Four of the Best Apps for People with Disabilities
Four of the Best Apps for People with Disabilities

Categories: Technology

A photo of a mobile phone showing the apps on its home page.

By Guest Blogger Megan Totka, Chief Editor, ChamberofCommerce.com  

One of the greatest parts about the prevalence of evolving personal technology is that it makes disabilities less obvious. The same applications that provide convenience for the general public look the same for people with disabilities. That being said, there are some mobile apps that have been tailor-made for specific impairments that can be downloaded on typical smartphones and tablets.

Take a look at these four suggestions for your own app collection:

Voice Dream Reader. This app is great for people with visual or hearing impairments because it makes use of sophisticated text-to-speech technology. People who have trouble seeing the screens on their smartphones or tablets can have messages read aloud and can also record them without needing to type/text any words. On the flip side, people with hearing impairments can use the enhanced text features and cut out the read-aloud option. This app not only provides extra help with messaging, but has the ability to upload Word or PDF documents for use in the app.

TapToTalk. While similar to the Voice Dream Reader, this app is designed specifically for non-verbal children and adults, or those with verbal difficulty. It provides simple-to-complex commands that the user can issue at the touch of a button. Those with physical speech impairments or people with autism or cerebral palsy can benefit from the simple, straightforward communication this app provides.

Med Time. This is a great example of an app that has general public uses, but also can make life a lot easier for people with disabilities. This app does just what its name implies – notifies users when it is time to take a particular medication. This is a little more advanced than a basic smartphone alarm because it saves and stores all of your medication information and lets you know exactly what you need to be taking, and in what dose, at the moment the alarm sounds. The newest upgrade includes options for syncing the app to all your mobile devices and a speech-reminder that outlines the exact instructions.

PC2ME. Connect all of the information from your personal computer to your smart devices with this app. You have instant access to the items on your desktop with the help of this app, cutting out the need to go back and forth between the two devices. It saves time and also plenty of energy, particularly if mobility is an issue.

BONUS:

Disability.gov “Guide Me” Tool. Although technically not an app, this tool puts a host of resources at the fingertips of its users. The vast amount of information is organized for convenience and covers topics like benefits, civil rights, employment, health, housing, community life, transportation and others. How many times have you relied on a search engine to give you relevant information regarding your disability or that of a loved one? The “Guide Me” tool takes the guesswork out of accuracy of information and also saves you a lot of time. The Disability.gov team hopes to eventually offer this tool as a mobile app.

What apps make your life with a disability easier?

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

12 Responses to Four of the Best Apps for People with Disabilities

  1. Karen says:

    I live in a assistant living apartment Ive been living there for the last four years this place goes up on the rent every time we get a raise from Social Security at first it was ten dollars now they jumped up the rent forty dollars with out any warning or notice . Im on a fix income and I have multiple medical problems. With the constant raising of rent soon I will have to decide weather to have a roof over my head or eat .Can you give me any suggestions. Since Ive lived here the rent has gone up at least four times how is this a fixed income facility. The business has been sold at least three times without notice to the residents. The employee are never the same so no one knows about anything we feel helpless. I refuse to stay here much longer and are looking for fair housing can you help

  2. terry b. says:

    Is it possible. For getttng help with a good smartphone and a plan?

    • Bruce B. Ph.D. says:

      I doubt the Disability programs help with this: it is way beyond what they do. But I noticed Sears and the AARP have a really common sense, no contract plan, and for a smart phone. If you can make it to sears, check it out. BUT… If you have a computer, windows 7 or higher, and spend a lot of time at home, you simply may not need to suffer the expense of a smart phone. The simple “clam” phones are the best bargain on the market, if you really do need a cell phone. I still love my land line. The smart phones have a short half life… it can be a real budget killer.

  3. Ricky W. T. says:

    I have been on disability since 2000 and have numerous health problems. I live in Harnett County North Carolina. I receive low income subsidy and I have numerous health test in a short period of time. My co-pay is 35 dollar’s for the specialist I need to see. I have a Mortgage through the USDA rural development program and I see myself getting into serious financial problem’s unless I get some extra help. Where can I turn to get extra help during this trying times. I have drop hand from nerve damage in my left hand and I’m bleeding internally. I need help from wherever.

    • Bruce B. Ph.D. says:

      Hi Ricky,

      Blogs are good places for general information, but local, county, state and federal agencies are the most important ones to learn about, and use. Some other things to consider:

      Internal bleeding, no matter what, is a high priority. If you don’t have a ‘regular’ doctor, go to the closest ER you can, and possible one with a tradition of helping the less fortunate. Asking an EMT or a social worker will reveal the best hospital to get care. Most important: You will USUALLY be given the name of a Primary Care Provider (meaning, a shot at a long term doctor) to oversee your care.

      Mortgages can often be deferred during periods of hardships, as can Federal Tax Payment Agreements, and even credit card debt. It takes same guts to get on the phone and confront the problem, but honesty is your best ‘weapon’. State, and re-state, your desire to stay current in your payments, and not ‘disappear’: you are going to be up front about your situation. Do NOT present yourself as helpless of in dire, dire need. State your problems succinctly, and state your need for help generating solutions succinctly, as well.

      Good luck. Be strong. Don’t blog about internal bleeding: get to an ER! That’s a decision where the wisdom of your choice is going to be clear. :)

      Good luck. Search, dial, dial, dial until the pattern of aid sources becomes as clear to you as the back of your right hand. Be grateful for your right hand. Time and tenacity will almost always find a way to lower the intensity of your problems. You, ultimately, are in the best position to discover ‘where to turn for extra help’. It is hard to have to search when you are at your worst, but the reward is discovering the new source of assistance. Strength! You have some, I know it!

      Best of luck,

      Bruce

  4. Lucy J. says:

    I am a diabetic,on oxygen 24/7.i have pulmonary hypertension,and Also sleep apnea ,i get congestive heart failute from edema, arthritis is another problem also anemia.i have been on disability since 2000 for major depression .when i turned 66 yrs..old ,i was told i no longer can receive disability, that i must go on social security since im 66. I really don’t understand why this has happened.

    • Bruce B. Ph.D. says:

      Dear Lucy,

      I hope other people chip in with their own wisdom on this blog, but feel I have a perspective or two that might help.

      I was as surprised and relieved as I could be when I found out there was help for my own disability. And as with you, I realized that this help would certainly end at age 65. Concerned, to say the least, I can not say I saw the government as having any other options. It was math, and nothing else. The most important issue, I now saw, was to figure out my income at 65, and move, decisively, if gradually, towards a sustainable environment. Use your time carefully: take a bit of action each day, and it will add up. You hit what you aim at. Please remember that.

      Your health situation is no small concern. After the accident leaving me disabled, I found myself with a bucket full of medical problems. I was never that way. For you- I recommend you focus on your diabetes: control the blood sugar and become an expert at keeping it managed. Too much sugar in your blood affects every cell in your body: keep it controlled, and your other conditions will benefit. Choose your second health issue after that. In between, do all you can to figure out your post-65 income. One step at a time!

      I hope this helps, and others will come forward with their own comments. I find these blogs to be wonderful sources of discussion: we are all, probably, a fairly isolated and hard to understand lot. This blog was a good idea – whoever did it…

      Bruce.

  5. robert c says:

    can I cash my disability checks at any bank even if I don,t have a account there??

    • Bruce B. Ph.D. says:

      Hi Robert,

      I’m sorry to have to say that there is no one policy on this: some banks have an internal culture and policy of courtesy, and will cash your check. In general, the odds are on your side, but not by a lot. probably 40% of the banks you attempt to cash your check at will deny your request. Calling first is always good, but not always possible.

      You should be aware of subtle issues in all of this:
      (1) Do not be surprised if you are asked for an ID card that has a photo, and is issued by the state you are in.
      (2) Go in looking as decent as possible: it makes a difference; if denied by the teller, ask to see the manager. At the very least, you should get the name of a bank that WILL cash your check.
      (3) Do NOT be surprised if you are asked to provide a thumb print on the check. The ink is aggressive: wipe it off asap so you don’t stain your clothes.
      (4) Get to know one teller, and get to know him/her well. Familiarity makes a HUGE difference. Don’t ask overly personal questions – EVER-, or lurk, or go on at length about YOUR problems: thank him/her for their speed and competence in getting your funds. If you can, go back in 2 weeks to buy a roll of quarters or something like that, and go to the same teller. Remember his/her name, and tell them you’d hoped to get a teller you remember and trust.

      Good luck. NEVER cash your check at a ‘joint’ that takes a fee: WalMart, for example, will ALWAYS cash your check, as will other businesses. There is no need to go to the bank. Consider going to a bank with a good reputation, opening an account, and getting direct deposit:it does sound complex, and can generate fears of your money getting taken. Some fear being “on the grid” and that “they can get you.” But walking around with a check, or cash from a check sounds 100 times more risky to me. Friends at the bank may be a refreshing break. I love having a new, friendly face, in my somewhat isolated life.

  6. Fernando says:

    Hearing impairment. 20 per cent
    DIssability assigned from
    VA hospital.

  7. standford y. says:

    i was diagnosis with heart disease.and highblood and i am takeing hydrocodone plavix