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What is an Accessibility App? Top Apps and Tips

Posted June 14, 2024

AudioEye

Posted June 14, 2024

Hand holding a mobile device with a map on the screen. A flag and checkmark are next to the phone.
Hand holding a mobile device with a map on the screen. A flag and checkmark are next to the phone.

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Accessibility apps enable users with disabilities to access and navigate both online and offline spaces. In this article, we’ll provide a list of some of the top accessibility apps and how they’re creating a more accessible experience for the disability community.

Remember the old Apple campaign: There’s an app for that? Nearly 20 years ago, the idea of having an app for virtually everything — banking, social media, gaming, communication, etc. — was a novelty. It was hard to imagine a mobile app existing for virtually everything.

Fast forward twenty years and there really is an app for absolutely everything. We rely heavily on mobile apps to navigate both offline and online life, and it’s becoming increasingly more common to use mobile devices to access the web. In fact, in mid-2023, 96% of the global digital population used a mobile device to connect to the internet.

All mobile apps are designed to help us complete various tasks — from responding to emails on the go or managing finances to remembering exactly where you parked your car or counting calories. Yet, for individuals with disabilities, mobile apps are an invaluable aid to breaking down accessibility barriers that would otherwise hinder their ability to participate in online and offline spaces. 

We’ll take a look at some of the top accessibility apps below, but first a quick overview of what we mean when we say ‘accessibility app’.

Understanding Accessibility Apps

Put simply, accessibility apps are digital tools that are designed to enhance the usability of mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets, and other digital devices. These apps include accessibility features that are tailored to specific impairments, including visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive disabilities. They’re designed to help users with disabilities interact with technology more effectively, enabling them to more easily participate in online and offline activities.

Smartphone with a series of apps on t he screen.

Accessibility Apps for Your Mobile Device

If you have a disability, there are accessibility apps available that can make both online and offline life more manageable. And thanks to recent technology advances and an increased focus on accessibility, developers and designers are creating apps that are more accessible and usable. 

Even if you don’t have a disability, the apps below create a better user experience in online and offline spaces. Here’s a look into some of the apps that can make mobile devices more accessible. We’ve broken them out into a few categories, including apps for vision and hearing impairments, cognitive disabilities, physical disabilities, and other apps that help with day-to-day tasks. Most apps are available either on the Google or Apple app store.

Apps for Vision and Hearing Impairment.

Envision AI

The Envision App is a free app that uses your smartphone’s camera and the text-to-speech functionality to read written information out loud, describe nearby surroundings and objects, and even who is nearby. The app is powered with an AI assistant (Ask Envision) that you can ask questions about both captured or imported text or images.

Color ID

Using a color identifier and a 4-inch retina display, Color ID can identify the color (or colors) of an object. It also features a mic that reads an object’s color out loud. For users who are color blind or who have another type of visual impairment, Color ID can be incredibly beneficial in helping users distinguish between different colors and shapes.

Be My Eyes

Be My Eyes connects blind and low-vision users with sighted volunteers through live video calls. Sighted callers can help those with visual impairments navigate physical spaces, find lost items, read labels, shop at stores, describe pictures, and so much more.

Live Transcribe

Live Transcribe is a speech recognition technology powered by Google and is available on Android devices. It allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or with other auditory disabilities to communicate with others. For example, if you’re talking to someone in a crowded coffee shop, Live Transcribe will provide captions for your conversation in real-time, allowing you to keep the conversation going.

NotNav

NotNav does more than traditional GPS systems by announcing drivers’ direction, the nearest street address, and which cross streets are nearby. For users with visual impairments, NotNav can help ensure safe transportation.

Apps for Cognitive Disabilities

Rufus Robot

Designed for individuals on the autism spectrum, Rufus Robot includes a number of activities to help users learn and process their emotions. The app also has exercises that help individuals understand facial expressions and feelings. Rufus Robot is totally customizable and can be tailored to the needs of the autistic individual.

ModMath

For individuals with dyslexia, dysgraphia, autism, or other learning difficulties, ModMath makes learning and doing math easier. The intuitive interface makes it easy for users to navigate and includes a virtual graph paper and pen so students can write with ease.

Apps for Physical Disabilities

IFTTT

The IFTTT app is one of the best accessibility apps on the market for those with limited mobility. The app can be used in both professional and personal spaces and enables users to schedule automated tasks and actions. For example, users can unmute your phone’s ringer every morning or send an email whenever a new file is added to your work’s storage space.

AssistiveTouch

AssistiveTouch is an accessibility feature built directly into iOS devices. It provides users with an on-screen menu with virtual buttons, gestures, or shortcuts that allow users to perform common tasks without relying on physical buttons or intricate finger movements. This is especially useful for those with physical disabilities such as muscular disabilities or arthritis.

WheelMate

For individuals in wheelchairs, WheelMate helps find wheelchair-friendly parking, restrooms, and buildings. Recommendations are based on others’ experience and are rated on accessibility, convenience, and cleanliness. With WheelMate, users know which public amenities are safe and which should be avoided.

Additional Accessibility Apps

Dragon Dictation

A voice recognition app, Dragon allows users to convert their speech into text. It can be used in a number of offline tasks, including sending texts or emails, updating social media statuses, writing notes, or creating reminders or notifications.

VoiceOver

Available on Apple devices (including iPhones and iPads), VoiceOver assists those with visual impairments or disabilities navigate and interact with their devices. The app provides talkback for every action a user performs, including reading text and interacting with buttons. This ensures users understand what is happening on the screen and allows them to access information or complete tasks with ease.

Hand Talk App

The Hand Talk App is essentially a free pocket dictionary for Sign Language translations. The app is designed to break down communication barriers between deaf and hearing people and ensure both hearing and non-hearing people can communicate with ease.

Ability App

The Ability App helps individuals with disabilities find accessible public places and businesses around the world. It provides users with details about the building (including whether it’s wheelchair-friendly), ratings from other members of the disability community, and comments about people’s overall experience. The app also allows users to “search for mobility, vision, hearing, and cognitive accessibility features for hotels, restaurants, banks, and more.” For example, if a blind person is looking to see if a particular restaurant offers menus in braille, they can use the Ability App to find answers.

Equity and Compliance: Make Your App Accessible with AudioEye

As the number of people with disabilities continues to rise (1.3 billion people worldwide have a disability), it’s critical the devices we rely on to access the internet and complete tasks be accessible to the disability community. Mobile developers and designers who create mobile apps not only help their business comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and avoid lawsuits but also further accessibility and inclusivity in both online and offline spaces.

At AudioEye, mobile app developers have everything needed to create accessible mobile apps — from including appropriate color contrast and screen reader compatibility. AudioEye’s Mobile App Audits test the accessibility of your mobile apps against the latest accessibility standards and provide recommendations for remediation. This results in a mobile app with more accessible user-flows and actions — and creates a more accessible, inclusive experience for all.


Want to see how accessible your existing mobile apps are? Set up a call with AudioEye to get started.

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