Digital support and useful tools for those with sensory impairments

Digital support services

Leeds Sensory Services

Leeds Sensory Services offers a tailored support service provided by its assistive technology officers. They boast an assistive technology resource room where technology and equipment demonstrations regularly take place. They aim to provide users with a holistic service to enhance independence and digital inclusion.

Types of equipment available for demonstration include SMART speakers, computing, mobile devices, and specialist software. In conjunction with comprehensive assessments, demonstrations, and tailored one-to-one support, they explore accessibility and general access requirements to meet the needs of each individual user. They can offer home visits in Leeds for those with poor mobility or severe health conditions.  

You can request support by:

  • Completing the referral form
  • Calling the office on 0113 288 5750


AbilityNet’s ITCanHelp volunteers provide free IT support to people with Sensory Impairments and others who might need additional support. Their volunteers are all disclosure-checked and can help with all sorts of IT challenges, from setting up new equipment, fixing technical issues, showing you how to stay connected to family and use online services. 

You can request their support by:

RNIB Technology for Life Coordinators

RNIB technology for life team are on hand to help people with sight loss with both simple and more complicated technology questions. Technology Support volunteers also provide one-to-one support to people with sight loss, helping them to use computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, e-readers and to get online. You can call them on 03030 123 9999 or email

Resource guides


AbilityNet is a national charity that helps people of any age and with any disability to use technology to achieve their goals. Packed with free accessibility guides, factsheets, webinars and links to websites with useful information on disability and technology.

RNIB Technology for Life

Here you can find an excellent technology resource hub to access the latest technology facts, tips and guides available for blind and partially sighted people across the UK.

Deafblind UK Introduction to useful technology

General overview of various apps and tools that people with visual and hearing impairments my find useful.

Google Accessibility

The Google Accessibility Help centre.

Apple Accessibility

Apple’s gateway to all assistive technology solutions for all their products.

Microsoft Accessibility

Microsoft’s gateway to accessibility solutions for Windows software.

Apps for people with vision loss

Seeing AI

A Microsoft product that uses AI to describe the world around you, from recognising people, to checking colours, currency, documents, and labels. This is free, but only from the App Store. There are eight channels that you can choose from within the app. These channels include short text, document, barcode scanning and facial and handwriting recognition. 

There are similarities between Seeing AI and Envision AI, but mostly it depends on users’ personal preference.

This app is also suitable for people with a visual impairment where English is a second spoken language (but only five languages: Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Spanish).

Envision AI

This free app uses your smartphone’s camera to read written information aloud, describe surroundings and objects, and even tell you who’s nearby.
Excelling in all kinds of text and object recognition, Envision can read text in 96 languages, be it handwritten notes, text on food packages or the pages of an entire book.

There are many similarities between Seeing AI and Envision AI, and here is a helpful summary of the differences. It’s free on Android devices as well as iOS devices.

Be My Eyes

Be My Eyes is a popular free app for receiving video support at a moment’s notice. Every day, sighted volunteers and professionals lend their eyes to solve tasks big and small to help blind and low-vision people lead more independent lives through live video calls.

The app is made up of a global community of blind and low-vision people and sighted volunteers. Through a live video call, volunteers supply blind and low-vision users with visual assistance for tasks ranging from matching colours, to checking if the lights are on, to preparing dinner. The app is free to use and available on both iOS and Android devices.


Photographs objects and identifies them out loud for the user. Free and available for download from the App Store and the Google Play Store.

KNFB Reader

An easy to use app that converts any text to speech or braille. Reads back text from menus, bills, documents, signs and emails to PDF documents. Available for purchase from the App Store, Google Play Store and the Windows 10 Store.

Aipoly Vision

Identifies objects and colours for low vision and colour impaired users. Available for download in the App store.

Blind Square

A popular GPS app used by low vision and blind users. Informs of current address, points of interest, and surrounding environments. Available for purchase from the App

Apps for people with hearing loss


An accurate real-time speech to text translation app enabling people with hearing loss to see what is being said. Free when downloaded from the Google Play Store.

Live Transcribe

An instant captioning app designed for people with hearing and people with hearing loss to have conversations more easily. Free and available for download from the Google Play Store.

Relay UK

Use the app with a phone call to make text calls through the Relay UK service.
Provides a text connection in parallel with the phone call you make through the Next Generation Text Service. The app is free and available for download on the Google Play Store and the App store.


Realtime captioning app that transcribes what people say using colour coded transcripts to capture group based conversations. Up to 5 hours free a month. Available for download from the App store and the Google Play store.


Allows a user with hearing loss to contact the emergency services by tapping on a series of visual icons without having to speak on the phone. Once a TapSOS user profile has been created, alerts are sent straight to the UK’s 999 emergency call handlers. Available for purchase from the App Store and Google Play Store.

Other popular products


A popular free screen reader for Windows computers.

Dolphin Software

UK-based company providing a range of Windows-based software
solutions and free apps that support users with all degrees of sight loss,
computer experience, and reading ability.