As regular readers will know, disabled people have always struggled with day-to-day stuff like finding events and places which are wheelchair accessible, and even required a hand to communicate their feelings and special needs.
As technology develops, new and innovative methods of help are always becoming available with the use of applications (or ‘apps’) for your iPhone, Android or Blackberry. Here’s a list of just a few of the many apps out there which can help to make life a bit easier for disabled people.
Even non-disabled people can find our capital city a nightmare to navigate – with confusing public transport, a sprawling map and the general unwelcoming feeling people sometimes have in the pit of their stomach – so imagine how much more intimidating it can be for wheelchair users!
Luckily, the Ldn Access app is here. It’s an easy-to-use program for iPhone (with an Android version hopefully on the way!) which should make London life easier. Right from the home screen you can select from options such as Attractions, Restaurants and Transport – meaning that, whether you’re house-hunting or hungry, you’ll be able to find a range of accessible locations and venues. Its popularity sky-rocketed during the London Olympics – you’ll see why when you check out the app.
Proloquo2Go is a comprehensive speech therapy app which can be used to help anyone who has trouble with verbal communication. It can assist stroke victims as well as sufferers of apraxia, autism, Down’s syndrome and cerebral palsy among other conditions.
It’s an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device which aids users in choosing what they wish to communicate in place of forming the words themselves. If, for example, the user wishes to select what they wish to eat, it’s a simple matter of selecting from the options on the home screen and navigating to the correct sub-menu which prominently displays clear symbols representing users’ wants and needs. Though the price might be a little intimidating – the app retails for around £130 – it is well worth the money for such an essential communications tool.
There are absolutely dozens of options out there for the hearing-impaired and blind alike. Whether you yourself are deaf or know someone who is, it can be tricky to communicate without the aid of sign language. However, the range of Text-To-Speech apps out there will solve this problem by allowing you simply to type up messages to each other and for the benefit of others in the room.
There’s also the potential for the app to read aloud whatever is inputted – a great benefit to those whose sight is impaired; some apps like the Classic Text To Speech Engine, by SVOX Mobile Voices, are also able to read aloud the content of websites which you can visit on some phone browsers by saying the URL into the speaker.
Whatever your special needs are, there’s always an app on the way which can improve the quality of your daily life.
Disability Horizons readers would be fascinated to hear of what people think of any of these apps, and if there are any others we should all know about. So email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, message us on Facebook, tweet us @DHorizons or leave your comments below.