Technology develops so quickly and we’re always amazed at how creative designers can be when developing apps for our smart phones. From providing solutions for tricky issues, to coming up with daily living support, apps can play an integral part in supporting and encouraging independent living for disabled people.

With the help of one of our volunteers, we have compiled  a list of useful, thoughtful and interesting apps.

fuelService

fuelService, developed by Niall El-Assad aims to support disabled people with refuelling their car. According to Niall
‘Getting help refuelling is a nightmare if you are a disabled driver. Driving from station to station, beeping your horn and waving your blue badge to get attention.
It’s not just embarrassing though. If they can’t help you have to repeat the whole process and pray you don’t run out.
petrol station staff can only come out to help you if there is more than one person working. If there’s only one person they can’t even come out to tell you they can’t help!’
Now there is a much easier way using the app fuelService:

  • Use your mobile phone to find and book with a petrol station before you set off
  • The petrol station confirms they will help so you can go there in confidence and you don’t waste your time
  • When you arrive, fuelService tells them which pump you’re at, and the attendant tells you how long they will be
  • For smartphone users, it’s available as a free app
  • If you don’t use apps then you can call an automated number instead.

You can download fuelService from your app store.

Hands free – voice activated devices

Supported Integration Training and Employment (SITE) is  a charity for blind and visually impaired people covering Glasgow and the West of Scotland. We asked SITE what app’s they thought were top for visually impaired people.
‘Artificial Intelligence, like Amazon Echo/Dot, Google Home and Apple Homepod is proving to be really beneficial to the sight loss community as it doesn’t require in depth knowledge and skill in the use of Macs, PC, Smart Devices.
Many older visually impaired people do not have the confidence to learn how to touch type or use gestures on Smart Devices so the benefit of Artificial Intelligence means people just have to speak commands. This technology has the advantage of providing people with confidence, independence and entry in to the technology revolution.’

Euans Guide

There’s lots going on at Euan’s Guide HQ right now where they are creating a bigger and better search tool that will help you find the most helpful reviews on Euan’s Guide.
The Euan’s Guide app will not be supported from Thursday 13th April 2017 as it goes into redevelopment. If you already have the app installed, it will continue to work, but they recommend using their mobile site to get the best experience when reviewing on the move.

MyEarDroid

MyEarDroid is an app that can identify sounds in the home environment and alert you by vibration and visual notifications. The app was is designed as an aid for people  with hearing impairment, enabling them to receive announcements of events occurring in their home. Sounds include door bells, phone calls, intercoms, alarm clocks and technical alarms

SilverCloud

SilverCloud is an online course to help people manage stress, anxiety and depression. You work through a series of topics selected by a therapist to address specific needs. The eight-week course is designed to be completed in your own time and at your own pace. The app is designed for  people aged 16 or over who need help with mental health issues and the emotional challenges associated with long-term conditions. Please note that SilverCloud is only available via an NHS referral, or some non-NHS organisations, such as universities.

Keep Safe Scotland

I Am Me is a community charity that works in partnership with Police Scotland to raise awareness of Disability Hate Crime.The Keep Safe initiative works with a network of businesses such as shops, libraries and cafes who have agreed to make their premises a ‘Keep Safe’ place for people to go if they feel frightened, distressed or are the victim of crime when out in the community.
You can search for a complete list of Keep Safe places that have signed up to the scheme in Scotland.

Be My Eyes

Be My Eyes is a free mobile app designed to bring sight to the blind and visually impaired. Through the app, users can establish a live video connection between blind and visually impaired users and sighted volunteers. The sighted volunteer will explain the things that you point your camera at.

Live Caption

Using voice recognition, Live Caption can transcribe what someone speaks into the phone in real time. To begin captioning, simply press the microphone button on the keyboard, speak normally and text results will appear. It also works with most Bluetooth devices such as headsets and in-ear microphones.

Device Accessibility

Before downloading any apps onto your device, it can be worthwhile first looking into the accessibility that many phones and tablets have already in place. Some of these devices could in fact be described as assistive technology as they have recently been developed to include various accessible features which can simply be ‘turned on’ if required, making them easier to use for people with disabilities.

Check out Apple’s Accessibility.

The Android operating system developed by Google is used on a range of different devices including smartphones and tablet PC’s from Samsung, Acer, LG, HTC, Motorola, Sony Ericsson etc. Therefore it does not have as many integrated accessibility features and not all phones using the Android operating system will have all the accessibility features. If your phone does not have any feature that you would like, you can download them for free in the Android App Store. To access most accessibility options in your Android device, go to Settings-Accessibility. Some of these accessibility apps are not compatible with older devices working on an older version of the Android operating system.

These App’s are just a selection of what’s available out there for smart phone users. We would love to hear what other app’s our readers are using at the moment. Let us know via Twitter, Facebook or in the comment’s sections below.