To say that life is difficult for differently abled people is to make an understatement. Social stigma is one of the major problems they face even in this age of technological advancement. The disparaging treatment of the society sometimes makes it difficult for them to perform their day-to-day activities. Thankfully, technology has come to their rescue, helping them break these social barriers.
Several start-ups in India are now working on technology to assist them in carrying out complex, but routine tasks.
Let’s take a look at four apps that are making the lives of differently abled easy:
Avaz, a full-featured AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) app, has been developed for children who commincate non-verbally or have difficulty speaking.
The app has been designed to help therapists and educators bring out the maximum potential in a child. Developed by Chennai-based Invention Labs, Avaz is also useful for children with Down Syndrome, Angelman’s Syndrome, Aspergers, Apraxia and other non-verbal conditions. The app has a set vocabulary with pictures (Symbolstix) and voice recordings (Ivona) to help a child create messages through touch. One can also customize the vocabulary for a particular child, taking pictures and recording voices through the app.
Eye-D App helps visually impaired become aware of their locations and environment. Armed with the app, a visually challenged individual can navigate and explore his/her places of interest, evaluate the surrounding with his/her smartphone camera and read the printed text.
The app has four features: Where Am I, Around Me, See Object and Read Text to make visually impaired truly independent in all aspects. Founded by Bengaluru-based techie Gaurav Mittal along with three others Shaswat Jena, Vaibhav Asthana and Rimi Thapa, the app is paired with Eye-D keypad to get things started.
The item seeker app, developed by Sightica Solutions, is the first of its kind reminder and alert app meant for elderly people with vision impairments, especially for those suffering from Alzheimers and Dementia.
The app was conceptualized after several years of research and close association with the visually impaired community. It allows users to locate a missing item or an object, which needs to be tagged using a ‘sticker’. The Bluetooth sensors on the tags alert the Item Seeker when an object goes missing. The app helps the user locate missing objects and also act as a reminder of activities that he/she needs to do at a specific time, like taking medicines.
Sightica Solutions is a social enterprise, finding solutions for problems solely faced by the visually challenged and elderly.
‘Let Me Hear Again’
People with hearing disability face communication problems and most of them express themselves through sign languages. ‘Let Me Hear Again’ App assists them. It is actually a virtual ear assisting people with hearing dysfunctions. The app in phone ‘hears’ the conversation and transcribes it on the phone screen, so that one can read what was said.
Founded by Dr. Sharon Basil, the app has received the prestigious App Inventor — App of the Month award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US.