Social contact and communication equipment

Apps and software for phones and devices

There are various apps for Android and Apple phones and tablet devices that can help for example:

  • Synapptic software makes using Android tablets or smartphones easier for blind or visually impaired people with easy to follow menus, large high contrast text and voice control.
  • Google Live Transcribe has free, real time, speech-to-text transcriptions which could help people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Use the camera on your phone with Envision AI to scan any piece of text, your surroundings, objects people or products and everything will be read out to you.
  • iDentifi is another app which is available on Apple phones and enables the user to click on photo and can recognise objects, colours, brands, facial handwriting and text. It works in 27 languages.
  • Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams offer video conferencing with added options to chat and along with sharing screens.
  • TextHear offers real-time speech to text for both Apple and Android phones.

Alternative keyboards and screen reader options

  • Screen magnifiers typically work by enlarging onscreen text and images from the original size up to 64 times the original. They also offer features for changing the mouse size and colour as well as options for tracking the cursor and screen colours for easier viewing.
  • Screen readers converts onscreen text into speech through use of a synthesiser. Nearly all computers, tablets and smartphones have a screen reader function built in. The most popular programs are JAWS and NVDA for Windows computers and VoiceOver for the Mac and iPhone.
  • Dragon Home Speech Recognition Software takes your spoken words and transcribes them into text. Large launcher mobile phone interface app works with Android phones and makes the phone more usable for people with low vision.


TV, photos and music

  • Most Smart TVs come with built-in speech which announces the channel number you are on, and the name of the programme currently aired. It also reads aloud the EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) and associated programme information.
  • Large button universal television remotes are available as are simple to use TV remotes.
  • Talking photo albums are now available.
  • Day clocks with analogue and digital screens can also display messages, reminders and photos which are sent from family and friends via a smartphone or device and can be changed daily.
  • Daisy players are specifically designed to make listening to DAISY books or music CDs as easy as possible for blind or partially sighted people.
  • You can also listen to audio books using a memory stick and a memory stick player, such as Sonic or Sovereign.
  • Dolphin EasyReader provides iOS and Android reading apps for people with dyslexia, low vision and blindness.
  • Audible allows you to listen to audio books on most smartphones, devices and Amazon Echo.

Video guides

Please note: Please read our disclaimer. We do not endorse or recommend any of the products listed above, they are meant for references purposes only.