4 Accessibility Apps to Help You Excel at Work
By Chelsea Lamb
If you are a person with disabilities, you know better than anyone the difficulties and frustrations you can sometimes face in a less accessible workplace. While the rate of employment among people with disabilities is rising — from 17.9 percent in 2020 to 19.1 percent in 2021 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics — it can still be difficult to navigate in a professional space that doesn't feel like it was designed for you. Fortunately, with the rise in technology comes a rise in apps specifically designed to help people with all sorts of disabilities move up in their careers. We outline a few here.
1. Dragon Anywhere
If you are unable to type, Dragon Anywhere is a great choice for you. This app is specially designed to take dictation at a professional level so that you can draft emails, memos, or other important documents without needing to type at a computer. Dragon Anywhere is 99 percent accurate, and allows you to use your voice to edit and change the formatting of your document.
In contrast to generic word-to-text converters, this app actually learns how you speak so that you can dictate with greater accuracy. You can also create customized words, and once your document is finished, you can share it on email or dropbox.
Those who don’t drive might be looking for areas that are walkable, and you can check online to see where high Walk Scores are prevalent. Or, if a wheelchair is your mode of getting around, with both a website and an app, Wheelmap is an excellent resource for people who use wheelchairs.
There are all sorts of reasons why you may need to go out for work — an unexpected lunch meeting, a get-together with a client, or a work event. But choosing where to go is stressful if you don't know whether the location is wheelchair accessible. Wheelmap shows information on local places, displaying whether they are fully accessible, partially accessible, or not accessible at all. The site is crowdsourced, with local users inputting the information on each location.
3. Ghotit Real Writer
Ghotit Real Writer offers a range of products, including an app and a computer program, designed to help people with dyslexia or dysgraphia. In a professional environment, it can be incredibly frustrating to spend excessive amounts of time writing and editing a document only to find it still has mistakes.
Ghotit is a proofreader, as well as a grammar and punctuation checker, that is specifically designed to catch the types of mistakes dyslexic writers often make. It can offer word predictions, context-specific spellchecks, and speech feedback. Additionally, it provides dual highlighting to help you read your document.
4. Miracle Modus
Have you ever suffered from sensory overload? This common symptom can occur as a side effect of a number of conditions, and it can be temporarily debilitating, making it impossible to continue working. Miracle Modus is an app created by a designer with autism, and is specifically designed to help quell the symptoms of sensory overload. It shows soothing, colorful lights and makes a soft ringing sound. Being able to take some time to yourself to recover from sensory overload will make it significantly easier to get through the workday.
Get a Smartphone that Meets Your Needs
No matter what your job, having an up to date smartphone will make it easier to connect with clients, stay informed, and make the best use of accessible technology. If you're due for an upgrade, the iPhone 14 is a great choice — it's incredibly fast, with a 13 hour battery life and a powerful camera. If you prefer Android, try the Samsung Galaxy S22; this smartphone features intelligent performance to learn how you use your device so that it can predict your needs.
Consider Going Back to School
If learning about all of these accessibility apps has increased your confidence in getting the job you’ve wanted, then don’t let the right degree stop you. Many of these same apps will come in handy as you pursue whatever degree will get you to your career. Online programs are helpful as they remove some of the physical barriers that can prevent people with disabilities from pursuing higher education. This is a good option to consider whether you are looking for a bachelor’s in education or any number of degree options.
Use the Tools to Reach Your Goals
Every day, technology is continuing to adapt and become more accessible, offering new apps and programs to help everyone perform at their best. By finding the tools that work for you, you'll be able to excel in your chosen career or even in a degree program you’ve wanted to pursue. Take advantage of these tools and use them to your advantage. Perhaps you’ll be the one creating the next big accessibility tool!
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