Hot off the Press! New and Retooled Apps!
New and Retooled Apps
We get excited around here by innovative and creative technologies that help children with disabilities develop, become more independent and succeed in life. Keeping up with the thousands of apps that come to market every day is no small feat (and we do not claim to do it), but to start off, we have compiled some new apps that have certainly caught our attention. We hope that you find an app or two that become your new favorite!
By Carolyn Hampton
Designed by a 16 year old girl who was a victim of severe bullying, Sit With Us is a social networking app designed to promote kindness and inclusion in schools. Kids can use the app’s features to coordinate lunches with their friends. They can also volunteer to be Ambassadors for their schools and post open lunch events on campus where everyone will be included. No one needs to eat alone! Learn more about Sit With Us.
Website: Sit With Us
By James Stanfield Co., Inc.
Circles App: Social Boundaries & Relationships is an outstanding tool for teaching social boundaries to individuals with developmental delays. Circles uses a visual format of color-coded, concentric “spheres of intimacy” that represent the degrees of physical closeness a person might experience.
The app is user-friendly, allowing each user to create their own personal profile (using either real pictures or avatars), and drag-and-drop the profiles of others into their circles; this allows the user to visually see where family, friends and strangers fall on their Circles chart, and the varying degrees of physical contact that are associated with each circle (who gets a hug, who gets highfives, etc.).
By Toca Boca AB
Encourages players to use their imagination by allowing them to select from a variety of avatars, along with a stable full of different horse breeds and endless opportunities for equine fun!It provides users with a virtual horse-care experience, where players can feed and groom their horse, select their own riding gear and horse tack, and choose which course to ride; the woods, the arena and an agility ring are just a few options to explore. Many children with disabilities have benefited greatly from hippotherapy – or therapy with the help of horses..
By Avaz, Inc.
Designed for children six years and older, FreeSpeech is a visually appealing and interactive app that guides its users to create grammatically correct sentences. Drag and rearrange picture tiles, and the app will convert them into a perfectly grammatical English sentence. Explore how tenses, sentence forms, parts of speech, and other grammatical properties change the structure of English – – and it’s all visual.
By Sebastian Kehoe
From the moment the app is opened, the user has control over where to go and what to do as he or she explores various rooms in Tommy’s house. Each room is full of interactive fun. A touch-based and intuitive interface where learners can play without parents support, exploring and discovering new items and situations in every room of the house. The app was designed for an international kids audience – which means minimal text.
By Synovia Solutions LLC.
The app allows you to view the realtime location of your child’s school bus on your smartphone, tablet or computer. With it, you will have the information you need to send your children to the bus stop at just the right time, helping to protect them from inclement weather and other roadside dangers.
News-O-Matic is a fun, engaging and accurate digital news source designed just for kids! The magazinelike app contains interactive activities and videos. Each day, News-O-Matic features five stories (written at 3 reading levels) covering the United States, international news, arts, sports, science and more. News-O-Matic articles are ad-free, bilingual and written by a staff of journalists, including educational experts and reviewed by a psychologist to ensure age appropriate content.
Price: FREE, with an in-app purchase
By Daimonic Creations AB
DayCape is an app that allows therapists, teachers, parents, and even the child themselves to set up visual schedules to help them understand and manage the events in their day. This app was recently updated to allow users to use this tool offline with no internet connection. It has also added a customization feature to choose a favorite sound for notifications within the app. Kids can make it their own!
By Birdhouse LLC
Excellent app that offers caregivers the ability to keep track of behaviors, health and daily living tasks.
In October 2016, Birdhouse launched a whole new design:
- Faster logging and easier to record all kinds of notes
- Sharing with your team- spouse, teacher, therapist, anyone, with controls for who can see and edit what
- A new quick-intro summary, explaining essential medical & background info, which can be shared with anyone
- Reminders and Notifications to make scheduling and note taking easier
By Waze Inc.
Drivers or passengers in your area share real-time traffic and road information to save time and gas.
Child Reminder, a new feature of Waze, will appear once the vehicle reaches its destination by displaying a reminder not to forget a child in the car. The customizable notification means that the user can set a reminder for more than just children once they reach their destination: a reminder for a pets, groceries, or simply something that they need to remember to do after a long car trip.
If you are interested in searching for more apps, creating your own list of apps and sharing them, please go to BridgingApps.org. BridgingApps, a program of Easter Seals Greater Houston, is a community of parents, therapists, doctors and teachers who share information about using mobile devices with people who have special needs.
Cristen Reat is co-founder of BridgingApps and a mother who found success when using a mobile device with her children who have special needs.
Amy Barry is the Content Manager and Editor at BridgingApps and mother of five children.
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This post originally appeared on our January/February 2017 Magazine