Life-Changing Apps for People with Brain Injury

BrainLine
Life-Changing Apps for People with Brain Injury

Almost every day, we hear of new apps developed for just about everything — from staying organized to finding pharmacies or restaurants while on the road. It’s hard to keep up.

Some of these apps have proven to be especially helpful for people with brain injury. The phone can be used to remind you of an upcoming appointment or to take medication, or it can be used like a traditional paper notebook to keep all your addresses, telephone numbers, calendar items, lists, and ideas.

 

NameDescriptionPriceDeviceHelps With
AccessNowAccessNow is sharing accessibility information about places around the world. Search for specific places like a restaurant, hotel or store, or browse the map to see what is nearby with the accessibility features you require. If info isn’t already on our map, you can add it yourself and contribute to our worldwide community. Filter the map by category and tags and find the access that you need now.FreeiOS, AndroidAccessibility
Android Accessibility SuiteAndroid Accessibility Suite (formerly Google Talkback) is an accessibility feature. Its goal is to help the visually impaired navigate their devices. These features come built in with virtually every version of Androidand can be activated in the Settings menu. The app will then help the visually impaired interact with their devices. It's fairly basic, but effective. It adds things like vibration, spoken, and audible feedback.FreeAndroidCommunication, Accessibility
AudibleListen to books on your mobile device. Great for people who have trouble reading or who retain information more effectively by listening.FreeiOS, AndroidReading
Be My EyesFostering the largest global community for the blind and visually impaired, the free app, Be My Eyes, virtually connects someone with vision problems with a sighted volunteer who can help them “see.” Using any smartphone, a blind or visually impaired user can open the app to request assistance, be connected through live video with a sighted volunteer, and then point their camera at what they want described to them. The sighted volunteer will then tell the user what they see in the user’s native language – it’s as simple as that!FreeiOS, AndroidAccessibility
Behavior Tracker ProApplication that allows caregivers, behavioral therapists, aides, or teachers to track behaviors and automatically graph them. Option to record video of behaviors or interventions to later review with doctors, parents, teachers or therapists.$29.99iOSBehavior
BestSuiteThis suite of three apps help people with brain injuries and other challenges get more done! Set and monitor goals, track and understand where your energy goes, get automatic reminders to take breaks -- see it all appear in your calendar. Free video instruction and app training is also available on the BEST Connection website.$9.99iOSOrganization, Life-Skills, Memory
Breathe2RelaxHands-on stress management tool with diaphragmatic breathing exercises. Designed to help you with mood stabilization, anger control, and anxiety management.FreeiOS, AndroidPTSD, Anxiety, Stress
Corkulous ProCollect, organize, and share ideas on virtual cork boards. "Pin" notes, labels, photos, contacts, and tasks. Group ideas visually on one board or spread ideas out across multiple boards.Free*iOSOrganization
Cozi Family OrganizerFamily life organization app that includes a shared calendar, shopping lists, to do lists, family journal. This app allows you to stay in sync with your family. * Paid version available for advanced functionality.Free*iOS, AndroidOrganization
dictate2us TranscriptionVoice recorder with integrated transcription service* provides you with a comprehensive dictation and transcription solution. Record, edit, and upload a digital recording then have the file transcribed to text. HIPAA compliant. * Transcriptions are a paid feature.Free*iOS, AndroidCommunication
DialSafe ProLearn proper phone usage and safety with an app that allows for hands-on practice. Learn these critical skills through the use of animated lessons, skill building games, practice sessions, and a realistic phone simulator.FreeiOSLife-Skills
EvernoteHelp remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity. Take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders, and make notes completely searchable.FreeiOS, Web, AndroidOrganization
Find My iPhone/Find My DeviceLocation app that tracks wireless devices and enables a you to track where the devices are, where they have been, and enables you to send warning messages or tones to those devices.FreeiOS, AndroidMemory, Location Monitoring
Flashcards DeluxeFlashcard app which can be used to study just about anything you want. Built in dictionary, capacity to include pictures and sounds, zoom into pictures, and auto-repeat sounds on the cards.$3.99iOS, AndroidMemory
Google MapsGoogle Maps isn't directly for the disabled or otherwise handicapped. However, it does have a variety of tools to help people with those kinds of issues. You can find stuff with wheelchair accessible entrances and the turn-by-turn navigation works even while walking. They even have a small group of engineers that work specifically on accessibility features, such as disability-friendly transit options. It takes a little bit of digging in the app, but it's actually a pretty decent experience for this kind of stuff.FreeiOS, AndroidAccessibility
Hello My Name Is - Graffiti StickerUse your fingers to write or draw your own personalized "hello my name is" name tag. Good for conferences or situations where a digital name tag may help you stand out.$0.99iOSSocial Situations
iBooks with VoiceOverSearch and instantly download thousands of popular book and magazine titles. iBooks works with VoiceOver, which will read the contents of the pages out loud.FreeiOSHearing, Reading
ICE Medical StandardICE Medical Standard lets you put your emergency medical contact information on your smartphone's lock screen image. If you are in an accident, first responders and emergency room staff can find your emergency medical contact information as soon as they turn on your smartphone.Free*iOSEmergency
Index CardNon-linear writing tool that helps capture your ideas and store notes as they come to you. Organize the flow of your thoughts by using a familiar corkboard interface and compile your work into a single document.$4.99iPadOrganization
JABtalkJABtalk is a free speech communication application designed to help non-verbal children and adults communicate. Speech therapists commonly refer to JABtalk as an easy and effective augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device. By combining personalized voice and images with an extremely simple user interface, JABtalk delivers a speech solution that is both fun to use and easy to learn. Originally designed as a communication tool for children with special needs, JABtalk has evolved into a communication tool used by special needs children, stroke patients, toddlers, speech-language pathologists, and others.FreeAndroidCommunication
Learning Ally LinkThis app provides access to the Learning Ally library of human-read audiobooks offering the largest selection of books students want and need to read, including bestsellers, literature, and textbooks. Interactive learning tools include: highlighted text synced with the audio narration, speed control, bookmarking, highlighting, and note taking. * Learning Ally membership is required to use this app. Membership is free with eligible print disability.Free*iOS, AndroidReading, Vision
LumosityBrain exercises targeting memory, attention, speed, flexibility, and problem solving. You can design your own personalized training, including "courses" with TBI- and/or PTSD-specific content. *Paid subscription available for advanced features. Free*iOS, Android, WebBrain Training
Matrix GameHelps you develop visual perception skills such as visual discrimination. It can also help you to develop attention and concentration, spatial orientation and principles of classification and categorization. * Paid version available for advanced levels and more functionality.Free*iOS, AndroidProblem Solving
Naming TherapyWord-finding app to help people with aphasia and children with special needs practice important naming and description skills. Allows users to add their own images.$24.99iOS, AndroidCommunication, Speech
NotabilityA sleek, powerful note-taker to annotate documents, record lectures, sketch illustrations, and more. With built-in iCloud support, it’s perfect for keeping notes, documents, and doodles up to date on both iPhone and iPad. Also includes a great searchable microphone functions."I can no longer focus on a speaker AND take quality notes. Notability permits me to go back in an amplify my notes to match speaker heard on microphone."$8.99iOSOrganization
PenultimateHandwriting app that helps you get the fast, tactile gratification of writing on paper, with digital power and flexibility. Take notes, keep sketches, or share your next breakthrough idea — in the office, on the go, or at home. *Advanced functionality and features are paid.Free*iPadMemory, Organization
PictelloCreate visual stories and talking books. Each page in a story can contain a picture, a short video, up to ten lines of text, and a recorded sound or text-to-speech using natural sounding voices.$18.99iOSCommunication
Proloquo2GoAn alternative communication solution to help you if you have difficulty speaking. Natural sounding text-to-speech voices, high-resolution, up-to-date symbols, powerful automatic conjugations, a vocabulary of more than 7,000 items, and advanced word prediction.$249.99iOSCommunication
Proloquo 4 TextText"‘based communication app that gives a voice to people who cannot speak. It offers a customizable single screen layout for easy conversation, free natural-sounding voices in 15 languages, word and sentence prediction and social media.$119.99iOSCommunication
PTSD CoachDesigned for veterans and service members who have, or may have, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Education about PTSD, information about care, a self-assessment for PTSD, help finding support, and tools that can help you manage the stresses of daily life with PTSD.FreeiOS, AndroidPTSD
Quick Talk AACThis app gives a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. Quick and flexible app designed to help you talk as quickly as possible.$24.99iOS, AndroidCommunication
Red Panic ButtonThis emergency app allows anyone to send out a call for help with the tap of a button. For people with disabilities, being able to quickly access assistance in case of an emergency or problem is very helpful. The app allows a user to send one SMS message to an entire list of panic contacts that also includes a Google Maps link to their location. Additional features include recording a 10 second audio message to send to contacts, notifying people on twitter, as well as sending emergency emails.Free*iOS, AndroidEmergency, Communication
SpeakWrite RecorderVoice recorder that turns your phone into a fully functional dictation system. Record, edit, and send your audio. App integrates with SpeakWrite's 24/7 paid transcription service. Compile your dictation, upload, and within a few hours receive your transcribed document.FreeiOS, AndroidSpeech, Communication

Spaced Retrieval Therapy

Facilitates recalling an answer over expanding intervals of time (1 minute, 2 minutes, 4 minutes, 8 minutes...) helps to cement the information in memory, even for those with impaired memory.$4.99iOS, AndroidMemory
T2 Mood TrackerDesigned for service members and veterans, this app helps you self-monitor, track, and reference emotional experiences associated with common deployment-related behavioral health issues like post-traumatic stress, brain injury, depression, and anxiety.FreeiOS, AndroidPTSD, Behavior
TapGramTapgram Tapgram makes sending simple messages to your loved ones easy. Once you are set up, you won’t need to touch a keyboard to send messages to the people that you love. Instead, you create messages by tapping on images and the messages can be posted to your social media feed or sent to your friends and loved ones via email. In turn, friends and family can tap on pictures to send you a reply. You will need a phone, tablet, or a computer with a connection, and a free tapgram account. It comes with a quick start guide. This website is tablet & smartphone friendly. Add to your phone homescreen to use like a phone app.FreeWebsiteCommunication
Touch CalendarTouch Calendar makes viewing your calendars easy. See your whole calendar at a glance. No more flipping between different calendar views. Touch Calendar does it all from one zoomable and scrollable view. This app is especially useful for people with attention problems who do better with fewer steps.$3.38AndroidOrganization
Unus Tactus (Touch. Locate. Call)Developed to assist people of all ages with mild cognitive and/or motor deficits by allowing you to have an easy to use cell phone, with a simple set up. It utilizes a one-touch photo dialing system to generate phone calls using phone numbers from your existing contacts or those that you import directly.$9.99iOSCommunication
VerballyComprehensive Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) app for the iPad. This app enables real conversation for those who have challenges speaking. Just tap in what you want to say and Verbally speaks for you. *Premium features available with an in-app purchase.Free*iPadCommunication, Speech
Visual Schedule PlannerCustomizable visual schedule iPad app that is designed to give you an audio/visual representation of the events in your day. In addition, events that require more support can be linked to an activity schedule or video clip.$14.99iPadOrganization
Voice4UPicture-based, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) application that helps you express your feelings, thoughts, actions, and needs.$59.99AndroidCommunication, Speech
Voice AccessVoice Access is an accessibility service that lets you control your device with spoken commands. It utilizes the power of Google’s Voice Search to help you control your device. It includes navigation functions, you can use your voice as a back button, home button, etc to move aorund. Additional commands includes scroll down, click next, and you can even type with it. Voice Access can be useful for people who have difficulty using a touchscreen due to paralysis, tremor, temporary injury, or other reasons. Assistance is using the app is available here.FreeiOS, AndroidAccessibility
Week CalendarWeek Calendar is a user friendly and the all-round calendar app. Visualize your busy schedule using colors and emojis. Have a clear and detailed overview based on day, week, month or year level. Move your appointments by simply dragging, copying and pasting. It works with all your calendars including shared calendars. iCloud, Google Calendar, Yahoo! Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Exchange ActiveSync, iCal, CalDAV, ICS subscription calendars are all supported. "Color coding permits me to visually see when I need to take a break. Also, it automatically adds in travel time; a failure on prior calendars. Also, I learned that I can update the WeekCal via Google or iCalendar if am using a PC or web at time of making appointment."Free*iOSOrganization
WheelMapThis free app helps wheelchair users and their caregivers search and find wheelchair accessible places worldwide. Based on aggregated data from users with disabilities all over the globe, Wheelmap helps people with disabilities plan out trips and destinations based on their ability to access a building. For example, when choosing a restaurant to eat out, a user with a wheelchair might use Wheelmap to check for wheelchair accessibility prior to going.FreeiOS, AndroidAccessibility
Where Am I?View and share your location, including your city, zip code, telephone area code, and approximate street address as well as the times of sunrise and sunset and GPS latitude and longitude.FreeAndroidLocation
Word WarpGame with which you can create as many words as possible from a selection of letters. If you’re stuck, just press the “warp” button and it will help you out.FreeiOSBrain Training

Pricing, availability, and features accurate as of the last update February 20th, 2018.


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Technology is always changing. New iterations of mobile devices and apps are constantly being released. Please share with us what apps have and haven't worked for you in the comment section below.

Posted on BrainLine February 20, 2018. Reviewed January 7, 2019.

Please note that BrainLine does not endorse these or any specific products.

Comments (54)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

I have severe event-memory difficulty. I depend on Evernote with companion apps and devices to accommodate my limitations with minimal interaction. I use an android document scanner that allows me to photograph documents I sign. It aligns the view and saves an indexed OCR'd PDF. A conversation recorder and a transcription service store recordings of conversations with indexed transcriptions. I also use Google Calendar with connections to Gmail and Toodle do task manager, which are all linked to each other, and Gmail forwards my daily agenda notes to Evernote. I use a paper notebook from Moleskine to write notes I want stored in Evernote. The pre-printed lines of the notebook consist of a grid of tiny dots that facilitate Evernote's handwriting recognition feature. I also use an inexpense fast document scanner to record all of my daily snail-mail as it arrives. I scan the envelope, open it, scan the contents, and store an indexed PDF of all correspondence, bills, (which I can tag with due dates so Evernote will remind me to follow up) and even advertisements that I may want to reference in the future. All of these apps are accessible from within Evernote's marketplace.

Thanks for outlining these apps. I also suggest Lumosity.  I'm not sure for phone, I did it on my laptop.  I use other apps on cell phone like: Our Groceries (free), Prescription places (Walgreens) free, and other free ones: Words Free, Word Run, Math Workout, Dropwords, & Memory Power Training for Android phones.  Any other apps for Tablets?

As a brain tumor survivor , I highly praise lumosity for its ability to challenge your short-term memory with the various games it offers. However, please be aware that the majority of customers who buy the very expensive subscription are having a difficult time contacting the company, "Lumos Labs Inc.." I highly recommend that the daily free games should be played, but do not bother buying the ridiculous subscription.

I also use Lumosity and recommend it. Elevate is great as well. I find each does things just differently enough that I get 2 workouts per day. I do one in the morning and another in the afternoon. Elevate also has a Study tab where things like eye-tracking (a problem I have with my left eye) and speech articulation practice. I'm having issues keeping my messages brief and focused so I'll stop now ;-)

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