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Applications (Apps)

What is an app?

‘App’ is short for Application and there are literally hundreds to choose from. Applications vary in type depending on the device you use and the software you run.

Apps can help the development of communication, fine motor skills, learning, behaviour, social skills, and enhance opportunities for inclusion.

Some are simply for fun and enjoyment, promoting bonding time with friends and family.

Which app will run on my device?

If you have an Apple iPad 3 or iPhone 5S you maybe running iOS7.1.2 (an operating System) and that determines which apps you can purchase.

If you have a phone or tablet running the Android operating system you will need different apps.

The good news is that most devices have an in-built app store and the applications that are suitable for your device are there already. You simply have to search for the one you require.

What apps exist to help children’s development?

iPhone and iPad

CoIAR by Puteko
Bring your colouring-in to life with this augmented reality app. Free to download and just pay for new stencil additions.

Dexteria by BinaryLAbs, Inc
Designed by Occupational Therapists to promote pre-writing skills in the following 3 areas;
- tracing activity - numbers, lower and upper case letters
- pinch activity - thumb and finger fine motor prehension
- tap activity - isolated finger movement
All sessions are timed and reports available to email making it a great way to record progress with children. Dexteria has a family of helpful apps.

iWriteWords Lite by gdiplus
Designed for pre-writing letter and number formation. Auditory drum cues and crab squeaks when moved. Younger children love the bright colours and visuals. They need to follow coloured numbers for direction,which can be confusing, but it is fairly failsafe with excellent auditory verbal feedback. Lite version is free, so it is worth a look.

Paint Sparkle by Kids Game Club
Kids love this one, regardless of age. Finger drawing with magic colour sparkles. Colours identified with audio. Different outlines to make it interesting but have to pay for choice. Can alter brush size. Kids Game Club has lots of fun educational apps to look at.

Alphabet Tracing by Oncilla Technology
Has a free and paid version. With the paid version you can create worksheets e.g. letter and number tracing and formations, as well as word tracing. Creates pdf sheets that you can email and print off - it's quite handy.

Doodle Buddy by Pinger, Inc

Good for encouraging use of pointer finger and you only need light pressure, so good for those kids who find finger strength difficult.

Glow paint by Limit Point Software
A bit like Doodle Buddy, but on a black background and with bright, glowing colours.

i-xylophone by Alessandro Benedettini
Good for developing use of pointer finger. You can change the sounds as well.

Bricky Free by FelaSold SA
This app is good for building and creating any picture. Looks like real-life lego and has the option to change size of blocks, colour and direction.

Music Sparkles - All in One by Kids Games Club
This app is great for those children who love making noise with musical instruments. Choose from a list of instruments and tap or shake the ipad to make the sound

Tap to talk by Assistyx LLC
Give a non-verbal child or adult a voice with this AAC album of 2000 pictures.


This app identifies objects for people who are blind

Android Apps

TalkBack, KickBack & SoundBack
Googles Accessibility Services that help blind and vision-impaired users interact with their devices. Talkback adds spoken, audible, and vibration feedback to your device. These apps add spoken, audible, and vibration functionality services to your device. It is a system application that was pre-installed on most devices and is updated when the accessibility service is improved. TalkBack, Kickback, and SoundBack are apps already on your android device.
These apps only get activated if you explicitly turn on Accessibility.
Steps to activate Accessibility:
1. Go to Settings
2. Select Accessibility
3. Enable Accessibility checkbox
4. Enable TalkBack, KickBack, SoundBack checkboxes

Big Laucher
A fast and simple Android interface for seniors and people with vision problems.

Vlingo Virtual Assistant
Vlingo for Android combines fast and accurate voice to text technology with the intelligence to listen to what you say, and quickly connect you with people, businesses and activities so that you can get things done while on the go.Apps for special education

ABA FlashCards
DAF Assistant

Apps for Children with disability


Disability Network (40 Amazing iPad Apps for Children with Learning Disabilities)-

Apps for people with physical disability:

Autism support specific apps

Autism Apps by Touch Autism
This free app provides a list of useful apps that can be used for children diagnosed with a variety of disabilities. The lists are separated into useful categories such as "Cause & Effect", "Education", "Games" plus many more. When you select an app from the list, you are provided with some more information about the app including a general description, reviews written by parents, specialists and other users as well as information regarding cost. A very useful app for children with disabilities.

Turn Taker by Touch Autism
This app is used to facilitate turn-taking and sharing in activities for children with disabilities. This app allows you to choose and set the time of each person’s turn. You can change the times of each turn and wait for the timer to count down your turn. The app then indicates when the turn is over using a "finished" sign.  This app would be useful for any child with a disability to encourage them to share with others.

Autistic Children -

Children with Autism & Disability – a parent guide by Raising Children Network

It is a free app which has information for parents/carers about ASD and disability to use before and after the diagnosis.

What apps exist to assist with communication and planning?

First Then
My Chalk Board
My Talk Tools
Communication Skills
VAST Autism 1 Core
Pic Board

What apps assist with learning?

Learning Disability by Joviant Technology

What apps assist with rewards?

Token Board

Apps for behaviour


Apps for disability travel

Accessiblesydney -

Melbourne - Out & About by Villa Maria Society
Disabled Parking Australia by Weetulta

Apps that help track people

Community Sidekick by Ablelink
If you have a family member living with Dementia, Alzheimer's, brain injury or memory loss, this app can help you with a track-and-find option. It is worth noting that the new iPhone and iPad have this built-in facility.

Other note worthy apps

Book Creator
MyTalk Mobile
My NDIS My Way by Wesley Mission

Panda Pal  - available for iPad and Android (smartphone non Apple such as Samsung). It has a unique touch and hold feature which is great for determining true intention rather than accidental touches.

Moms with Apps - or

Some devices have built-in assistants like Apple’s “Siri” and Android’s “Iris” - both are easy-to-use, one-touch and can be set up for individual needs.