Those of us who've had the opportunity to know the deaf or blind/visually impaired have had a small glimpse into an entirely new world where connectively tools must work differently. The deaf "hear" with their eyes and the blind "see" with their ears. As a consequence, mobile phones that rely on both audio and visual functions rarely serve their needs straight out of the box. To address this a variety of helpful mobile apps have entered the market and are revolutionizing communications for the deaf and blind.
Before mobile devices with accessiblity apps, the blind would often have to plan ahead for simple things like shopping lists, and often ask for help. Now, with apps like Microsoft Seeing AI, they can have text read aloud to them. This gives the blind independence as well as lessens the guilt over having to bother others for assistance. Plus, it gives them privacy to handle things like email. Many of these applications use AI to understand what the user is asking them to do.
Not only do these apps make life easier for the disabled, they also open up a market for hardware and software developers. More products are in the works to introduce apps that caption live audio as well as apps that use AI to help those with speech impediments communicate. Online delivery services like InstaCart, which has a mobile app, make shopping easier for those who have difficulty traveling, and there are even more apps that have made the world more accessible.
This article was based on a May 13, 2019 CNet article by Shelby Brown