5 Smartphone Apps for People with Disabilities

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It’s a sad fact of life that not all of us in the world are 100% healthy. So many disabilities afflict so many people these days, and it makes it difficult to live as a normal human being. But something wonderful happened to disabled people years back — the invention of the smartphone and tablet. Now, disabled people no longer have to feel helpless for day to day stuff. If you are challenged yourself, are a parent or a carer, you might find a gem among these five.

How, you may ask. Simply put, apps make it easier for a disabled person to communicate, listen to things they want to know about, remember to take their medication, and more. For some disabled people, a tablet or a smartphone is the best thing they have ever owned.

For Blind People — Learn Braille

When people become blind, the first thing they need to do is learn the Braille language. This is absolutely essential if they are going to make their way in the world.

There are smartphone apps which can help with that. For iOS, a good one to try is Learn Braille Alphabet. The interface has more of a children’s feel to it, but it still teaches 26 Braille alphabets, with pronunciation. And lots of practice exercises.

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For Android, a good one is Braille Guide. This is much the same as what iOS offers, except the Android one is free.

For Deaf People — Learn Sign Language

For deaf people, the language needing to be learned as quickly as possible is sign language. For iOS, there are a few possibilities but the one I liked the most was Marlee Signs. Marlee Matlin is an Oscar winning actress, who is perhaps most well known for her role as Joey Lucas in “The West Wing”. And now she has done a free sign language app.

Android users can use an app called “Spread The Sign“. It claims to be the “world’s largest sign language dictionary with over 200,000 signs”. And you are able to learn sign language in various languages.

For Dyslexic People

Dyslexia, in case you don’t know, is when a person has trouble understanding language (the structure of it), and therefore has trouble reading. Is there an app to help them with it? There sure is.

For iOS, is an app called DyslexiaKey. It makes the font in every application on the phone with a heavy base line. It also inserts alternating stick/tail lengths and larger than normal openings. This overall makes using the phone much easier because you will see the letters clearly. It also works in WhatsApp, Facebook, iMessage, and Snapchat.

Android alternatives include one called Keyboard for Dyslexics. It simply rearranges the letters on the keyboard, so that they are in sequence. Easier for a dyslexic sufferer to comprehend.

For Autistic People

Autism is a brain disorder, which makes communicating and interacting with other people difficult. A good example of an autistic man is Dustin Hoffman’s brilliant portrayal in the movie “Rain Man”.

I was actually quite disappointed about the lack of autism apps available. For iOS, the best I could find was an app which listed other apps. These apps help to teach an autistic person language skills and social skills.

For Android, I found something called Miracle Modus. It was made by an autistic person to “mitigate sensory overload”. It makes bright lights, hypnotic rainbows and soft bells. It is supposed to calm the person down, and it has glowing reviews. So it must be doing something right.

For Diabetic People

If you are diabetic, what is your number one priority? Yes, taking your insulin. Because if you forget, you are up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

So how do we ensure that we don’t forget? Use a cross-platform app called Diabetes Logbook. It is a diabetes manager that focuses on making your diabetes data useful in everyday life. It adds an element of gamification, and you get immediate feedback through a “diabetes monster”, to help keep you motivated. Weird…but if it works!

Download: iOS | Android

Which disabilities do you have, and what smartphone apps do you use to make those disabilities more tolerable? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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