6 apps for the deaf and hearing-impaired


Having a hearing impediment shouldn’t stop you from getting the most out of your technology. The rise of smartphones and tablets means deaf and hard-of-hearing now have a great range of tools to choose from to make their lives easier.

Here are 6 apps that are currently available through the iTunes App store.

1. LouderTV

Want to watch TV but keep getting told to turn down the volume by your loved ones? This app allows you to use your iPhone as a hearing aid/ personal amplifier. Plug in your headphones to your device and place it with the microphone closest to the TV. It also allows you to adjust the volume and settings whilst your programme is playing. $13.99 from the App store

2. ASL Dictionary

Translate English into American Sign Language with this app that comes with over 5200 signed words at your fingertips. Watch videos of professional sign language instructors to see how it’s done. The ASL Dictionary includes signage for numbers, common English phrases, symbols, time, dates, and more. $4.19 from the App store.

3. ASL Baby Sign

Parents of hearing impaired children find themselves learning at the same time as they are trying to teach sign language. This app is designed to make it easy for both parties. It comes with 170 ASL videos, and is customisable, allowing you to add your own pictures, videos, voice, and text, making it easier to introduce your child to items in your household. $2.59 from the App store.

4. Polygraf

This app allows you to read typed text in real-time. Follow on your smartphone or tablet while your friend/teacher/colleague types on their notebook. Also, the app allows for more than one person to connect, meaning groups of people with a hearing impediment can follow along easily, which is perfect for a classroom environment. Free through the App store.

5. Subtitles by Structure6

Most movies come with subtitle capabilities, but in case you come across one that doesn’t, this app allows you to access a library of movie subtitles in 20 languages. $1.29 from app store.

6. IDA

This app allows deaf people to verbally communicate with others. Pressing one of the command buttons plays an audio file, e.g. “How are you?” IDA comes with diction capability, allowing the recordings of conversations, and their conversion to text, on-screen. Free through the app store, but this app has no ratings. Diction apps are notorious for being unreliable at times, so test it out before you take it on the town.

(These apps were live at the time this blog post was written).

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