As a braille specialist at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, I am often asked about my recommendations for apps for our students with visual impairments. I have compiled a list of some of my favorites and divided them into two groups. The first section presents a list of apps to access text, through e-readers, text-to-speech, audiobooks, and other auditory formats. Some have braille displays. You will find a range of options, some of which are free, and a note of which platforms they can be used with (e.g. iOS, Android, Kindle, Windows). The second section features apps to access environmental print, as well as other information in the environment, such as navigation, colors, and money.
We hope you enjoy exploring these! New apps are coming out all the time, so please let us know if there are other apps that you think should be included here.
- Audible (www.audible.com): Subscription service to download narrated audiobooks (an Amazon Company). $14.95/month (Multiple devices supported.)
- BARD - Braille and Audio Reading Download (https://nlsbard.loc.gov/): National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Downloadable Books and Magazines. FREE (iOS, Android, Kindle)
- OneStep Reader (formerly known as KNFB Reader) - Turns any printed text into speech that is read aloud or into braille with a connected braille display. $99.99 for a two-device license (iOS, Android, Windows)
- Learning Ally (www.learningally.org) - Library of human-read audiobooks and textbooks. $119.00 annual membership fee (iOS, Android)
- Overdrive (www.overdrive.com) – Borrow ebooks, audiobooks, and more from your local Public Library. FREE (iOS, Android, Windows)
Bookshare (www.bookshare.org) Accessible Online Library for people with print disabilities.
- Read2Go - an accessible ebook reader app that lets you read Bookshare books on Apple devices. $19.99 (iOS)
- GoRead - is a free, open source ebook reader. Connects directly to online libraries like Bookshare. FREE (Android)
- Voice Dream Reader (www.voicedream.com/reader/ ) Text-to-Speech ability to change text font size, spacing, color, highlighting, etc. $14.99 (iOS, Android)
- Voice Dream Writer (www.voicedream.com/writer/ ) proofreads your writing with text to speech. $9.99 (iOS)
- CaptiVoice (https://www.captivoice.com/capti-site/) Listen and read audiobooks, website content, and documents in multiple formats. Cloud services, save and access documents offline; multiple languages supported. FREE (iOS) (Premium plan available)
- @Voice Aloud Reader (http://www.hyperionics.com/atVoice/) HTML reader, document reader and ebook reader all in one for reading both on-screen or listening. FREE? (Android)
Accessing Environmental Print
- BlindSquare (www.blindsquare.com) GPS navigation app that describes the environment, announces points of interest and street intersections as you travel. (iOS)
- TapTapSee (http://taptapseeapp.com/) Identifies/speaks the identification of a photo of anything, at any angle. FREE (IOS, Android)
- Aipoly (http://aipoly.com/) Uses real-time image recognition to identify objects and colors. FREE (iOS, Android)
- Aira (https://aira.io) A service utilizing wearable smart glasses, a smartphone, WiFi connection, and certified live agents to respond to requests from the user. ($89-$329 monthly plans)
- LookTel Money Reader (http://www.looktel.com/moneyreader) Recognizes currency and speaks denominations; supports a number of currencies and languages. FREE (iOS)
- IDEAL U.S. Currency Identifier (http://moneyfactory.gov/) Identifies denominations of U.S. paper currency. FREE (Android)
- Seeing AI (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/seeing-ai/) Speaks/reads text, locates scans barcodes to identify products; recognizes friends/people. FREE (iOS)
- BeMyEyes (http://bemyeyes.com/) Connects visually impaired users to sighted volunteers via a live video connection. FREE (iOS, Android) (must be 17+ to download)
- Digit-Eyes (http://digit-eyes.com/) Barcode reader; can make or record your own QR labels or buy pre-printed washable labels; large database of manufacturer product codes. $9.99 (iOS)