23 February 2022
What are the best apps for those with disabilities?
Smartphones have brought a lot to society and, thanks to the amazing app developers out there, can be the ultimate tool. When living with a disability, having to leave the house can be a big challenge and even the simple things can be made 100 times harder. However, with some smartphone apps, these challenges can be made that bit easier. In this article, we share some of the best apps for those with disabilities.
Formally known as DisabledGo, AccessAble is a great tool for those who want to know about accessibility before reaching a location or venue. Whether you are looking for the specifics of a certain attraction or are looking for recommendations based on your personal access needs, AccessAble makes it easy to seek out the right place for you. From pubs to cinemas and railways stations to hospitals, the team at AccessAble have surveyed thousands of places around the UK to build a substantial database of accessibility information which you can call upon at the touch of a button.
Like AccessAble, AccessNow has created a database of accessibility information that can help users with mobility needs get the lowdown on venues and attractions before they visit. When it comes to these apps, you may find there are a few on offer and although it might seem over-the-top, we would always suggest having a few on your phone if you really need them, that way if one app doesn’t feature an attraction you can always refer to another. AccessNow compiles user data and reviews so you can get first-hand, up-to-date accounts from the people who are actually visiting these places.
Be My Eyes
For those without sight, navigating the world can be difficult. Whether you are shopping are want to make sure you are getting the right ingredient or need to read the bus timetables, it can be hard to see small text out in the world and intimidating to ask a passer-by for help. That’s where Be My Eyes comes in.
You sign up for the app and, when you need it, you can be put through to a volunteer who’ll happily, as the name suggests, be your eyes. This can be used for larger tasks or just small questions and can mean that you know you aren’t putting anyone out of their way. In fact, in a 2019 review by the Guardian, Erum Salam the writer explains: “There is one flaw with the app, albeit a heart-warming one: the number of volunteers signed up, which are in the millions, far outnumber the 138,455 blind or low-vision people using it.”
Blue Badge Parking
Blue badge holder? Knowing that you have access to blue badge spaces can be a great peace of mind, however, if you are new to an area or parking somewhere out of your usual routine you might not know where to find those spaces. Blue Badge Parking is a map of the UK that highlights all blue badge spaces, making sure you can get as close to your final destination as possible.
READ MORE: How to cope with a new disability
Changing places toilets can be extremely useful for people who need a larger bathroom space for their needs, however, changing places can be hard to find. For those who use them, they are essential, and so the Changing Place app allows you to locate your closest changing places facility.
Kerry, a powerchair user, spoke to the team at Changing Places to share her personal experience as to why a Changing Places toilet is much better for her needs than an accessible toilet: “Taking a simple trip out these days can be a military operation. We have a checklist of things to take, especially if it's more than a few hours out. The biggest problem I face when going anywhere is when it comes to using a disabled toilet. I find some are simply too small to fit me, wheelchair plus hubby- it can sometimes feel very claustrophobic.
“The misplaced sink or baby changing table that I've had many a head knock can make manoeuvring tricky or near impossible. So, sometimes having to hold it in until I get home is the only option.”
For many reasons, people might find communicating out in public challenging. Getting a communication app, known as an AAC app, gives you an easier option for situations that are particularly stressful. TouchChat is one such app. It offers a range of buttons which you can press to talk on your behalf. This can be useful in overwhelming situations and the app can be adapted to be used for people of all ages and needs. Discussing who an AAC app might be useful for, Assistive Ware explain: “Just because a person can talk in some way, some of the time, it does not mean that they would not benefit from AAC. Providing an AAC system to a person with limited speech or unclear speech will give them more words and language. Then it is possible for them to communicate far more than they can with speech alone.”
Get TouchChat on the App Store.
The best apps for those with disabilities
- Be My Eyes
- Blue Badge Parking
- Changing Places
Having confidence and independence whilst moving around is a privilege that can be more challenging for some. However, hopefully, these apps can help those who need it. For independence at home, why not check out our stairlift prices? They may be more affordable than you thought and able to improve your quality of life dramatically.
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