Technology in teaching, programs and tools
Mobile devices and Apps
- Accessible Android Apps :
List with apps for Android devices, designed specifically for blind and low vision users. From Inclusive Android, a website with information, ideas, apps and tips for and by people with disabilities who are Android users. The site aims to promote digital inclusion for people with disabilities.
- Accessible games for iPhone and iPad:
List with accessible games recommended and kindly supplied by David Woodbridge, Technology Consultant at Vision Australia. With additional information by Phia Damsma, Sonokids Australia. Links to Word document.
- ACCESS: YouTube: Simplified version of the standard You Tube site making it easier to search and play videos, and allows the use of assistive technologies. It allows students with vision impairment and with learning difficulties to use this mainstream technology independently. Developed by Mike Thrussell, Assistive Technology Coordinator at Henshaws College in North England.
- App with AUSLAN option:
Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy. Link to the iTunes store.
- Apple in Education:
Tips and information.
Community-powered site for vision-impaired users of Apple's iOS devices. Seek and share information on the accessibility of apps developed for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Read and share guides, tutorials and tips to help VoiceOver users get the most from their iOS devices.
- Apps for children with low vision:
Jessica writes about her journey of raising her son Thomas who has a vision impairment. She lists some useful and fun apps for iPad and iPhone he loves. (comment by Phia: I like BabySymbol, and Tap-n-See Zoo Lite, and I really love Sound Shaker)
- Apps List: Medicine and Vision Science:
Apps designed to make resources more accessible to professionals practicing in the field of Vision Science.
- Ballyland Code 1: Say Hello: Get started on your programming journey today! With this app, children who are blind or have low vision can learn basic coding concepts and skills that will be applicable to any programming language. Get introduced by way of the Tutorial game ‘Play with Coding’. Then take on your first Coding Challenge with simple coding commands. Make Wheelie, the little car from Ballyland, move around a digital game grid, on a mission to say Hello to Tinkleball. Optional support from 3D printable learning tools. Available on the AppStore.
- Ballyland Code 2: Give Rotor continues your journey to learn how to code on an iPad. The second in a series of Ballyland Code apps, specifically designed to support children who are blind or have low vision and are novice users of VoiceOver. In the new, three level Coding Challenge, you need to move Wheelie around the digital game grid so that he reaches Ballicopter and can give him a new rotor. Optional support from 3D printable learning tools. Available on the AppStore
- Accessible Android Apps :
- Ballyland Magic: Fun and educational iPad game app that is specifically designed for children who are blind or have low vision. Great app to learn and practice touch gestures which are essential to be able to use an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch by way of VoiceOver, Apple’s built-in screen reader on iOS devices. Available on the AppStore.
- Ballyland Rotor: Fun and educational iPad game app that helps children who are blind or have low vision to learn and practice the concept and finger gestures for the ‘Rotor’ in VoiceOver, Apple’s built-in screen reader on iOS devices. Sequel to Ballyland Magic. Also free file download to 3D print a model of Ballicopter yourself, on which the child can practice the Rotor gesture. Available on the AppStore.
- Ballyland Sound Memory: Fun sound-matching game app for iPad, challenging listening and memory skills. Introduces a digital game grid (spoken rows and columns), and new navigational finger gestures. Drag and Flick modes support children’s spatial awareness and orientation on the iPad. ‘Black Curtain’ option turns the game into a completely level playing field for all, and will enhance sighted people’s awareness of how you navigate an iPad based on audio feedback only. Also free file download to 3D print a model of Wheelie yourself. Available on the App Store.
- Ballyland Stay Still, Squeaky!: Interactive, audio story, responding to touch. Squeaky, the bouncy ball from Ballyland, gets ice cream, mud and all sort of other things on his face! Specifically designed for children who are blind or have low vision, as a very first introduction to iPad interaction, teaching basic skills. Plus Bonus Game which provides a great way to playfully develop finger drag skills and spatial awareness on the touch screen. Available on the AppStore.
- Big 3 Tool Kit for children with CVI:
Overview of educational tools and 20 CVI-friendly iPad apps to help children with CVI learn. By Penny Duffy of Wonderbaby.org
- Early Learning apps:
The listed apps help young children to develop basic cognitive skills, such as cause and effect, and matching. They also help to reinforce eye-hand coordination, vocalisation, and response to sensory input. These apps have been used specifically with young children, especially those with additional needs, or have been chosen because the visual component is very clear and/or the auditory/sound aspects are of high quality and clear. Many of these apps are particularly appropriate for children with CVI (Cortical Vision Impairment). By Linda Mamer, Paths to Literacy.
- Exploring Braille with Madilyn and RuffiPad app introducing young children with vision impairment to the Braille alphabet through a fun interactive, multi-sensory approach. To be used with refreshable braille display. Without the braille display sighted friends and relatives can also join in.
- Fleksy Keyboard:
App for iPhone. Fleksy aims to improve the ability of every user to type easily on a virtual keyboard of a mobile touch screen device.
- Getting started with voiceover on iPad: Prepared for SPEVI NSW by Jodie Hoger, Teacher Consultant (Vision), Equity Services TAFE NSW.
Free App which transforms your iPhone into a magnifying glass. By magnifying the images around you, iCanSee helps improve the ability to see in difficult situations, including low light.
- How to select iPad Apps for students with a vision impairment:
Information from Perkins School “Paths to Literacy” website .
- iPad apps for children with MIVI:
Selection of iPad apps chosen for a workshop with Center for Learning Management of Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (US). The workshop covered working with children who have multiple disabilities, including Vision Impairment, so the apps reflect their needs.
- iPad forum:
Discussion on Apps for the blind and vision impaired within the iPad Apps forums.
- KNFB Reader app for iOS and Android smartphones or tablets that reads print aloud. Just about any printed material can be read accurately and almost instantly. Tilt guidance and a field-of-view report to tell the user if they are getting the right photo. Reads and recognizes nineteen different languages. Developed by the National Federation of the Blind (USA).
- Math Melodies
Free app for iPad offering an interactive way to learn basic math skills, in six chapters. Requires the use of VoiceOver. The app includes a game, a story (with sounds and music) and a math workbook. Designed to be accessible and entertaining both for sighted and vision impaired children. EveryWare Technologies.
- My Talking Picture Board
App for iPad, for children with cortical visual impairment (CVI). Allows the user to create two-dimensional object identification tasks using their own photos and voice. The app can also be used to create a short talking picture story. Collaborative app from Little Bear Sees and Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children. Cost: $19.
- RIDBC Auslan Tutor:
Key Signs for iPad. App for iPhone and iPad. Learn how to communicate 150 common Auslan signs, like “please,” “thanks,” and “how are you?” Each sign is clearly presented, with a photo of the handshape used to form the sign and a video clip demonstrating how the sign is produced. Also available for Android.
- Songs for Teaching Radio:
Free App with hundreds of songs. All songs are educational in nature and cover topics like math, ABC's, health, animals, science, etc.
- Speed Dots:
Tactile screen covers with small raised dots on the keyboard and controls. Can enable to find controls faster and to type quicker and more accurately. Distributed by AT Guys.
- Talking Tom Cat:
Free app, compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 4.1 or later. Tom is your pet cat, that responds to your touch and repeats everything you say with a funny voice. You can pet him, poke him or grab his tail. This app was suggested by a mother of an eight year old son who is blind. He loves this app. There is also version 2 (free) with new features.
- Tap Tap See. App for iPhone and Android designed to help people who are blind or have low vision to identify objects they encounter in their daily lives. Simply double tap the screen to take a photo of anything (right in front of you) and hear the app speak the identification back to you. (Note: Spoken identification requires VoiceOver -iOS- or Talkback -Android- to be turned on). New users can take 20 pictures for free to try it out but then you are asked to subscribe to different paid packages. Astounding detail and precise descriptions. Named App of the Month by RNIB in March, 2013.
- Tile. Tile is a small Bluetooth tracker and app to help you find everyday items that you have lost. Tile App is accessible with VoiceOver on iOS. You can attach Tiles to anything you care about. You can see the last place you had it on a map, and make it ring when you get close. If your item isn’t where you last had it, you can select “Notify When Found” in the app, and then when anyone else with the Tile app on their mobile phone walks past your missing item, you’ll automatically be notified of its most recent location. You can also use the Tile to find your mobile phone by pressing the button on your Tile to make your phone ring.
- ViA (Visually Impaired Apps):
Free app for iPhone and iPad, recommending apps for people with vision impairment. ViA helps to locate apps in the iTunes App Store that were built specifically for vision impaired users, or apps that happen to provide useful functionalities. Braille Institute (US).
App with electronic magnifier for all Apple devices with a camera, including iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. On the VIP List it was recently said that the app can be used to read the packaging of frozen goods in freezer's right through the glass doors, to read price tags or for reading overhead screens at the train station. VisionAssist will provide magnification and enable you to improve the contrast to help you read or see what you want to read. If you are in a dark area, you can use the iPhone's flash as a torch to lighten up what you are reading.
- Vision Australia Podcasts:
Range of podcasts providing valuable tips on using mobile touch screen devices.
Free app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices that allows people with healthy vision to experience the world through the eyes of a person experiencing macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or cataracts. Developed by the Braille Institute of America. Great educational resource.
- Vision Test:
The no.1 medical app of 2012. Features: Visual Acuity Test, Astigmatism Test, Duochrome Test, Colour Test, Far field vision test, Optician Finder, Eye Quiz, Eye Advice and facts, iPhone / iPod / iPad support. Free.
- VO Lab app: VO Lab is an educational iPad game designed for teenagers and adults who are blind or have low vision to learn and explore touch gestures for VoiceOver, Apple’s built-in screen reader on iOS Devices. Recommended for age 14+. The app is both entertaining and educational, and provides beginning learners of VoiceOver with opportunities to gain the required foundation skills to use the iPad or iPhone independently. Available from the AppStore.