Contributed by: Jennifer Freeman, Orientation and Mobility Specialist
This blog post will be a series of recommended tips and tricks on how to incorporate free and paid for apps into instruction. Part 2 focuses on orientation and look around related apps.
The focus of part 2 is to introduce orientation related apps into O&M instruction.
Appropriate for ages: The apps can be used for all ages but I will specify in detail according the category.
- App Store: to purchase or add apps
- IOS or Apple device: to upload apps on
Orientation related apps and step by step details on how to incorporate them into O&M Instruction
1. The Lazarillo App is a free app and is one of my top favorites because it has everything that I used to have to teach the old fashioned way during a drop off lesson. It was originally designed for people who have dog guides I believe. The great thing about the Lazarilo app is that it gives instant access to the current location of an address. It can link you instantly to the local transit service and can connect you directly to Uber. It does appear to have some interference with voiceover. It is one of the top apps that I recommend that my students add to their devices. I feel that the app works great when you are out in the community.
Follow the link to watch a great demonstration on YouTube of an individual using the Lazarillo app!
2. The Compass App comes on the generic iPhone so it free. It is compatible with voiceover and can be used to help students determine which direction they are facing. It can help them develop cardinal directions and help out any parent or instructor who is also trying to determine the cardinal direction. You can add other compasses from the App Store for free.
Tips on how to set up the compass on the IOS device can be found Here
Other App Store compass options that I have not had a chance to trial:
3. The Google Maps App comes generically on your iPhone just like the compass so it is also free. Through the years they have updated the app and it now instantly connects the user to transit routes. The person using it can either choose pedestrian, transit or car routes. I have students use this app often. The accuracy is not perfect when locating businesses while walking but it can get your student or client to the general location they are trying to find and from there, they can use the other O&M related skills you taught them about the address system. One of my students really likes to use this app to determine which direction to walk.
Here is a preview of what the app can do.
4. Tandem Navigator App
This app is similar to Lazarillo, Eye-D and the Seeing Eye. You can look around the area, find out the address of where you are and call a taxi. I did not have as much luck trialing this app as I did the others so it is not my favorite but it functions in my opinion inconsistently. I do like the feature where it can call a taxi as I think that is unique and not like the other apps. There are many ways that you can incorporate orientation and navigation skills into lessons using this app. I have not had enough opportunity to trial this app but it is free so you can’t beat that!
5. Compass Pro App
This is just another basic free compass app. It appears to have a lot of ads. I have not upgraded the app so have not learned what it can do. Just like the generic compass that can come on the phone, it is compatible with voiceover and can be used to help students determine which direction they are facing. It can help them develop cardinal directions and help out any parent or instructor who is also trying to determine the cardinal direction. I just wanted to give you another example of a compass.
6. Eye D App
Explanation of the app from the website: Click Here
This is another free app that I highly recommend! It has a great around me feature that will help individuals look for ATM’s, Bus Stations, Banks, Cinemas, Food, Hospitals, Stores and Religious places in the area. It will tell the individual how many businesses in the area and connect to Google maps to use all of the features such as getting walking directions to a bus stop. It is compatible with voiceover and works great. I have not trialed it away from Wi-Fi.
7. Seeing Eye App GPS
This is a great free app that does it all as far as giving navigational routes to locations, it is designed for the visually impaired and compatible with voiceover. The language used on the app is what is used based on the direction of travel or where the phone is facing. They use O&M related terminology and give time information.
Follow the link to watch a great demonstration on YouTube of an individual using the Seeing Eye app to locate a pub!