People with impairments find it difficult to even perform day to day task on their own, for example, going to market for groceries shopping, calling out emergency services, visit their doctor for regular checkups, maintaining contact with their family members or even crossing a road. People with disabilities can also benefit from technology and more importantly, making use of app development.
The same story was told about a 12-year-old kid noticed a man who was using a wheelchair and found great difficulty in opening a heavy door of a store. He later pinched an idea to tackle this situation for people who are using wheelchairs. He considered developing a mobile app that has the ability to inform people with disabilities that which door has automatic opening functionality around the area. So through simple observation, an excellent solution was discovered. This is a great attribute of a good app developer.
Mobile apps for both Android and iOS are continuously assisting people with impairments to access their routine more easily and carry out an improved standard of living. There are apps from a simple travelling guide to accessibility relief in the market for disabled people who are becoming a necessity for these people. Below are some board perspective and ideas that disabled people can get benefits through mobile app technology.
Impairment assistance where an app is capable
In our modern times, mobile combined with the internet has the ability to provide instant information. If healthy people are reaping benefits from this system, a disabled and impaired person can also be aided through this technology. Since mobile phones are primary devices made for normal people, the limitations may arise in terms of accessibility a dedicated usage of handheld phones. According to Dana Marlowe, a partner at accessibility control has stated that usage of mobile phones for disabled people is a big issue and the current status of existing apps is not reached to its maximum position yet.
Statistically, there are over 60 million people facing with some type of impairment in the United States alone, whose number is increasing rapidly. The biggest disabilities according to the statistics report have been categories with following impairments:
- Hearing loss
- Physical difficulties
- Dexterity and vision impairment
- Cognitive problems
- Speech defects
Importance to have a mobile app for disabled
A large number of people are facing some sort of disability according to the statistics report, which is considered the largest group of minority, depriving of basic rights to travel on their own, ability to engage with friends, online dating and live an independent lifestyle. The biggest consideration which enables tech developers and startups like SleekDigital, to work for disabled people is due to the fact that anyone can join these deprived minority due to any fatal accident or of old age, mainly of unexpected turns of events.
Since mobile apps are found everywhere these days and tablets within people reaches, it’s important to use this technology for the betterment of society and improving the lives of people. According to statistics, the people with impairments combined earnings have reached $220 billion yearly, and they are in need of devices which generally a good interface to cater their everyday problems.
It’s all about User Interface
The main reason for an app becomes exclusive for disabled people are due to its User Experience or UI. The concept of accessibility can only be achieved with sounds UI and UX that helps to enhance their impaired way of life. There are also some standards to take into consideration when developing accessibility application for disabled people. Most of the times, the community in general judges the acceptance level of a mobile app whether it has reached its intention of helping people quite honestly or has it become fruitful nonetheless. It’s always a good practice, to develop apps and have a continuous process of feedback from the person facing intended disability, for which it’s being built in the first place.
Assisting travellers with visually impaired eyes
If a person is travelling to an unknown destination with eyes impairment, he will find it difficult to move around with ease. The unfamiliar surroundings not only add challenges to his journey but also take a longer time to achieve his goal. Mobile apps can come into its assistance through solving this problem. Using a mobile app, a visually impaired person can connect themselves with a digital assistant which continuously provide constant live video feedback to his surroundings. Through a collection of voice messages and video guide, the person can navigate to unknown territories with much better results.
Communication with hear impaired individuals
People who can’t listen properly can use mobile apps to improve their lives. With hearing loss, a disabled person can understand only through lip-reading or by sign language while talking to someone directly. Mobile apps have the ability to change the paradigms with visual aids, either through the help of visual text or particularly using speech to text system. Mobile apps can also asset people with hearing impairment by incorporating different types of lights to generate a signal for the impaired person, that the communication is either stops has been started. For mobile apps that use speech-to-text mechanisms, it must use correct forms of a dictionary and online connectivity if communication proceeds with non-English words. Speech-to-text apps get saves a lot of time and decrease the frustration due to writing long sentences manually using mobile phones.
Assistance for physically disabled people
People with physical disabilities find troublesome to operate simple tasks through their mobile phones like making a call, using the internet etc. To cater to this situation, mobile apps can provide methods to touch any specific button without touching the screen. This can be achieved via voice commands. a mobile application can come out with general functions such as a back button, home button, volume control, speech-to-text system etc. incorporating all in one place, thus enabling and improving the lives of people suffering from physical disabilities.
Aiding people with a nonverbal defect
In order to communicate with people who are unable to speak or facing trouble talking with one another, mobile apps can assist through them using the technology of text-to-speech functionality. The application with text-to-speech must also provide a quick fix through creating complex sentences with more ease, contract words using pre-existing category pool and use of videos and images. People with nonverbal impairment calling someone on the phone might be troublesome. The application has the ability to record your text message first hand and then sent it to the caller for delivering the message more effectively.
Aiding individuals with limited vision
People who are facing limited vision or dexterity can also reap complete benefits using their mobile phones. Usually, build in mobile touchpads or keyboards are aimed for the normal eye to operate easily. Using a customized keyboard, people facing trouble seeing small buttons can now use these tools to get assistance for themselves. Button with different colour codes and increase height, spaces in between the rows, text size and background colour can help understand the structure more easily. The app can also provide safeguarding functions like hitting multiple buttons at one touch, which improves typing accuracy, saving time and reducing errors drastically.
Aiding for reading documents
People which find trouble reading small letters from newspapers, documents and other physical notes can use the assistance of a mobile phone. The built-in camera of an app can provide great flexibility for people facing severe vision impairments by zooming in to printed books while keeping the app functionality and accessibility The apps can incorporate better resolution and colour sharpness if texts are small. Not only that, the mobile apps equipped with an image stabilizer for people who can’t control their shaky hands. When accessing documents with different colors, the app can transform the image into black and white, which can be helpful in reducing eye strains by reading for longer times.
GPS functionality for blind
Mobile apps can be of great assistance to people who are experiencing major blindness. Mobile apps equipped with GPS functionality can assist these people with providing voice messages for location at every step of the way. The app comes with a highly accurate compass that provides minute by minute announcement for every spot the person has travelled. The app can recognize the speech of the person in order to change course or finding the direction. For non-English speakers, the mobile app can also be tuned in with Google translate and feeding information to the application. The main component of this blind assisting app beside GPS is voice recognition techniques through which person are able to have continuous communication between the mobile phone at all times.
Dating app for the disabled
In order to create a transparent dating mechanism, applications can also include additional feasibility for disabled people to benefit from a dating feature. The mobile application can provide an exclusive section where people can mention their disability which helps the system to find a suitable result based on shared interest and habits. Disabled people most of the times, feel ashamed from their impairments when it comes to people interactions. The standard ‘insta-swipe’ application doesn’t suit the needs of special people like they do for a normal and healthy individual, thus creating more purposeful relation among people.
Inserting substitute text to images
Experts have indicated that images though it’s a miracle of modern times, produce trouble for people facing with disabilities. This concept is generally accurate for individuals who greatly really on text-to-speech technology, due to the illness of low-vision or mild blindness, or people who are severely impaired in movement and can’t reply on moving to different locations of his house. For all of them, images are sometimes hard to visualize properly through standard screen readers. Adopting alternative text along with images will help to understand people the meaning beside the images more clearly.
Provide captions for videos and audios
Captions are basically subtitles or descriptive text over video or audio from which a user can read and understand the dialogues more properly. Usually, it’s considered as optional, but for disabled, captions hold a special place. People who are facing trouble hearing properly or are deaf completely needs caption to understand video or audio. Without it, they are absolutely helpless to find optimum experience just like most of the normal people can benefit from.
Proper Labeling for every element in an app
Elements like buttons, forms, user input, texts and images are some of the widely used components in an app. For disabled people, labelling the elements holds special convenient for them, as they greatly rely on third-party accessibility applications like translation, text-to-speech function and other screen readers tools. Mobile apps properly labels can be identified as a disabled complained application, which has the tendency to widely accepted application among the majority of people.
Use of legitimate tags for rows and column
In application, whenever tables or list is used, it must consist of rows and columns. The purpose of identifying the proper alignment for users is to devise proper strategy to create rows and columns that comply with standard used tags. The reasons for this practice is when people with impairment uses multiple screens as a mode of accessibility scheme, so changing screen size affects the table structure as a whole. Keeping this consideration will assist the disabled people to get maximum benefit from a mobile app.
Test app using the latest Assistive technology
Individuals who are experiencing physical impairments, hearing and vision loss usually are dependent on technology for web browsing, read emails or attend phone calls. Few of these tools which impaired people rely on consist of screen magnification, screen readers, refreshable Braille displays, and high-contrast settings. It’s important to consider the practice of testing your mobile application with the accessibility tools and to ensure that they are up to the latest standards. The main reason for this exercise is to maintain the standard for current technology with the mobile application performance, so that the disabled people wouldn’t get uncomfortable using the mobile app from day one.
Get continuous feedback from disabled people
According to the experts, it’s always a good practice to provide a test-drive to your clients before it goes live to ensure that all assessments are up to the mark with common accessibility standards. The response received from disabled people would not only help you to fine-tune your existing product, but lays the foundation for more application ideas for future projects to come.
Looking into the future of mobile application for disabled people
SleekDigital, a B2B mobile development agency is currently operating in Singapore but allow its mobile application development for everyone across the globe. We see technology as an extension of human being, and without it, our productivity will abrupt scale down in no time. Exploring different ways and thinking out-side-the-box must always be the prime consideration for any developing agency, and we tend to accept this phenomenon with open arms.
Assistive technology and mobile apps for people that are dependent on wheelchairs or hearing aids are an essential part of our service. Not only these, but the people facing any kind of extremities lies under this umbrella of assistive technology. According to the Royal Hospital of Neuro-disability has suggested that there are four departments in which current technology is assisting them with great success.
Tablets for speaking
Tablets are affordable for a wider audience which has made it within everyone’s reach. Speech and language therapists reap great benefits by using tablets to help people and asset them in speech therapy. There are some applications for tablets that are emerging to assist speech and language therapy such as Speak for Yourself and Augie AAC. This software helps individual to improve their vocabulary for over 13,000 words, using just a single tap on the screen.
Voice control for mobile phone navigation
From the time of Dr Steven Hawkings, Text to Voice technology has been assisting multiple impaired people to become a part of an ever-growing society of technological assistive campaign. These applications are used to dictate messages typed in a mobile phone and convert into comprehensible speech. People facing disabilities such as dyslexia have enhanced their learning methods using Text-over-voice system over past years. This system also assists people with impaired vision diseases.
Develop communication ability of an individual with autism
Many mobile apps are being used by parents to teach their children with autism using tablets to properly communicate speech proceed with eye contact practice and learn new words. Children have taken great acknowledgement by learning through tablets as it’s much as distractive as writing on sheets, due to visually aesthetic presentable applications.
Apple has from its inception, created multiple assistive technologies for impaired people. Through Apple’s AssistiveTouch, people can adjust mobile’s screen size by just tapping on to the screen size, instead of dragging from two fingers. These all technique facilitates people with an acute level of impairments.
SleekDigital does App Development in Singapore that helps businesses transform digitally. We also offer digital transformation consultation and general digital consultation for companies who are looking for suggestions of different systems to be integrated. This is more of companies who lack a digital consultant or app developer Singapore to propose technologies. Arrange a digital consultation with us today!