What are the best disability-friendly apps out there at the moment?

From a support worker’s perspective

In an attempt to come into a better understanding of what some of the best apps for persons with a disability are we spoke with support worker Sasha.

She had volunteered with Melba for the past 18 months whilst getting a diploma of communications. Before then she had been a hairdresser for 10 years, which one would remark that she has always worked in communications!

In commenting on the people whom she supports she stated that they,

‘Don’t really use apps’ and that its,

‘By choice, sometimes their behaviour can escalate with screen time.’

She did suggest that the YouTube app was very popular amongst the people whom she supports and that watching videos was calming and soothing and created more focus, however in this discussion it was very clearly problematic that the perhaps some apps and videos are targeted for children and not adults and perhaps the language needs to be improved or changed for adults especially to establish more inclusiveness.


From a supported person’s perspective

Rich Donovan’s company, Return On Disability, helps corporations’ cash in on the disability market when it comes to technology. He helps them to adjust their products, customer experiences and recruiting processes to incorporate persons with a disability. Better disability-friendly products equals more profitability. He’s turning the power of their own greed on themselves, to benefit people with disability. Go you good thing.

Rich himself lives with cerebral palsy. He was the first trader on the floor of the New York stock exchange with a visible disability.

Meanwhile, he also started Lime Connect, a company that handpicks highly talented people with a disability and jump-starts their careers by linking them with big business. In its first year, Google hired six of the company’s 20 starters.

Slowly, slowly, lazy people stop being the unwitting drivers of innovation. Persons with a disability are replacing them and taking control.


From a community member’s perspective

Jessica, a community member was recently searching for some of the most useful apps for persons with a disability and stumbled across one she really enjoys and would love to shed light on- RIDBC Auslan Tutor.

It’s a free app that can teach you the key signs of the Auslan sign language and includes pictures and videos of each key sign.

With a friendly person in her neighbourhood who is hearing impaired and yet is always trying to converse with her, she can sometimes struggle on what he is trying to communicate and leaves her always feeling at fault because everybody deserves the right to be heard and to be understood.

Originally she could only say, ‘thank you’ to him but now with this free app she has been able to learn some basic gestures and since has able to have a full conversation with him!

He was extremely surprised and grateful that they could converse together and yet it wasn’t a lot of time or trouble to learn a few gestures and become more inclusive.

If you can learn a little you can learn a lot.