Tech Tip: Accessibility Apps

Most of us have smartphones or tablets that we use. These devices can provide a casual user with the functionality of more expensive accessibility devices We recommend the following “Starter Pack” of apps to help your device become an accessibility tool.

Seeing AI

Seeing AI is a free app that uses artificial intelligence to help narrate the world around you. Many call this the Swiss army knife of apps because it has so much functionality and it continues to grow.

Below find a sample of some of the channels in the Seeing AI app:

  • Short Text – Speaks text as soon as it appears in front of the camera
  • Documents – Provides audio guidance to capture a printed page
  • Products – Helps locate barcodes and scans them to identify products
  • Person – Recognizes friends and describes people around you
  • Currency – Identifies currency bills when paying with cash
  • Handwriting – Reads handwritten text

Be My Eyes

Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call. When you need help the app will connect you with a trained assistant who will walk you through where to point your phone and help you navigate. It is great for reading signs, figuring out colors or finding your way in new surroundings.


Reading Apps

Kindle App – The Kindle app is a free app that will make your Amazon book purchases available to you, allowing you to consolidate your devices and make the print easier to read.

BARD App – This app allows you to check out books from the National Library Service Talking Books program and play them on your device. The Talking Books program is free, but you need to have your vision loss certified by a “competent authority.”
Local Library – Most local libraries provide access to digital books and audiobooks. Ask your library what service they use and you can check out audiobooks using your library card and play them on your device.

If you need help getting started with these apps or are looking for more specific training on how to use your device as an accessibility tool, give us a call at 630-690-7115 and make an appointment.