Finding Apps for Special Needs

If you are a frequent visitor to our blog, you probably know we cover all forms of assistive technology for individuals with mobility, hearing, visual impairments and other special needs.  In more recent years, one of the more common types of assistive technologies include smartphones and tablets.  By offering a myriad of accessibility options and over 300,000 apps, these smart devices have opened up a whole new world of possibilities for individuals with and without special needs.

With there being 300,000+ apps to choose from, finding the right one(s) for you or your child’s needs may be overwhelming.  Fortunately, there are several websites to help you find the right apps for your specific needs.

3 websites to find apps for special needs

1. Bridging Apps

BridgingApps is a program of Easter Seals Greater Houston that provides “access to educational and therapeutic tools—anywhere, anytime—allowing parents, teachers, and therapists to effectively use mobile devices and apps to target and improve individual skill development to help children and adults with disabilities reach their highest levels of physical and cognitive development.”

Upon visiting BridgingApps, you’ll notice several convenient resources listed at the top of the page.  One of these links is App Search with a drop down menu listing a few options including “Find an App” and a helpful guide on how to search for apps.

Under the “Find an App” link, you’ll notice the company has reviewed 3,254 apps (and counting) for individuals with special needs.  Here you can search for apps by keyword, grade level, age, price, category, skill level, mobile device, and more.

2. Friendship Circle

Another resource to help you find the right app for your child with special needs is Friendship Circle.  Friendship Circle of Michigan is a “non-profit organization that provides programs and support to the families of individuals with special needs.  In addition to assisting individuals with special needs, Friendship Circle brings together teenage volunteers and children with special needs for hours of fun and friendship…”

When visiting their apps page, you’ll be able to search through more than 357 apps.  You can either directly type keywords in the search bar, or browse apps by category.  The apps are sorted under:

3. Common Sense Media

A third resource for finding the right app for your child with special needs is Common Sense.  Common Sense is “dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology.  We empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.”

By visiting Common Sense Media’s app page, you’ll find the Learning Difficulties and Special Needs Guide.  If you scroll down, you’ll be able to browse the resources by categories.  A unique feature about this particular website is that they directly categorize not only by need, but by skill level (e.g. beginner, intermediate, advanced, etc.)

The categories included on this website include: