Assistive Technology in your pocket

As we know, Assistive Technology comes in many forms. From the wheelchair that increases mobility to communication apps that give someone a voice, AT is everywhere.

There is one piece of assistive technology that most everyone carries, and that is a smart phone. A smart phone has a wide range of uses that extend beyond social media, selfies, Texting, and phone calls.

 

Assistive Technology features built into Smartphones

Reading
Talk Back and other text-to-speech (TTS) features allow your smartphone or tablet to read any text on the screen. This helps those with visual impairments or learning disabilities receive information from their devices.

Writing
Smartphones come with Dictation features built in so that a person can type on the screen without having to use a manual keyboard.

Organization and Attention
Both Android and iOS come with a built in calendar app that can be accessed through your smartphone, tablet, or computer. The Calendar app makes it easy to keep up with important dates, Events, and daily reminders to keep you focused and on task.

 

Assistive Technology Apps

There are many Apps available for smart devices that are easily considered assistive technology.

There are apps that use a smartphone’s camera to read barcodes to give a person more information about a product than could be acquired otherwise. An app Digit-Eyes http://www.digit-eyes.com/, enables people who are visually impaired or have problems reading to use their iPhone to scan the item and know everything they can about it. It also allows those with a standard inkjet printer to print labels to affix to items in their home to be easily identified with their iPhone.

Mobile Video Apps such as Face Time and Skype allow communication via face-to-face. This is a helpful app for those with hearing impairments who communicate using sign language.

There are apps to help people see colors by simply pointing their phones at an object like a banana, for instance, and the user would hear, “yellow green.”  Light detection apps can emit a sound that intensifies when someone approaches a light source, thus being helpful in finding an exit or locating a window.

One great advancement is a money reader App. An Individual money reader could cost around $150, but now can be done with a $2 app and a smart phone.

So, as you can see, having a smartphone easily replaces several devices that an individual would have to carry and it all fits into one pocket. Browse the app store or play store and look for other apps that would increase the independence of a person with a disability.