by Lucille Adams
People who are blind or have low vision may be presented with many challenges daily. Running errands, recognizing faces, performing tasks, or even preparing meals can become overly complicated and frustrating.
Maybe you’re wondering how these people will cope. Fortunately, as technology keeps evolving, more and more apps are being developed to help visually impaired individuals in their daily lives.
If someone close to you has a visual impairment, you may explore the following apps and help them gain more autonomy.
For the best access to these apps, investing in high service access points is highly recommended.
Top 14 Mobile or Web Apps for the Visually Impaired
Unlike traditional screen readers for Windows, Apple has integrated VoiceOver in its operating system.
VoiceOver is a free built-in screen reader that provides screen magnification, output, and speech for the low vision or blind user. It also has refreshable braille displays that can be connected and used.
VoiceOver is available on all of the latest iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.
If your friend is not a fan of Apple products, Android smartphones also have a similar screen reader called TalkBack.
TalkBack follows the same guidelines as VoiceOver. It reads textual elements aloud and explores the screen using braille. With TalkBack, everything is set for smooth navigation.
Blind or visually impaired individuals may find clicking the correct button on their phones challenging. So using voice control like Siri enables them to save time.
Siri is an easy-to-use vocal assistant directly integrated into iPhones. All your friend has to do is ask Siri to call someone or send a dictated text message, and they’re good.
Seeing AI is a multipurpose app available on iOS. It allows visually impaired people to read and describe all types of documents placed under a smartphone camera. This app may help blind people read banknotes or product barcodes with ease. It recognizes colors, faces, and images.
Lookout is Seeing AI’s Android counterpart. For optimal user experience, you may help your friend activate their smartphone cameras to use Lookout effectively.
Lookout has a “quick read mode” that enables it to skim through text, which is ideal when sorting emails.
Be My Eyes
Be My Eyes has an audio-video connection that allows users to get in touch. This app lets visually impaired individuals ask for assistance from sighted users like you.
It’s beneficial, especially when blind people need others’ help choosing their clothes or reading a product’s expiry date.
Like Be My Eyes, Aira also connects visually impaired individuals to sighted ones. Sighted Aira users are specifically trained to assist blind people.
Although your friend can download the app for free, they will be charged depending on the different services and plans Aira provides.
If your friend is used to taking public transportation, this app is beneficial. Moovit lists all the possible means of transport, itineraries, timetables, and other information on real-time traffic.
While on the bus, this app indicates the names of stops. It also marks subway stations or trams.
Moovit proves to be essential for visually impaired individuals when voice announcements aren’t activated.
Microsoft developed this app, which uses audio 3D technology to describe the environment to people who are blind or have low vision. Soundscape helps blind people perceive their surroundings better. They can use this app even if their smartphones are in their pockets.
Google Assistant is also activated by voice control, just like Siri. Your visually impaired friend can control this app on their smartphone according to their needs. They can send emails, set up an alarm, and manage their schedule. Google Assistant is available on both iOS and Android.
Being able to anticipate their route is crucial for visually impaired individuals. Google Maps is a GPS navigation app that enables users to access real-time traffic information.
Google Maps now has a new feature called “accessible places.” It enables visually impaired individuals to know more information concerning the exact location of a building and the seating plan of a restaurant.
Access Note is a sophisticated note-taking app compatible with VoiceOver. It’s designed to support students and working professionals with visual impairments.
Big Digital Clock
This time-telling app uses the entire phone screen to tell the time. A user can adjust the clock’s color and brightness according to their preference. The Big Digital Clock app is available for download in iOS and Android.
Blind Bargains assists people with visual impairment by providing the latest deals in one place. Your friend may use this app to purchase screen readers, braille printers, and other accessible products.
Modern technology and innovation have opened the door to a world of possibilities. They have torn down barriers, making real inroads into improving accessibility. With the help of apps especially designed for the visually impaired, blind people can now live their lives as normal as possible.