples of some of the fantastic ways that technology is helping people with disabilities to communicate more easily and stay connected. As mobile devices become more prevalent, the future of communicative app development is looking very promising.