Accessible Apps for Android, iOS, and Personal Computers

For individuals with visual or hearing impairments, technology can often be frustrating. That being said, developers are working to close this gap and make devices accessible to all users. While there are a number of different accessible applications, I’ve rounded up a few notable ones. So if you or someone you know who has a visual or hearing impairment, check these applications.


Computer Applications for the Visually Impaired

JAWS (Job Access With Speech)

Windows | $895 for the Home Edition

JAWS is an application for Windows personal computer that has been around for many years. In fact, this application has become the gold standard for people with visual impairment. JAWS is a powerful screen reader that can read websites on a wide range of popular browsers. It even reads titles and image descriptions. The software also works with refreshable Braille displays.


When it comes to navigation JAWS uses quick keys, cursors, and commands. Even better, installing JAWS to a computer is a snap thanks to the voice-guided installation.


VoiceOver Screen Reader

Mac OS | Free

VoiceOver is a screen reader application for Mac and iOS operating systems. The great thing about this application is that it’s built into these devices, which means users don’t need purchase the software separately. This application not only reads screens but it walks users through actions, such as selecting menu options. Like JAWS, VoiceOver works with refreshable Braille displays.


This application offers a few options for navigation: commands, gestures, and the rotor. Commands help users navigate by pressing a series of keyboard keys. Gestures make use of a touchscreen or multi-touch trackpad to navigate, similar to the gestures used to navigate an iOS device.


Mobile Apps for the Visually Impaired


iOS | Free

TapTapSee is a free iOS app that helps individuals with visual impairments identify objects. Basically, a user can simply double tap their phone or tablet screen to use the device’s camera to capture a photo of an object and identify what it is. This app is so innovative and all-around impressive that it has won a number of awards and recognitions.



Android | Free

With a simple and intuitive interface Web2go helps individuals with visual impairment consume web content. Much like the computer applications, Web2go reads websites aloud. This app will even read Google search results aloud and allow users to create playlists. The app provides full Bluetooth support for those who like to use headphones.


Mobile Apps for the Hearing Impaired

Dragon Dictation

iOS | Free

Communication between a hearing and a hearing impaired individual can be challenging and frustrating for both parties if the hearing individual doesn’t know how to sign. Dragon Dictation provides a fantastic solution by allowing the hearing individual to dictate what they’d like to say to their iOS device. The app instantly transcribes the speech and displays the text on the screen so the hearing impaired individual can read it. While learning to sign is still a fantastic skill, using Dragon Dictation certainly makes communication smoother when you need to communicate with someone with hearing impairment.



Android | Free Beta

RogerVoice is an app that’s been getting a lot of attention for its exceptionally innovative nature. Basically, RogerVoice will revolutionize the way individuals with hearing impairments use their mobile phones and tablets. Using RogerVoice a hearing impaired individual can have a phone conversation with a hearing person. The hearing person’s speech is simply transcribed on the hearing impaired individual’s screen in real-time. The app supports several languages and is Bluetooth compatible. This app is so innovative that it managed to raise $35,000 in development funding on KickStarter in just one week! The app is currently in beta for Android but a full version with support for iOS, Windows Phone, and Blackberry will be available later this year.


These are just a few of the apps being designed for people with impairments. There are many other applications being developed and released with accessibility in mind every day. If you’re looking for an app with a specific functionality, there’s a good chance it already exits or is being worked on.


By Mike Agerbo

March 17, 2015