5 Essential iPhone Apps for Blind or Visually Impaired Travelers

Hands holding an iphone with speech accessibility options on screen.
Are you planning your next exchange? Whether going to a conference in the next town, or a work assignment in the next continent, you'll come back to each and every one of these apps.

Blind Square

This connects with your iPhone's GPS functions to bring you live vocalized information about where you're at and where you're going. Open the application and let it run in the background, as it tells you the street you're walking on, addresses that you pass, cross streets, and landmarks of interest. Do searches for the nearest breakfast spot or the convention center, and Blind Square will help get you there. It is excellent for getting oriented to a new place, or just getting the name of that street when there is no one around.

Google Maps

This will provide you step-by-step voice directions. Walk, take public transit, or drive from the back seat of your taxi with the three settings: walking, transit, driving. Search the name of the destination in your Safari web browser, and tap the "directions" link to begin a route from Google maps.

Yelp

Yelp connects you with information on key places of interest including restaurants, cafés, shopping and more, as well as customer reviews, menus, addresses, and phone numbers.

Look Tell Money Reader

This instantly reads paper money in 21 denominations. Point the camera at a currency note and it instantly tells you how much it is. Place your finger over the phone's camera to temporarily activate the LED flashlight where light is limited, or if you just need extra light. Don't forget to fold the bills after you have recognized them.

Compass

This might be the last thing on anyone's mind for this list, but we did not want to leave it out. Whether or not you have Internet access, your iPhone's built-in compass will always give you a clear idea of where you are heading, and thus how to get back. If you are intimidated by cardinal directions, you might consider this as an opportunity to start learning, especially if you are thinking about going to an area with limited Internet.

Those are just a few of our favorite iPhone apps for blind or visually impaired Globetrotters. Is your favorite app not here? Let us know through our contact form. Happy travels!

Mention of an organization, company, service or resource should not be construed as an endorsement by MIUSA/NCDE nor is this list exhaustive.