There are many helpful apps out there that aid in independence for people who are blind and partially sighted. Here are my top six apps that I use on a daily basis:
- Seeing AI, also known as the talking camera for the blind. This app uses artificial intelligence to describe text, objects, and people. The app has multiple channels that you can switch between. The short text channel will read things like building signs, or an address on an envelope. The document channel will read a typed print page of text. The product channel will give the user audio beeps, to let them know where a barcode is on an item such as, a can of soup or a box of crackers. These are just some of the main channels that this app has to offer. Others include facial recognition and currency. This app is free and can be downloaded from the app store on IOS.
- KNFB Reader will convert text into speech such as typed text on a print page, pdf documents, and restaurant menus. I often use this app to read my mail and food package instructions. This app costs around $135. It can be purchased through the app store on IOS and the Google Play Store on android, and through the Windows App Store for the PC.
- TapTap See is another free app that will tell you what is currently in front of the camera after taking a picture or a video. I often use it for colour identification to coordinate my wardrobe, as well as, reading labels on packages and canned goods. It is available through the app store on IOS and the Google Play Store on android.
- Be My Eyes is a free app through the app store on IOS and the Google Play Store on android that works similar to a Facetime call. You can connect to a volunteer who will help you with whatever you need to identify or see. I use this app to make sure that my digital slow cooker is set properly. I also use this app to figure out different settings on my washing machine and drier.
- Bespecular is another free app that can be used to identify certain things. You simply take a picture of something, upload the picture, and then record a question that you will upload after that. You can receive several answers as people may see the picture in different ways. I have used this app to sort through my movie collection. It is available through the app store on IOS and the Google Play Store on android.
- Uber Eats is a free app that you can use to order food for delivery. The interface is completely accessible with voiceover and doesn't take too long to order something to eat. It is one of the very few food delivery apps that is accessible with voiceover giving the user their independence when ordering their food. It is available through the app store on IOS and the Google Play Store on android.
Sometimes I use a variety of these apps as one might work better than the other in certain situations.
If you are new to using apps, I encourage you to dive in and just try them out. I have found that these apps have enabled me to become more independent through my use of them. If you are interested in booking an appointment to learning how to use these apps, contact me in the Saskatoon office at 306-667-2237 or Chris for the Regina office at 306-565-5414.
Charlene Young, Assistive Technology Specialist, Vision Loss Rehabilitation Saskatchewan, a CNIB organization.
Read more articles from the, 2019 January CNIB Saskatchewan issue of Insight:
- Staff Profile
- Client Profile
- CNIB Conferences and Events
- CNIB Saskatchewan Support Groups and Support Programs
- CNIB Saskatchewan Culture Sports and Recreation Programs
- Community Associations, Groups and Programs
- Technology and Rate Programs
- Volunteer Opportunties
To read the entire newsletter in an accessible word document click here