In today’s world of a perpetually connected and mobile society, people with disabilities are faced with a whole new set of challenges. This stems mainly from the fact that there are currently no hard guidelines that bind developers into making their apps accessible to all. Fortunately, however, there are an increasing number of apps designed specifically to augment the capabilities of those with disabilities.
Here are the five best mobile accessibility apps at the moment.
1. Big Keys
Big Keys: Large Keyboard & Emoji QWERTY Magnifier ($2.99) is a simple yet very useful application. Its primary function is to allow the customization of the size of the keys of a mobile device’s virtual keyboard. It also allows the use of big emojis and a numeric keypad. Further customization options include custom keyboard themes and custom key color schemes. This app is ideal for people with poor vision or those who simply find the keys too small that it makes pressing the right one quite frustrating.
2. SwiftKey Symbols
SwiftKey Symbols uses prediction technology to assist in communication. Its primary design is to facilitate communication between a person with Autism Spectrum Disorder or similar communication disabilities and the caregiver. SwiftKey Symbols is designed to learn which symbols are used the most and makes them easier to find. It also allows uploading of custom symbols and images.
3. Access Now
Access Now utilizes a constantly updating database of buildings and establishments with ratings regarding how accessible they are. This allows a handicapped person to ascertain beforehand if a location is accessible to him or not. Locations can be filtered by handicap. For example, a wheelchair bound individual can get a list of wheelchair friendly restaurants in a particular location. The app also allows access to an interactive map run by the community.
4. Be My Eyes
Be My Eyes is an app that makes full use of the helpful nature of human beings. The app pairs a person with blindness or any other visual disability with a non-visually impaired member of the app’s community. Through an audio-video connection, the two individuals can exchange questions and answers. For example, a blind person can ask the new partner whether the can he is holding contains beans or corn.
RogerVoice is designed to help deaf people communicate by phone. Voice messaging with a deaf person is usually one-sided – the deaf talks and the individual on the other end of the line can only listen. This app changes that by using voice recognition technology to provide a real-time transcript of what the other individual is saying.