The world is changing at a very rapid speed. In this race, some people always lag because of any physical deformity or mental illness. Earlier, these people were always seen as a burden and were never treated with any respect, but with the development of technology and understanding of humans, these people got their strong foothold in society. As this is the era of technological advancement and we all have smartphones filled with apps to make our daily life easy, there are certain apps which will make the life of differently-abled people easy and self- dependent. Now, they’re not dependent on anyone else for commutation, to get the things from the nearest cafe or to look for a life partner who will love them for what they are.

Here is the list of five apps which make the life of differently-abled people easier:

1) BillionAbles:

This Delhi based startup by Sameer Garg is India’s first lifestyle app which helps older citizens and people with special needs to find restaurants, tourist locations and other public places across India. The BillionAbles app was conceptualised by Garg and developed by co-founder Deepak Kumar, 24, who is a student of engineering at Kurukshetra University in Haryana. It lists accessible venues and services under various categories including restaurants, hotels, malls, wellness centres, events and parking spaces. The user can filter the search results based on features such as step-free access, braille and sign language availability, gluten-free food, and eating aids. The results open up in the list as well as map view. The app is accessible for people with varied disabilities. For instance, visually impaired people can use the app through its ‘text to speech’ and ‘speech to text’ feature. There are many other features which include subtitle feature for deaf people and colour theme adjusts with the vision of the user. Currently, they have over 150 verified listings of places in Delhi, Rajasthan and Goa.

2) Walky talky:

Walky talky is an interactive application that guides you through streets then and there, saying where you are and where you are about to move. This will help physically challenged people to know where they are moving in the busy world without others’ support. It works with the help of GPS to provide a virtual guide for navigation.

3) Avaz App:

Avaz, a language development mobile app launched in 2012, helps children with speech disorders and is now being used by at least 197 government-run schools for children with speech impediments and learning disabilities in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tool, notable for being India’s first successful AAC intervention. It is an electronic version of picture exchange cards, used primarily for children with autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, Angelman’s syndrome, Downs syndrome, and other non-verbal disabilities. Avaz was invented by “Ajit Narayanan”, an invention for which he was on MIT’s list for 2011.

4) Askblee App:

Askblee App is a part of a startup called Bleetech which is working for the deaf by providing tech and human-centric design-driven solutions. The sense of touch and vision are used for audio alerts. This covers (a)Bleewatch (a smartwatch for the hearing impaired), (b)Askblee (a WhatsApp group answering all questions in Indian Sign language) and (c)BleeTV. The founders are Nupura Kirloskar and Janhavi Joshi, Industrial designers from Mumbai.

5) Inclov:

Full form of Inclov is “Inclusive Love”. It is a mobile matchmaking app for specially challenged people. It was started by “Kalyani Khona and Shankar Srinivasan”. There are 19000 registered Indian users on the app. You can find love based on age, location, disability or medication. There is an In-app chat feature as well. A bonus is that you can change the font sizes and colour themes in the app to your liking. Visually impaired users can talk back and use a screen reader too.

This is helpful since 30% of the blind population of the world is living in India. After all, even those with physical, mental or health disorders deserve a shot at happiness like the rest of us. Let us all come together and pledge to make the notion of disability disappear.