Six apps that can help people living with a disability

Whether you use your phone as a communication tool or a teaching aid, there are apps available for both Apple and Android products that can help people with disabilities live life more easily.

For: Sight
Name: Be My Eyes
Cost: Free
Download Links: Apple

Currently only available on Apple devices, Be My Eyes is an app that lets volunteers help blind or visually impaired people overcome small obstacles in their daily lives. When the blind person needs help – for example to know if a carton of milk has passed its use by date or the next bus on a schedule is due – they turn to the app. A call is made to a sighted person who, by live video, can talk to the blind person and help them through the situation.

For: Conversation and development
Name: My Day with WH Words
Cost: $3.07
Download Link: Android

Developed by Touch Autism, My Day With WH Words encourages users to talk about their day answering why, where, when, what and who questions. The app works on developing social skills, explaining what the question words mean, when they’re used and why it’s important to talk to people about your day.

For: Speech
Name: Speech with Milo
Cost: $2.94 and up
Download Links: Android, Apple

The Speech with Milo series is a flash card style learning experience that uses an animated mouse to help teach words in an entertaining way. Each app in the series has been designed by a speech-language pathologist to aid in the education of children with developmental and speech delay.

Apps image 2Photo by Jenny Downing

For: Mobility
Name: Dragon Remote Microphone
Cost: Free
Download Links: Android, Apple

For those who have difficulty with hand-eye co-ordination or who are unable to use their hands, Dragon Remote Microphone can be a useful app. It turns a phone into a microphone that can be synced up with a computer, making it easier to browse the web, create documents or write e-mails.

For: Mobility and sight
Name: BIG Launcher
Cost: $12.50
Download Link: Android

Icons and keyboard on smartphones can be on the small side for people with poor vision or mobility. BIG Launcher replaces the standard icons on a phone with bigger buttons that are easier to read and press. A free demo is available to test the product, although limitations apply.

For: Organisation
Name: First Then Visual Schedule
Cost: $5.95
Download Link: Android, Apple

For some people with intellectual disabilities, particularly those on the autism spectrum, having a set routine is comforting. This app lets you create a clearly laid out schedule with large images depicting what needs to be done and when. Tasks such as getting dressed or having breakfast can be placed in the list and can be given a timer to help things run smoothly.

These apps, and more, can help people get the most from their phones and also help live a more independent life. For details of other disability services the Hunter region, please click here.