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Using Technology to Increase Autonomy
In case of an emergency users can hit the "Big Red Button" app on their Jeenee mobile phone, which puts them in direct contact with the CCA's help centre – staffed by people knowledgeable and trained in disability issues. In 2018, Jeenee Mobile had tens of thousands of customers both with and without disabilities throughout Australia.
Community Connections Australia & Jeenee Mobile, “Big Red Button” App, Australia
Smartphone app connecting visually impaired users in need with supportive volunteers
Be My Eyes, a Danish start-up company with headquarters in San Francisco, California, introduced a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers. The app consists of a two-way audio and one-way video feed that allows the sighted volunteer to be the eyes of the blind user.
Be My Eyes, Be My Eyes, Denmark
A Sign Language App, Dictionary and Learning Tool
The FingerTalk app for the first time digitized South African sign language dictionary and made it available for free. The app is designed as a self-learning tool and enables users to share SASL signs via social media and the messenger service WhatsApp. Until mid-2018, more than 4,000 users have downloaded the app.
Wigital, FingerTalk, South Africa
A smartphone app using the camera to describe all sorts of objects and text around the user
Google introduced the app ‘Lookout’ in 2019 whereby users who take a photo with their smartphone receive a text or voice message with a description of objects, printed text, handwriting, and barcode/OR-code recognition. By 2022 the app had been more than 100,000 downloads. Google Inc., Lookout,
App with hands-on information on rehabilitation to fieldworkers in low-income countries
RehApp is a free app that supports fieldworkers in low-income countries to provide effective rehabilitation services to people with disabilities. The app provides specialist information and options for interventions developed by more than 70 disability experts. In 2020 there were 200 users.
Enablement B.V., RehApp, Netherlands
Mobile app that identifies banknotes from more than 100 currencies
Cash Reader, developed by the start-up company Hayaku from the Czech Republic, is an app for smartphones that identifies banknote values for almost every currency globally. Users point their smartphone’s camera at the banknote and the app informs them of the value, either using speech or vibration patterns.
Hayaku s.r.o., Cash Reader, Czech Republic
Accessibility app for live shows
GalaPro provides synchronized accessibility and translation services for any live show or movie. Users can choose from subtitles, closed captioning, dubbing, audio description, and amplification as well as access information and buy tickets online. GalaPro can be used throughout the world on any mobile device.
Gala Prompter, GalaPro App, Israel
Restaurant menu reading app for persons with visual impairment
MenuSpeak recognizes a user’s location through iBeacons and automatically shows the menu in any of more than 45 languages. It can even read the menu out loud, if desired. The user places selected items in a virtual shopping cart which are translated back to the service personnel.By 2017 the app was used by more than 25 hospitality companies in Austria ans Jamaica.
Mopius Mobile GmbH, MenuSpeak, Austria
An app for orientation in open and closed spaces
Installed on a smart phone, Step-Ear enables users to find their way in public surroundings using Audio-signs and pre-placed Beacons. Users can call for help in an emergency and they can communicate with public transport personnel. As of 2018, Step-Hear has placed more than 3,500 Audio signs throughout Israel.
A city collecting all the information about its accessibility for a smartphone app
Accessible Zagreb is a web/app service of the City of Zagreb, Croatia, that provides detailed information about accessibility and the respective accessibility features of public facilities and streets, as well as real-time information about public transport. Accessible Zagreb is available in Croatian, English, and German.
City of Zagreb, Office for Social Protection and Persons With Disabilties, Accessible Zagreb online service, Croatia