The Ten Best Apps for the Blind at Work and School

Technology
Supersense Team
4 minutes read
August 25, 2020

Work can be frustrating. Answering phone calls, checking email, juggling multiple calendars, and to-do lists. We’ve all been there. For the ones who like a little bit of help from technology, there are tools for every aspect of work, from calculating to reading, writing, translating, and communicating. Here are some handy apps we think will help you conquer your day to day tasks and make working and studying more comfortable and fun.

A person is horizontally holding a white phone. Multicolor lights reflect on phone screen.
Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

Otter: Otter is an AI-powered assistant for someone who has a lot of meetings and interviews. If you are a person who needs to take notes during meetings, Otter can help! With Otter, you can record and transcribe meetings, and share them with other people. You can also search keywords inside your documents and upload your own notes. Otter is a subscription-based application for individuals, teams, and education.

Platform: iOS and Android

Price: In app purchases

https://otter.ai

TapTapSee: This application describes your surroundings via your phone’s camera. You take a picture, the app processes it and tells you what’s in the image. Can’t find something on your desk while working? Just take a picture, and in a couple of seconds, it identifies what’s on your desk and where and tells you via your device’s voiceover function. You can also take a video.

Platform: iOS and Android

Price: In app purchases

https://taptapseeapp.com


NFB-Newsline: NFB-Newsline is the audio news app of the National Federation of the Blind. It is a free service where you can subscribe and reach lots of publications, weather alerts, and even job listings. If you’re someone who needs to be on top of the news for work, this audio service will do the job. To sign up, you have to register by calling your state’s Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped or the National Federation of the Blind.

Platform: iOS

Price: Free

https://www.nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-newsline


Blind Abilities: The Blind Abilities app brings together blind and low vision people to share their experiences and knowledge about technology, devices, the job market, etc. It’s a community-based app that aims to enrich people who live with vision loss. You can listen to podcasts through their app to stay informed about the latest development, news, and lifehacks.

Platform: iOS

Price: Free

http://blindabilities.com/


Talking Scientific Calculator: A fully accessible and user-friendly calculator, for those who have to deal with numbers all the time. It has full VoiceOver support and reads the button names, formulas, and answers out loud. When reading numbers allowed, you can choose between the US, UK, and German voicing options. You can also use it as a standard calculator if you like. The app is $4.99 and available only on iOS for now.

Platform: iOS

Price: $4.99


AccessNote: This is a note-taking app developed by the American Foundation for the Blind. It is fully compatible with Apple’s VoiceOver function. With AccessNote, you can navigate a document by line, word, character, paragraph, or page. It offers a cursor tracking that keeps you in place. It has input options by standard QWERTY and refreshable braille keyboards.

Platform: iOS

Price: Free

https://www.iaccessibility.com/apps/low-vision/index.cgi/product?ID=4


Seeing AI: Seeing AI is Microsoft’s AI-powered multifunctional app for the blind and low vision people. It is designed to help people in every aspect of their everyday lives. It reads texts as soon as it sees it through the camera, has audio guidance to capture longer texts and documents, scans barcodes on products, and recognizes currency and handwriting. The two other features of the app, describing the surroundings and recognizing people and theirfacial expressions , are still a work in progress.

Platform: iOS

Price: Free

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/ai/seeing-ai


Clew: So you’re in a conference room and need to step out for a bit, but you don’t want to ask people where your seat is. This is where Clew steps in. Clew is a primarily indoor navigation app, capturing the exact place where you want to return, remembers it, and helps you get back to where you were, without needing any help. It functions best in well lit indoor spaces, like theatres, conference rooms, etc.

Platform: iOS

Price: Free

http://www.clewapp.org


The vOICe: vOICe is an interesting app that differs from the other apps for blind with augmented reality. Its motto is, “See with your ears!” It is a multimodal app, as well. Its core feature is transforming surroundings into soundscapes; it has a built-in live text reader, color identifier, compass, face detector, and GPS locator. It has a bit of a learning curve, but it is quite useful in capturing the hectic and complex real-life imagery. Think about a busy office!

Platform: Android

Price: Free

https://www.seeingwithsound.com


Supersense: Supersense is also a multimodal app designed for blind and low vision people to navigate everyday life independently. The app has a quick read function, a document capture mode with helpful camera guidance for longer reads, a barcode scanner, currency reader, an explore mode and a find mode. The Explore function recognizes the surroundings and speaks out what it sees and gives feedback with vibration. Find mode is great if you are looking for some specific thing, such as a staircase or a door. It has more than one category, and ranges from inanimate objects to animals and people. Also, the app is easy to use on both platforms. It offers a subscription service, but the free version also has several features available. Among these are the abilities to access a log of what you’ve scanned in the past, and import PDF documents and photos from your library for reading.

Platform: iOS and Android

Price: In-app purchases

https://supersense.app



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