Accessible Technology at Your Fingertips: Must-Have Apps for Deaf Individuals

Whenever people feel nostalgic about the past or start throwing wild claims like the fact that they were born at the wrong time, the best way to bring them down to earth is to remind them of individuals with impairment.

Today, prosthetics made with advanced robotics and 3D printing can help individuals without limbs like never before. People born deaf can hear for the first time, and you see videos of colorblind people seeing color for the first time all the time. It was never before possible for people with disabilities to live as fulfilling lives as it is today.

All of this is partially possible due to software development, as well. While incredible devices and gadgets aren’t available to everyone, almost 7 billion people can access a smartphone. This means that they can easily download a life-changing app. Here are four such app types for deaf individuals.

Accessible Technology at Your Fingertips: Must-Have Apps for Deaf Individuals

1. Phone call captioning

Linguistic AI algorithms are so advanced that we can actually use text-to-speech app captioning in real time. This way, users of these devices can use text in phone calls or convert their speech into text (when conversing with a deaf individual).

In other words, deaf individuals can finally access the phone call feature. Still, using this in phone calls is just one of the many advantages of this app.

Even people who are great at lip reading still have problems in group settings and more chaotic environments; this is why they need tools for real-time captioning.

Then, there’s the fact that most people don’t have sound on 80% of the time. Many people use their phones in public, and this feature would enable them even to make phone calls this way. Then again, many millennials and Gen Z people report that phone conversations make them anxious. This is a simple and elegant way to avoid them altogether.

Ultimately, captioning provides you with greater privacy when conversing in public areas. To get an insight into the context of your conversation, the other person would have to see your screen, not just stand nearby.

2. Translating into sign language

Why is this necessary when there are real-time captioning apps? Isn’t text just more accurate and more convenient?

Sometimes, you want to show respect to a person with hearing trouble by making extra effort and learning sign language. This can help show that you care and aid you in establishing a more intimate relationship with the person in question.

Sure, you can learn sign language conventionally, but sometimes it’s better to learn in practice. Now, as a deaf individual, knowing this app can help you provide this particular person with your life with a perfect learning tool.

It’s also important to understand that deaf individuals need practice with sign language, as well. With all the captioning mentioned above and text-to-speech apps, people with hearing impairment aren’t using sign language as much as they used to. This makes them go a bit rusty in this department.

This is also partially possible because of how sound testing and recognition work in 2023. Never before was the hardware so potent.

3. Hearing aid apps

Tracking the battery on your hearing aid is incredibly important for individual users. It gives you the ability to track the performance and battery level of the app, as well as a chance to adjust/customize the settings via a simple and intuitive interface.

You see, while hearing aid devices are completely life-changing, they have flaws. With the help of feedback suppression, there are so many annoying whistling or feedback noises caused by the mechanism. You can quickly eliminate these environmental sounds with the right hearing aid app.

Then, you may be interested in usage data and statistics of the hearing app. While this is useful for a deaf individual, it’s even more beneficial for developers and manufacturers. By understanding the use, they can create a far superior product in the future.

Lastly, some people are self-conscious regarding hearing aids, so adjusting them without physically touching them is such a massive quality-of-life feature.

4. Emergency communication apps

People with hearing troubles are far from helpless, and with the help of one of the above-listed apps, they’ll have a much easier time asking for directions. However, what if there are no other people around? After all, hearing is one of the senses that help us develop environmental awareness. You’re in an even more perilous situation without hearing the danger coming.

This is why emergency communication apps are so important. These have pre-configured emergency messages (alongside the person’s location) they will send to the recipient. Overall, emergency communication apps can save lives, and they’re good to have even if you’re lucky enough that you never actually have to use them.

Wrap up

It’s not just about how good these apps are or how big of a quality-of-life difference they make. It’s also about the fact that they are free and available to anyone with a smartphone. Downloading them takes a couple of seconds, and what you get is a huge aid in your communication.

This makes it an opportunity you can’t afford to miss out on.