Best Apps for the Visually Impaired

Best Apps for the Visually Impaired

Apps have made life easier for many people living with blindness or visual impairment. Being able to read things that are only in visual print, was a task that might have required a non-sighted person to seek the help of another. But apps in combination with the ever-growing presence of technology grant people new ways of reading things and doing really anything. We learn to read with our ears and write with our voices.

Here is the list of apps for the visually impaired that are useful for blind and low vision persons using iOS and Android devices.

1. Braille Tutor

This app is designed for both sighted and visually impaired people to learn and/or practice braille letters and contractions. Braille Tutor uses UEB braille. The free version of the game provides 19 Grade 1 lessons, including letters, simple words and sentences Lesson 19 introduces Whole Word Contractions. There is a fee to access lessons 20 - 91 (Grade 2 UEB Braille) through an in-app purchase or you can purchase Braille Tutor + for $1.99 which includes all of the lessons.

Braille Tutor paired with a Bluetooth keyboard can be used by anyone - sighted, low vision, or blind!

Devices: Android

2. BlindSquare

This app, designed specifically for the blind, combines your phone’s compass and GPS with FourSquare data to explain what’s going on around you. A special algorithm works out the most relevant information about the world around you and uses a speech synthesizer to provide an audio digest. If there’s a popular café nearby, it’ll tell you. If it’s probably more important that you should know an intersection is coming up, it’ll tell you about that instead. When you’ve found an interesting place, BlindSquare can start turn-by-turn directions. The app can even detect if you’re moving by car, bus or train and adapt accordingly.

Devices: iOS

3. Lookout - Assisted Vision

Lookout is an app to help blind and visually impaired people learn about their surroundings. Created by Google, this app is a free smartphone app which can automatically read and scan text, recognise products and describe objects. Lookout by Google is the latest example of an ai-driven app equipped with automatic text reading and scanning features.

Google’s Lookout app helps people make it easier to read text on labels and signs, identify packaged foods by more than just their bar codes, and better identify currency notes. 

Devices: iOS, Android

4. Seeing AI

Seeing AI is a scanner app for the visually impaired developed by Microsoft for the IOS app store. The app uses an AI to narrate the world to mixed results.  The app includes nine scanner modes Short Text, Handwriting, Document, Product (bar-code), Person, Currency, Scene, Color, and Light scan. 

The most common use for Seeing AI in the classroom will likely be reading text -- short, long, typed, or handwritten -- for students who are blind or have a visual impairment. Students who are blind or have visual impairments will likely find this multifunctional tool to be a welcome and useful shift from more limited apps.

Devices: iOS, Windows

5. Voice Dream Reader

With advanced text-to-speech and a highly configurable screen layout, it can be tailored to suit every reading style from completely auditory to completely visual, plus synchronized combination of both.

Voice Dream Reader supports reading PDF and Word documents, DRM-free EPUB and DAISY eBooks, Web pages and more. It's directly integrated with Bookshare, Dropbox, G-Drive, Evernote, Pocket, Instapaper, and Gutenberg. It is of the popular apps that read text from any document.

Devices: iOS

6. Be My Eyes

Be My Eyes connects blind and low vision users with sighted volunteers or company representatives for visual assistance through a live video connection. The app also can be used from anywhere in the world, with no language restrictions. 

Be My Eyes was created to help people who are blind or low-vision. The app is made up of a global community of blind and low-vision people and sighted volunteers. Be My Eyes captures the power of technology and human connection to bring sight to people with vision loss.

Devices: iOS, Android

7. TapTapSee

TapTapSee is an Object Recognition app on the IOS app store, and Google Play store. The app is designed to help the blind and visually impaired by scanning objects through their phone's camera.

The app is also able to identify the titles of movies and video games based on scanning the box, though it’s worth mentioning that it sometimes can struggle with more complicated box art.

Devices: iOS, Android

8. Prizmo Go

Prizmo Go lets you quickly grab printed text with the camera. After text is recognized in a blink of an eye, you can interact with it in many useful ways, or just send it to other apps. Prizmo Go comes with enhancements specifically built for VoiceOver, in addition to spoken guidance prior to shooting. That, combined with its text-to-speech capabilities, make it a great companion in case you need help reading printed documents.

Devices: iOS

9. SuperVision+ Magnifier

It’s a magnifying glass app for your smart phone that specializes in live image stabilization. It is designed to assist low-vision or visually impaired users and can be used easily with one or two hands. It can be used for various magnifying purposes, from reading small print on documents to seeing street sign in the distance, and everything

in between!

Devices: iOS

10. Sulivan+

Sullivan + is a visual-aid app to enhance the accessibility of the visually impaired and low vision users and informs users who need visual aids about information perceived via the smartphone camera.

Devices: iOS, Android

 

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