Tech Envy: Apps for Vision Impairment

Published in Insight - September/October 2017

Be My Eyes connects people who are blind to sighted helpers via a live video connection. When someone requests assistance—for anything from knowing the expiration date on food to navigating new surroundings—the volunteer receives a notification. After a live video connection is established, the volunteer can answer questions. Currently, the app has more than half a million users in 150 countries who speak more than 90 languages. 



The TapTapSee app photographs objects and says what they are out loud. After the user double-taps the device’s screen to take a picture of an object, the image is analyzed and recognized within seconds. TapTapSee can also upload an image from a device’s camera, repeat the verbal identification, share the identified image and save the image with an identifying tag.


VisionConnect provides a searchable directory of services in the United States and Canada for children and adults who are blind or visually impaired. Listed services in the directory include Braille and reading instruction, employment services and low vision services, training in daily living skills, computers and other technology, and use of guide dogs. VisionConnect also provides home survey checklists, ideas for managing medications, resources and tips for living independently with visual impairment, and personal stories. Health care providers can use the app to create lists of service providers for patients.