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6 Apps that Make Life and Work Easier for People with Disabilities

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By Tina Martin of Ideaspired

For people who live with a disability, life usually presents additional challenges. What the rest of us take for granted, someone in a wheelchair or who has a vision impairment must navigate more carefully. However, thanks to technology, more people with disabilities are able to live and work comfortably.

In 2012, Professor Stephen Hawking, a notable scientist who was also physically disabled, stated that he was "lucky to be born in the computer age, without computers my life would have been miserable and my scientific career impossible. Technology continues to empower people of all abilities." 

With this in mind, we've put together the following guide with information on apps to help those with disabilities harness the power of technology to help them professionally and personally.

How Smartphone Technology Helps

Smartphone technology has made life easier for everyone. There are apps for ordering food, booking travel, planning a menu, checking on your house; there are apps for work, play, and even sleep. But perhaps the most amazing feat has been the invention of apps that make personal and professional life easier to navigate for those with disabilities. If you are someone with a disability, whether you're hearing impaired, have a vision impairment, are working through a mental health disorder, or learn differently, there's an app that was created with you in mind.

6 Apps to Try Today

Petralex

Petralex was designed to be an augmented hearing aid. It helps people who struggle to hear by being their personal amplifier. This is especially helpful in social situations and could be useful for your next team meeting.

Sanvello

Formerly Pacifica, Sanvello is counted among the best mental-health apps. It has a calming interface and provides a place to track your moods and habits. It also has relaxation techniques and exercises that you can customize to your needs. Perhaps the best feature is the audio exercises to help with panic attacks, which those with anxiety often experience in stressful work situations.

Voice Dream Reader

Voice Dream Reader is for those with ADHD but can be used for others as well. This app is excellent for focusing on listening to learn, and it highlights the text as it reads it. It's helpful for those with ADHD because they are generally better able to learn auditorily, and this app focuses on their learning strengths. 

Wheelmate

With Wheelmate, you can find restrooms, parking, restaurants, and more that are wheelchair-friendly. The app allows for user ratings so you'll always see the best options near you. It would certainly come in handy for scheduling a lunch meeting.

SuperVision+ Magnifier

This app helps those with severe vision impairments see and understand the world around them better. The app magnifies via the smartphone camera and can zoom in on things like documents, computer screens, printed materials, and more. It is known for maintaining text image and clarity even at high levels and has a stabilizer to help with shaky hands. Available for iOS and Android users.

RogerVoice

This app is excellent for those with hearing impairments because it allows for real-time transcription of phone calls. It uses voice recognition technology to convert voice-to-text in real-time. While on a call, you'll see the app show captions of the incoming voice call on your screen. You can type a response that is then read to the person on the other end. RogerVoice can be found in the App Store and Google Play.

The Importance of a Quality Phone

Apps are great, and they can make life easier for those with disabilities. However, having the right phone makes all the difference. If your current phone needs an upgrade, consider the iPhone 12. The 12 has faster capabilities, a dual-camera system, and comes with a 6.1" display. Great options exist for Android lovers too. The Samsung Galaxy S10 phone is a great buy, with a bigger screen, longer battery life, and more features. It's also Google Assistant-capable, making life even easier.

Most current phones also have batteries that can charge wirelessly. This may seem like a frivolous luxury unless you have struggles with fine motor skills. Wired phone chargers can be very small and difficult to plug in if you have a mobility disability. Placing a phone on a wireless charger pad offers a larger target and helps you keep a full battery for all your work needs.

No matter what phone you choose, these apps are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to finding quality apps to make life a little easier. Technology, in general, has come so far in helping people with disabilities experience a more inclusive lifestyle. Just imagine what's around the corner.

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Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

Published Friday, April 23, 2021 8:07 AM by David Marshall
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