Navigating the world with disabilities, mental illnesses or physical illnesses can be more challenging. The more that we can do to alleviate stresses and encourage inclusion, the better. In today’s technological world, there are a lot of apps which are helping to break down barriers, and in turn allow people to live more comfortably and independently.
Some apps are free, while others require a small payment to use. Here are some of the best for 2019!
Petralex is specifically designed to help people who may struggle to hear properly, especially in social settings. Described as an “augmented hearing” app, it’s essentially a hearing aid app, acting as a personal hearing amplifier.
Choiceworks is ideal for people who are looking for a healthy way to address their feelings or to help them with routines. This means that it’s particularly suited to children or Autistic individuals, who may struggle to verbalise their emotions while placing importance on routines generally. There are four sections to the app: Schedule, Waiting, Feelings and Feelings Scale. The “Waiting” section is ideal for those who struggle in social situations, because it normalises actions such as turn-taking and not interrupting conversations.
Be My Eyes
For those who are blind or partially sighted, navigating the world and knowing what’s around you can be particularly difficult. Be My Eyes is an incredible app which links volunteers all over the world instantly with a person who is able to see, so that they can describe something that’s in front of the person needing assistance, quickly and easily using the magic of a smartphone camera.
Accessibility for wheelchair users is so important, and thankfully, a lot of the world seems to be realising this. However, there’s still a lot of catching up to do, and so it’s important that you’re able to find out in advance which places will be accessible enough for you when you’re out and about. Wheelmap is a fantastic app which marks places like bars, restaurants and cinemas for their accessibility, while Wheelmate is brilliant for locating wheelchair-accessible bathrooms and parking spots.
RIDBC Auslan Tutor Key Signs//Auslan Storytime
Auslan is Australia’s official language for the deaf community, otherwise known as Australian Sign Language. The RIDBC Auslan Tutor Key Signs is a fantastic resource to help people to learn the language using only their phones, which is to be encourages. Auslan Storytime is a fantastic extension of this, providing deaf or hard of hearing children with fun story sessions in a language they’ll understand. They are both provided – for free – by the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children.
Voice Dream Reader
This is a fantastic app that is constantly developing to provide the best experience for individuals who may have trouble with their sight or learning differences that make visual reading difficult for them. With synchronised highlighting of words in time with the text-to-speech aspect, this means that those in the latter category can follow along more easily.
The Miracle Modus was actually created by someone with Autism, who understands sensory overload personally. The app is a source of hypnotic rainbows, soft bells and lights. It helps to mitigate sensory overload someone might be overwhelmed with, helping them to feel soothed instead.
For children with communication challenges, engaging with others can be difficult 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.
Visual support is important to many children and adults, especially those with Autism,
Stepping Stones offers a clean and simple experience for children and adults who benefit from visual support, including those with developmental disabilities such as Autism, attention or auditory processing deficits, learning disabilities, or anxiety.
Medication Reminder & Pill Tracker
No matter what medication we have to take, sometimes it can be really difficult to remember to take it correctly and at the right times. For those who may be on a multitude of different medications, this task becomes particularly challenging. Medication Reminder & Pill Tracker, created by MyTherapy, is a free way to keep track of everything in one place, from your medications to your moods and even your weight, so you can more closely follow your doctor’s recommendations.
Speech disabilities affect millions of adults and children all over the world, through everything from stroke to disability, but there’s not often any accessible voice recognition technology that they can use to be understood. Voiceitt aims to eliminate this gap, promoting inclusion and independence to help people to speak naturally and whenever they want! It’s not been released properly yet, but it should be later on in the year.
Apple (Currently in Beta Testing)
Android (Currently in Beta Testing)
Zest Personalised Care is a registered provider of NDIS disability support services. Please get in touch if you’d like any more information about how we work with individuals to achieve their goals.