Written by Dr. Tanya Whitehead.
Android offers a wide range of FREE disability apps for any user with an Android phone.
You can find them through the Android Market button on the phone, or by typing in the web address http://androidzoom.com/android_applications/disability
Below are a few of the offerings:
AgileAssyst: AgileAssyst was designed to be a support system to help users with autism, traumatic brain injury, cognitive disability, or Alzheimer’s become more self-sufficient. The user’s coach enters and updates a daily schedule using the AgileAssyst online web portal. Videos can be used to model specific tasks.
Features of the app include a simplified user interface that replaces the standard phone screen; secure control from a web portal, real time location finder on web portal, simplified picture based phone call screen, audio text to speech, audio-tactile alarms, statistical summaries for the user.
Autism Express: This fun app was designed to help people with autism spectrum identify and express their emotions. A sample screen shot can be viewed at http://www.androidzoom.com/android_games/brain_puzzle/autismxpress_ypdq.html
My Disability Answers: This app was created by the Advocator Group. Disability Answers provides searchable information on topics such as how to apply for SSDI, the benefits of having a representative, and the information about Medicare. There is a Q and A app that walks a person through the eligibility criterion for SSDI.
ViBe Alert: The developer’s description is “Feel who’s calling you. “Vibe” is like Caller ID but with Vibration Patterns. Pick a contact and set a unique vibration pattern – it’s that easy!” The comments of early users show that it really works! You can find out more at: http://www.androidzoom.com/android_applications/communication/vibe_blvjy.html
Working Concepts: This app feature provides job training services for people with disabilities. The three I saw demonstrated on the website (http://www.androidzoom.com/android_applications/education/workingconcepts_bfrrh.html) were: Employment Skills Training, Job Readiness Training, and Personal Social Adjustment Training.
Some additional apps are available for a fee. The Code Factory offers a very nice app for $99 (as of this writing) that can be viewed at http://www.codefactory.es/en/products.asp?id=415
The same feature is called “Mobile Accessibility Lite” by AT&T who offers it at no cost to their customers. This feature provdes a suite of 11 applications for the phone, contacts, SMS, Alarm, Calendar, Email, Web, “Where am I?”, Music Player and Settings.
The web may help you find additional resources. Try searching “accessible app”, “android app” or “disability app”.Dr. Tanya Whitehead’s background includes 9 years in clinical practice of psychology, 15 years in higher education teaching, and 23 years in research. She has served as both a researcher and/or faculty member at the University of Kansas, School of Medicine, the University of Missouri- Kansas City and now as a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Illinois-Chicago in the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability.