On the iPhone, there’s an app for just about everything. While some apps are simply designed for fun, others can really enhance the way a person communicates or learns. Research has shown that many people with disabilities have benefited from these advancements in technology, which is why many special education teachers have adopted the use of tablets and smartphones into their classrooms. Not all of the apps are geared towards school-age children though, many can be used by adults in the workplace or at home! Scroll down to see which five apps are on our radar right now.
Designed for people who are blind or visually impaired, TapTapSee identifies everyday objects. The user just has to place the item they want to identify in front of their device’s camera, tap twice on the screen, and the app will say aloud what the object is. It can be used to identify anything from a can of soup to a bill’s monetary value.
2. Toca Doctor
In this kid-friendly app, which is great for children with autism, the user has the opportunity to be a doctor for the day. To ease the patient’s pain or illness, the child must solve a puzzle or play a mini-game within the human body. All 21 puzzles have no time limit associated with them, making it a stress-free game that the user can play at their own pace. Apart from teaching the user about the human body, Toca Doctor helps users with hand-eye coordination, motor skills and concentration. The app is text-free, making it perfect for non-readers and children with dyslexia as well.
Geared towards young adults with an interest in gaming, Habitica takes a person’s real-life tasks and turns them into a role-playing game. When a user completes a task on their to-do list, like “walk the dog,” the app will reward the user with experience points and level up the user’s avatar character. If a user does not complete a task, they will receive a punishment, with the goal being to improve productivity and habit-building. Again, this app is great for people with Autism who are seeking a fun way to get into the habit of making a schedule and completing daily tasks.
4. Color ID
This app is definitely helpful for people of all abilities! The user simply points their phone at a color they are having trouble identifying and the app says aloud what that color is. To make it extra specific and fun, the app spits out creative versions of the color like “Red Robin” and “Moon Mist.” This app can come in handy for the blind and visually impaired, but it’s truly fun for everyone! The hex value of the color is also available through the app in case the user loves that specific color and wants to refer back to it later.
This list wouldn’t be complete without Proloquo2go, a text-to speech program that is one of the most popular and highest-rated apps on the market. While it’s relatively expensive, it is highly customizable for users of all ages across the disability community. To use it, a person simply chooses what they want to say by tapping a pre-programmed icon or word on the screen, which then generates a voice that says the word, phrase, or sentence aloud. This app has changed the lives of so many people with non-verbal disabilities. The technology ultimately gives them a voice for the first time, but through a more affordable option compared to other communication devices.