Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities

Assistive technology for people with disabilities

Digital solutions helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are becoming more readily available. These new assistive technologies are creating more affordable and accessible options that enrich the lives of people with disabilities and help create a greater degree of independence. The solutions are advancing across everyday platforms, including Android and Apple mobile environments.

There’s an App for that

Whether your loved one faces challenges due to the loss of hearing or vision, difficulty in speaking or trouble with mobility issues, chances are you can find a mobile app that can help you manage life despite your challenge. Assistive technologies not only benefit the individual with the disability, they also help those who interact with that person by making it easier to communicate, convey a point and become more independent. Your loved one’s care team can help identify the right technologies for his/her personal situation.

Below are examples of applications that you may find helpful.


Petralex – A sound-amplification app that helps people who struggle to hear by automatically adjusting sound to your preferences.  (Apple and Android)

Dragon Dictation (Apple) and Live Transcribe (Android) – Uses speech recognition software to help people with difficulty in hearing participate in a conversation.

Subtitles Viewer – Supporting more than 20 languages, this app enables a user to view subtitles on your iOS device while at the movies or watching TV. (Apple; costs $9.99)


Be My Eyes – Using a live video call, this app connects an individual who is visually impaired with a volunteer who can describe what they see and assist the individual.  (Apple, Android)

Voice Dream ReaderFor individuals having trouble with their sight or learning differences, this app features Dyslexic-friendly fonts, audio synchronization and full VoiceOver support making it easier to follow text. (Apple, Android)

Supervision+ MagnifierThis app uses a smartphone’s camera to zoom-in on printed books, documents and images. It also includes an image stabilizer to assist those with shaky hands.


AvazUses picture symbols and high-quality voice synthesis to help non-verbal users create messages, improve language skills and transition to text. (Apple and Android)

Spoken – Simplifies communications for people with speech and language disorders using predictive technology to learn your patterns and quickly build complete sentences. (Apple, Android)


Wheelmap – A free app designed to mark places on maps for their accessibility, including locating wheelchair-accessible bathrooms and parking spots. (Apple, Android)


Perfect Keyboard – With raised key height, increased text size and additional space between rows, this app makes keying easier for those with dexterity issues or visual challenges. (Android)

Action Blocks – Designed for making routine smartphone tasks less cumbersome, this app creates one-touch buttons for items that usually requires multiple steps. (Android)