Vodafone named the winners of its Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards, which focus on apps designed to help people with disabilities overcome challenges and improve their quality of life by allowing them to be more active and independent.
The winning app in the Wellbeing category was Help Talk, designed to help people unable to communicate through speech by providing them with options to play phrases that communicate simple ideas such as “I’m thirsty” or “I feel pain”. Users can personalise these commands and add more detail using the app.
Wheelmap won the Mobility category for allowing users to rate and review the wheelchair accessibility of public places. In a single month, 180,000 places were reviewed by 1,200 users.
The Independent Living category was won by Zoom Plus Magnifier, which helps people with visual impairments – such as colour blindness, short- and long-sightedness and some forms of dyslexia – by providing options to magnify text, sharpen focus or adjust fonts and background colour.
The final category was Social Participation, won by BIG Launcher. The app provides a customisable Android homescreen with larger buttons to access phone functions, which helps elderly or visually-impaired people who find smaller keyboards difficult to use.
The Vodafone Foundation devised the awards in partnership with AGE Platform Europe and the European Disability Forum, and each winning app earned a share of the EUR200,000 prize fund.