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Google accessibility apps

Martin-O2
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Hey everyone, 

 

The modern smartphone has had a massive impact on how people live work and play and as more and more of our daily lives are managed through our phones we should be mindful that not everyone can enjoy the benefits of this amazing technology in the same way. 

 

Access for All logo

 

This is why Google has a now has a wide range of accessibility apps available on the Play Store which can be used by those with various disabilities to make life easier allow them to take advantage of the full functionality of their mobile devices.... 

 

Android Accessibility Suite

This collection of accessibility apps helps you use your Android device eyes-free or with a switch device.

 

Android Accessibility Suite includes:
• Accessibility Menu: Use this large on-screen menu to lock your phone, control volume and brightness, take screenshots, and more.
• Select to Speak: Select items on your screen and hear them read aloud.
• Switch Access: Interact with your Android device using one or more switches or a keyboard instead of the touch screen.
• TalkBack screen reader: Get spoken feedback, control your device with gestures, and type with the on-screen braille keyboard.

 

Android Accessibility Suite requires Android 6 (Android M) or later.

 

Voice Access

Allows you to use your smartphone with your voice, ideal for anyone who has difficulty using a touch screen. 

 

Voice Access helps anyone who has difficulty manipulating a touch screen (e.g. due to paralysis, tremor, or temporary injury) use their Android device by voice.

Voice Access provides many voice commands for:
- Basic navigation (e.g. "go back", "go home", "open Gmail")
- Controlling the current screen (e.g. "tap next", "scroll down")
- Text editing and dictation (e.g. "type hello", "replace coffee with tea")

You can also say "Help" any time to see a short list of commands.

Voice Access includes a tutorial which introduces the most common voice commands (starting Voice Access, tapping, scrolling, basic text editing, and getting help).

You can use the Google Assistant to start Voice Access by saying "Hey Google, Voice Access". To do this, you’ll need to enable "Hey Google" detection. You can also tap either the Voice Access notification or a blue Voice Access button and start talking.

 

Sound Amplifier

For those who are hard of hearing. This app lets you boost audio and cut out unnecessary sounds from your mobile device. 

 

Sound Amplifier enhances audio from your Android device, using headphones to improve listening clarity. Use Sound Amplifier to filter, augment, and amplify sounds around you and on your device. Sound Amplifier increases important sounds, like conversations, without over-boosting distracting noises. With two simple sliders, you can quickly customize sound enhancement and reduce background noise.

Available for devices with Android 6.0 and later

 

Action Blocks

You can create custom buttons for repeat actions with this app, allowing you to simplify processes on your device. 

 

Action Blocks makes routine actions easier with customizable buttons on your Android home screen.

Powered by the Google Assistant, you can easily set up Action Blocks for a loved one. Action Blocks can be configured to do anything the Assistant can do, in just one tap: call a friend, watch your favorite show, control the lights, and more.

Action Blocks can also be configured to speak phrases. This can be especially useful to people with speech and language disorders to quickly communicate during urgent situations.

Built with the growing number of people with age-related conditions and cognitive differences in mind, Action Blocks can also be used for people with learning differences, or even for adults who want a very simple way to access routine actions on their phones. Set it up for your family, friends, or for yourself.Action Blocks now features tens of thousands of picture communication symbols (PCS® by Tobii Dynavox), providing a seamless visual experience for users of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices and special education software.

Action Blocks may also be useful for anyone who could benefit from an easier way to perform routine actions on their device, including individuals with dementia, aphasia, speech disorder, autism, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, Down syndrome, Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, dexterity impairments, or other conditions. People who use adaptive switches, Switch Access, or Voice Access may also benefit.

 

Live Transcribe

Another great app for the hard of hearing. Live Transcribe lets you transcribe conversations in real time along with sending notifications based on sounds in the home like a fire alarm. 

 

Live Transcribe has a new name—Live Transcribe & Sound Notifications. It's an app that makes everyday conversations and surrounding sounds more accessible among people who are deaf and hard of hearing, using just your Android phone.

Using Google’s state-of-the-art automatic speech recognition and sound detection technology, Live Transcribe & Sound Notifications provides you free, real-time transcriptions of your conversations and sends notifications based on your surrounding sounds at home. The notifications make you aware of important situations at home, such as a fire alarm or doorbell ringing, so that you can respond quickly.

 

We'd love to hear what you think about these and other accessibility apps. Do you or a family members use any of these, or other accessibility apps? If so how has your experience been? Would you recommend any accessibility apps to others, if so which ones? 

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