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iPhone Apps for the Visually Impaired

written by: Vasanth•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 12/27/2010

There are several apps for the iPhone that are designed for the visually impaired, including Digit-Eyes, SayText, and A Special Phone. Braille Pro is a Braille app for iPhone that can translate English to Braille. A wireless Braille display can connect to the iPhone using the VoiceOver feature.

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    VoiceOver iPhone Feature VoiceOver is a built-in feature of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS that makes essential functions of the phone accessible to the visually impaired. It can be enabled through iTunes using a compatible screen reader for either Mac or PC, or the feature can be enabled through the phone's Accessibility menu under Settings.

    VoiceOver provides audio descriptions of what you touch on screen. Simply tap on the screen once to hear a description and double tap to activate it. Swipe up or down to move the slider. Flick across the screen, left or right, to move the cursor to the next item. The phone will describe what you have landed on.

    As you type, the phone will say each letter and each complete word. Speak Auto Text is a feature which will beep when a word is misspelled. The phone will then speak a suggestion, which you can select or ignore.

    If you prefer to read the output provided by VoiceOver in Braille, connect a wireless Braille display to the phone via a Bluetooth connection. In addition, the phone can be controlled with keys on the Braille display.

    For more information about this feature, visit the official site of VoiceOver.

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    A Special Phone

    A Special Phone iPhone App A Special Phone is an iPhone app that is designed for the visually impaired. It allows users to simply shake the phone to select and dial a call. Up to six contacts can be assigned to shakes. Shaking the phone once, will select contact number 1. Shaking the phone twice, will select contact number 2. Six shakes will select contact number 6. After shaking, the phone will announce the contact you are about to dial. Two seconds later, the phone will dial the number. For more information about this app, visit the official site of A Special Phone.

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    Braille Pro

    Braille Pro iPhone App Braille Pro is a braille app for iPhone that presents lessons on Braille. This Braille app for iPhone can help you learn how to communicate through Braille. The app features the Braille alphabet, common words, contractions, quizzes, and translations. You can translate an English word into Braille and save it as an image. For more information about this app, visit the official site of Braille Pro.

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    Digit-Eyes Audio Scanner and Labeler

    Digit-Eyes Audio Scanner and Labeler iPhone App Digit-Eyes Audio Scanner and Labeler is an iPhone app that helps the visually impaired select products at stores. The app utilizes the camera on the iPhone to scan the UPC barcodes on products. Then, the app searches a database of over 7.5 million products and reads out the name of the product that matches the barcode.

    The app also allows users to record a message for a particular barcode. To do this, a quick-response barcode from the Digit-Eyes website is printed out on a label, scanned, and a message is recorded. Place the labels around the house to help remind you of things to do. Simply scan the label to hear the message. For more information about this app, visit the official site of Digit-Eyes Audio Scanner and Labeler.

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    SayText iPhone App SayText is another app that helps the visually impaired. It scans documents and then reads the text contained in the document to you. Simply place the phone on the document, with the camera facing the document. Select the 'take picture button' and then slowly elevate the phone over the document. When the camera is focused, it will beep and start scanning. When the camera is done scanning, swipe the screen to initiate a read back of the text. For more information about this app, visit the official site of SayText.

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    Vision iPhone App Vision is an iPhone app that features several tests for your eyes and provides exercises designed to strengthen your eyes. Some of the tests include the Visual Acuity Test, Ishihara Color Vision, and Astigmatism Test. The app contains several stereograms designed to exercise your eye muscles. For more information about this app, visit the official site of Vision.