Last Updated: November 04, 2021.
Roughly 40 million people in the United States have at least one disability, Pew Research Center reveals. 20 million people have mobility issues (the most common kind of disability), 13 million have cognitive impairments, 11 million have hearing issues, and 7 million have impaired vision (even when wearing glasses).
When it comes to living independently, people with disabilities typically face a host of challenges. Fortunately, however, revolutionary apps have been designed to help people with disabilities better manage everyday tasks and improve their quality of life.
Created by Microsoft, Seeing AI is an innovative artificial intelligence app that describes the world for users with visual impairments.
All you need to do is point your smartphone’s camera at people, objects, or even text, and Seeing AI will audibly narrate what it sees.
Not only can the app read text both on and off-screen, but it can also even understand handwriting which means users now have a tool to independently read personal handwritten notes
It can even recognize the user’s friends and relatives and describe what they’re wearing their facial expressions and their mood. Color recognition is another valuable feature of the app, which helps users more easily perform daily tasks like choosing their own outfits.
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) apps
AAC apps are designed to help both adults and children with speech impairments communicate and express themselves with greater ease.
For example, compatible with iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, TouchChat is a text and symbol-based AAC app that facilitates communication for people who have difficulty speaking naturally.
It features a comprehensive media library (users can easily add their own photos), pre-programmed vocabulary sets, and text-to-speech voices, which allows users to speak messages to others.
People with cerebral palsy, in particular, are often diagnosed with speech disorders and can therefore greatly benefit from AAC apps.
Fortunately, with the right holistic support, people with cerebral palsy can live independent and fulfilling lives.
Recently launched by Google, the Action Blocks app makes it easier for people with disabilities to access routine functions on their smartphones.
It creates a large, customizable button that exists as a single-tap launcher on the home screen.
With Action Blocks, people with disabilities can create buttons for a host of Google Assistant functions, such as making phone calls, starting video calls, sending texts, playing videos, playing music, and controlling other smart devices.
Action Blocks also has the ability to function as an audible artificial voice and aid communication for people with speech impairments.
In addition to English, the app also works in a variety of languages, including, French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Japanese.
With the latest innovative apps, people with disabilities can enjoy an improved quality of life. Microsoft’s Seeing AI, AAC apps, and Google’s Action Blocks, and Microsoft’s Seeing AI are just some of the latest innovations helping people with disabilities become more independent and live life to the fullest.