Smartphone Apps for the Hearing Impaired Make Communication Easier

By Dr. Noël Crosby, Au.D. –

Smartphone Apps for the HearingSmartphones are getting even smarter, especially with the multitude of apps that are now available for download.

And if you suffer from deafness, hearing loss, or have difficulty listening or understanding, you are in luck.  There are many new apps available for the iOS and Android Smartphones that can be of benefit to you. Let’s take a look at just a few of them:

iDichotic is a mobile app that provides a 3-minute listening test that will tell you which side of your brain is most active in language processing. Most people primarily use the left side of the brain, but for a minority (including many left-handed people) the right side of the brain is more involved in language processing. In addition, the test measures attention when the task is to focus on one ear at a time. You can send your results to the researchers if you want. iDichotic is currently available for iOS devices. More information can be found at their website,

Purple Communications Inc. is a leading U.S. provider of video relay services (VRS), text relay services, captioning services, video remote interpreting (VRI), and on-site interpreting services. Their expertise allows the deaf person to make video phone calls, making it possible for them to communicate by sign language. The option also exists to be connected to an operator who then reads your message to the recipient and transcribes their response back to you. Their P3 Mobile app is compatible with iOS and Android Smartphones. Check out for more information.

ClearCaptions, a division of Purple Communications, transcribes phone calls, as they happen, in English or in Spanish. This app adds free captions to your phone calls and displays them on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. It’s very similar to turning on closed captions for your TV shows.  Complete information can be found at

Tout is a great social media app for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.  It is a real-time information network that allows the user to record a 15-second video from their iOS device and post it to their Twitter or Facebook account. You can also publish your own website and blog. Tout works with iPhone, 3GS, and iPod Touch and is available for free download at the iTunes store.

The Dragon Dictation app is a free voice recognition app that allows your spoken word to quickly be translated into text or email messages. In fact, the developers say it’s “up to five times faster than typing on a keyboard.”  And if you have a Facebook or Twitter account, Dragon Dictation can update your status and send notes and reminders to you by simply using your voice. It’s available for free download at the Apple iTunes store.

TapTap, available to download at iTunes for $2.99, is an app designed to help the deaf and hearing impaired respond to their audio environment. If there is a loud noise in your environment or if someone is speaking in your vicinity, TapTap will vibrate and flash to get your attention.

My Smart Hands Baby Sign Language Dictionary is a great tool for teaching you and your baby the 300 signs you need to know for clear communication. Other American Sign Language (ASL) apps available are My Smart Hands Finger Spelling Game and My Smart Hands Flash Cards (Alphabet Signs).  All apps are compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch and are available for a small fee at the Apple iTunes store.

SoundAMP-R can provide a real time boost to your environmental sound experience. It is customizable and can also be used as a voice recorder.  soundAMP-R can actually turn your iPod Touch or iPad or iphone into an assistive listening device that works while you are using a regular pair of ear phones. Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, soundAMP-R is the best-selling hearing app for on the iTunes App Store.  It can be downloaded for $4.99.

If you have a special request for more information about Smartphone apps that are available for the hearing impaired, please don’t hesitate to give me a call at Advanced Hearing Solutions at 941.474.8393.


Dr. Noël Crosby, Au.D., owner and practicing audiologist at Advanced Hearing Solutions in Englewood, FL is an experienced  professional whose career has been devoted to helping people of all ages hear and understand more clearly.

With over 23 years of experience, Dr. Crosby’s career path is marked by the pursuit of advanced education.  After completing her undergraduate requirements, she received her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from Florida State University and her Doctorate in Audiology from the University of Florida.

Her credibility as an authority grew during her tenure as the Director of Audiology at the Silverstein Institute in Sarasota, FL from 1991-1998. Today, in addition to managing a successful audiology practice, Dr. Crosby just completed her second term as president of The Florida Academy of Audiology.

941-474-8393  |

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