Assistive Technology

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Mobile Apps Making a Difference to the Disabled

Software, particularly mobile apps, that often start out as games or have other novelty uses are now being harnessed to help those living with disabilities complete day-to-day tasks. Apps like Aipoly, which uses artificial intelligence to identify common objects with remarkable accuracy, is opening whole new worlds for the visually impaired. All you do is point your phone camera at an object – perhaps the coffee cup on your desk – and the app will tell you what it is. Totally free of charge, Aipoly also tells color-blind users the specific shade of any given item.


Apps such as Be My Eyes take it a step further. Invented in 2015 by the partially-sighted Hans Wiberg, the Danish non-profit app allows blind or visually impaired users to send a live video of the text they cannot read to a volunteer, anywhere in the world, who will help them. It currently has over 32,000 blind users, and over 450,000 sighted volunteers. For those living with Alzheimer’s, the Book of You app will store details of their personal story, complete with precious moments, photographs of their grandchildren and key information about their history. And autistic children can learn to identify various facial emotions with Learn with Rufus, designed by US clinical psychologist Dr. Holly Gastgeb. All of these are crucial steps in the right direction, but experts say many disabled people still need assistance in getting connected and in acquiring digital skills.

Writing and Assistive Technology

The web site Understood, a place where parents can connect with experts on learning issues such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalcul

The Assistive Technology Industry Association Webinars

If you have a family member with a learning disability, you are probably already aware of how helpful certain technologies can be for them.