There are many products in the world of assistive technology for the blind.  You can find anything from screen reading software, audio labeling systems, digital talking book players, refreshable braille devices, and much more.  Did you know that there is also assistive technology available in the form of apps?  Smartphones and tablets have become increasingly more commonplace, so it makes perfect sense that a blind or visually impaired person can use apps to transform their smart device into a portable piece of assistive technology.

There are several apps for downloading and reading books.  Some require a subscription or registration to a particular service, but once you are signed up you can enjoy the convenience of having your books on the go. BARD Mobile for users of the National Library Service and Read2Go for users of the Bookshare platform are a couple of examples of reading apps that are available to you.

Global Positioning System (GPS) hardware and software are a useful part of assistive technology for – visually impaired and blind people because they can assist a user with navigating their surroundings.  Nearby Explorer is a GPS app for the blind that includes maps from the U.S. and Canada.  The Nearby Explorer also has transit information, making it easier for a user to determine schedules, arrival times, and more.  This app even has a feature that allows you to receive information regarding the points of interest around you by aiming your phone in any direction.  Seeing Eye is another GPS app tailored for blind users with features like turn-by-turn directions and more.

With assistive technology apps for the blind, it is possible to have money readers, note-takers, talking calculators, object identifiers, and book readers–all contained within the confines of your smart device. Search online for the term “assistive technology for visually impaired and blind people” to find out what else is out there for you!

If you need some help learning how to use your smart device, contact your local center for the blind to sign up for classes.   Southern California residents can contact Braille Institute’s Connection Pointe for training.  Call today at 1-800-BRAILLE.