Best Mobile Apps for Sensory Impairment Infographic
This Best Mobile Apps for Sensory Impairment Infographic highlights the best mobile apps for both the visually impaired and the hard of hearing.
What is sensory impairment?
Sensory impairment or disability, is when one of your senses; sight, hearing, smell, touch or taste, is no longer functioning normally. A person does not have full loss of a sense to be sensory impaired. 95% of the information about the world around us comes from our vision and our hearing.
Vision Impairment vs. Hearing Impairment
- 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide.
- 39 million people are completely blind.
- More than 4 in 5 people living with blindness are aged 50+.
- 360 million people have moderate to profound hearing loss.
- Current production of hearing aids meets less than 10% of global need.
- Approximately 1 in 3 people aged 65+ are affected by disabling hearing loss.
Mobile Apps for Vision Impairment
The apps listed are reviewed in detail as to how someone with a visual impairment can use them, by purpose and features.
What it does: Uses the device's camera and VoiceOver functions to photograph objects and identify them out loud for the user.
- Double tapping the screen enables the user to photograph any 2D or 3D object at any angle and define the object within seconds.
- The device's VoiceOver function audibly identifies the object to the user.
- Includes the ability to repeat the last image's identification and save the image to the camera roll with the attached tag.
- Allows the upload of identified images from the camera roll and can share identification via twitter, facebook, text or email.
Platforms: iOS and Android
Cost: New users are provided with 100 trial pictures to start. 4 subscription plans are available starting from $4.99+.
What it does: It connects blind people with volunteer helpers globally via live video chat. A blind person requests assistance via the app. The volunteer receives a notification for help and a live video connection is established.
- Utilises the iPhone VoiceOver technology which enables synthetic speech and a touch based interface.
- At the end of each session there is a 'rate it' or 'report misuse' option both for the helper and the user.
Platforms: iOS. Android version in production.
Cost: Free, but a subscription may be put in place from September 2015.
What it does: The camera on on iPhone or iPod touch speaks the names of colours in real time.
- Augmented Reality technology app to discover the names of colours around you.
- A toggle button at the top left corner enables the user to move from simple colours to exotic colours.
Best of the Rest
Mobile Apps for Hearing Impairment
The apps listed are reviewed in detail as to how someone with a hearing impairment can use them, by purpose and features.
What it does: Video instruction of over 5,000+ words signed by a professional ASL (American Sign Language) interpreter. It offers deaf and hard of hearing people a portable and convenient way of learning and using sign language in their daily lives.
- A searchable dictionary divided into 7 categories each with its own list of alphabetical entries.
- An Onscreen keyboard allows users to search words and numbers.
- A video comes with each video demonstrating a word, phrase, number, or symbol.
- Teaches users how to translate common English phrases into ASL.
- Includes 765 multiple meaning words, 473 idioms and the ASL numerical system to represent money, time, date and years.
Platforms: iOS, Android, Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook and Windows Mobile.
Cost: Ranging from $4.99 to $7.99, platform dependent.
What it does: Helps deaf and hearing impaired people respond to their audio environment.
- When it detects noise, the app will vibrate and flash to alert the user.
- Adjusts sensitivity for noisier environments.
What it does: Plays unlimited movies and TV shows.
- 80% of the movies and TV shows it offers have closed caption subtitles for those deaf or hard of hearing.
- Closed caption subtitles mean that the subtitles spell out the dialogue and the sound, for example to alert the viewer that a song is playing or a door is shutting.
Platforms: iOS, Android and Windows.
Cost: The app is free once signed up to a paid monthly subscription from $8.99. Has a 1 month free trial option.