Disability Apps to Consider!

Written and reviewed by James Northridge from UrAbility.com. UrAbility.com provide Assistive Technology training and products.

With greater choice now available, it is even more important that Apps are chosen to meet the specific needs of the user, the task and the context in which they are used. The market of apps for iPads is ever growing with over 650,000 apps on the market at the moment and currently over 20,000 of these apps are aimed at the educational market however the issue is how does someone know what apps to use in terms of education, more importantly which ones work and are they rated and fit for the purpose of education. More so, are these apps going to be useful for students with disabilities? We review below 5 useful apps for use with the iPad and given our feedback on its use.

  Description Price/link Comment
Claro Speak ClaroSpeak is a high-quality text-to-speech reader capable of speaking any accessible text with a range of human-sounding high-quality voices. £4.99 Link to buy An easy to use application with good design and a range of high quality international versions (voices) available. Might be a good option to test the water in terms of text to speech, due to price.
Inspiration Maps Use Inspiration Maps to create diagrams, maps and organizers that help brainstorm, plan, organize and build thinking skills. €8.99 Link to buy Good app, again useful if students are using the software on desktop – can transfer and share mind maps between both. There is also a lite version available so you can try before you buy.
Dragon Dragon Dictation is an easy-to-use voice recognition application powered by Dragon® NaturallySpeaking® that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. Free Link to download Great app for those that don’t have to be typing all day, it does require you to be connected to internet to use. Can be used for Facebook and Twitter messages also. A similar built in tool in now on the newer iPads, so ore useful for older versions.
Prizmo Prizmo is a universal photo-based scanner app that lets you scan and recognize text documents, business cards, and images, and then export them as PDF/Text, vCard, or JPEG/PNG. €8.99 Link to Buy This app is fully compatible with VoiceOver, so you can take a photo of a document and then get it read back to you, they have 36 built in voices. Once the document has being scanned in, you can start editing.
Errands Errands is a task manager with a pleasing design and is easy to learn and use. Crafted with a blend of basic and advanced features: Folders, Checklists, Task Images, Scheduling & Repeating, Alerts (alarms) Free Link to Download Very simple app for students, sends you an alert for on-going tasks, so can be used in a college environment for assignments and class times etc.

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