5 Top Mobile Apps for the Blind

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5 of the Best Mobile Apps for Users who are Blind or Visually Impaired

Braille Works looks to the tech world this week, by highlighting some of the most useful apps which play a role in the visually impaired community. It’s rare that someone isn’t found glued to their smart phone these days, but with that dependence on technology – many have found independence for themselves.

Need to know how far you’ve walked in a day? There’s an app for that. Need to know how many calories you’ve eaten? There’s an app for that. Need to know where you’re spending your money? Yep, you’ve guessed it- there’s an app for that too. But what if you need really exact directions, say for example because you can’t visually see the landmarks or even the map of the city you’re in? Or you can’t tell if that is a can of beets or a can of cranberry sauce until you open it? Well, for those with blindness, thankfully there’s an app for that too.

Apps have made life easier for many people living with blindness or a 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 in new ways: we learn to read with our ears and write with our voices.

Voice-over features on smart phones are a game changer, granting the same access to the digital world to non sighted users as everyone else. In turn, it seems that more people are beginning to realize that blind people matter too: Microsoft is pushing for more accessible versions of Windows, Netflix is now adopting audio description technology for their programs, and everywhere we look- the definition of “to look” is being redefined. People are people no matter how they “see,” and as apps are helping people to level the playing field and be more independent, we’re going to focus on 5 mobile apps for the blind that have really made a difference.

Related: 9 Apps for Accessibility Technology

1. LookTel: The Money Identifier App

LookTel Money Reader instantly recognizes currency and speaks the denomination, enabling people experiencing visual impairments or blindness to quickly and easily identify and count bills. [Learn More]

Image showing a LookTel Money Reader screenshot. Image shows a twenty dollar bill and a fifty Euros currensy note

2. KNFB Reader App: Reads Virtually Any Text Aloud

The KNFB Reader converts printed text into high quality speech to provide accurate, fast, and efficient access to both single and multiple page documents with the tap of a button on the iPhone. [Learn More]

Image of a screenshot of the KNFB Reader showing highlighted text that is read aloud.

3. TapTapSee: Identify Objects Through Photos

TapTapSee is designed to help the blind and visually impaired identify objects they encounter in their daily lives. Simply double tap the screen to take a photo of anything, at any angle, and hear the app speak the identification back to you (Note: Requires VoiceOver to be turned on). [Learn More]

Image of a TapTapSee screenshot showing a can of soup and a five dollar bill.

4. Color ID Free: Discovers the Names of the Colors Around You

Color ID Free uses the camera on your iPhone to speak the names of colors in real-time. [Learn More]

Image of a Color ID Free screenshot showing a pair of Beats by Dre headphones

5. Be My Eyes: The One Everyone’s Been Talking About- People Helping People in Real-Time

Be My Eyes – Be the eyes for a blind person in need of help remotely through a live video connection if you are sighted or be assisted by the network of sighted users if you are blind. [Learn More]

Image of a Be My Eyes screenshot showing a user profile on the left and two cans on the right. One is a can of coconut milk and the other is tomatoes.

We know there’s way more than just 5 useful apps out there and we’d love to hear what apps you have found helpful in your life! Has there been a game changing app that you’ve come across? How has your life changed because of technology?

Tell us about it on Facebook and Twitter or email us today to talk about how we can help bridge that gap between businesses and their blind customers. Let’s connect on LinkedIn– a piece of tech that in and of itself is changing the way professionals connect everyday.

Download our ebook, Accessible Formats for Your Business

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This post was written by Paul Scherffius

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