Accessibility on mobiles and tablets
Information on mobile accessibility and how to use your mobile or tablet to help you with your studies or work.
There are many apps and accessibility features out there to help disabled users. These change so rapidly that we felt it was not worthwhile to try and create our own list but rather we hope the advice on sources of guidance and useful search terms will help you be able to locate the most suitable application for you.
Buying a new phone
If you are planning to buy a new mobile phone and want to compare phones on their accessibility features there is a useful website run by GARI (The Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative).
Using your current phone
Mobile phone companies also have useful guidance on the accessibility of their phones, e.g.
Many phones have inbuilt text to speech readers, colour contrast and magnification tools.Your phone may also have other useful inbuilt features - such as taking quick notes, reminder setting, planning tools, audio recording - that can help you manage your studies; check the user guide for advice.
The GARI website also has a list of useful applications categorised by support for hearing / speech / vision / cognition:
In addition, The British Dyslexia Association maintains a very useful list of accessibility applications that may benefit a wide range of users and not just those with Dyslexia.
Useful search terms
As well as searching by impairment name “dyslexia, deafness, etc”, more general search terms may come up with helpful applications. You may find it helpful to check if the app or feature is well reviewed by other users especially University students.
- Text to speech or TTS
- Homophone checker
- Speech Amplification
- To do
- Mind map or mindmap
- Concept map
- Audio recording apps
- VI or visual impairment apps
- Flash alert apps
- Apps for students
- Time management apps
- Study skill apps
Things to watch out for
- If looking for sign language applications make sure you select the correct country – sign language varies from country to country. In the UK British Sign Language is the recognised official sign language and you can search for “BSL”.
- If searching for applications which include spellcheckers, e.g. to help with specific learning difficulties such as Dyslexia, make sure the spellchecker is based on UK English and not American English.
Further information and feedback
For more information on the above, if you have any suggestion or feedback of if you would like any information in an alternative format then please contact Viki Galt, Head of Disability Information, Information Services, contact details below.
BSL users can contact me via Contact Scotland BSL, the on-line British Sign Language interpreting service. Find out more on the Contact Scotland BSL website.