App-riffic! Smart Phone Apps for People Living With Paralysis

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The phrase "There's an app for that" made famous by Apple commercials, has become ubiquitous in today's smartphone-obsessed society. It's no wonder then that software developers have begun developing applications catering to persons with disabilities.

At Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers we were excited to come across this great website from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, profiling a list of smartphone apps to assist people living with paralysis. They've broken down their top apps into several categories including reference, medical, travel, accessibility, health and fitness and productivity.

  • You can access the 2010 list of best apps here.
  • You can access the 2011 list of best apps here.

There are some particularly neat travel-related apps that help map out accessible routes and services for people on the go. Navigating an unknown city is tricky in the best of circumstances, but when you're looking for accessible routes, the task becomes that much more difficult. One of the apps profiled in the travel section proposes to solve this problem its called Citiroller. This app maps out accessible transit, washrooms, cafes and even wheelchair repair and supply shops! The focus appears to be on American cities so it would be a fantastic tool for anyone in a wheelchair traveling south of the border. You can download this app to a smartphone or you can use the web-based version on your home computer.

Another interesting travel app is called Fast Mall. The Fast Mall app includes maps of malls that help users find accessible routes around the mall by locating elevators, washrooms, entrances, exits etc. The Fast Mall database includes maps of malls all over the world, including Canada. Anyone who has ever found themselves circling around the Eaton Centre looking for an elevator will certainly appreciate this app!

There are also a number of assistive technology apps that make the actual use of a smartphone much easier by persons with limited mobility. For example, there are apps like Dragon Search and Dragon Diction which allow users to operate features on their smartphones with voice commands. These apps allow the user to search the internet, text, email, tweet and update Facebook with voice command alone. This is perfect for individuals with very limited mobility in their upper extremities.

Another app called Proloquo2Goallows your smartphone to do your speaking for you! This app translates text to speech and would be invaluable to anyone with a communication disorder post-injury. The best apps pages also highlight a number of devices designed to allow you to tote your smartphone around easily including wheelchair mounts for phones and armbands that hold the actual phone on your wrist.

Check out the page for a full profile of all the apps and while you're there please take some time to check out the other great spinal cord injury information on this very informative website.


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