Recent advances in technology have created opportunities previously unimaginable. We can video-chat with loved ones in real time across the world, control our homes remotely, and do much of our banking and shopping online. The power of the smartphone, and the many applications available for download, has also created new opportunities for maintaining and improving health and well-being through educational and therapeutic tools that meet the needs of a diverse array of users.
There are thousands of apps out there, with many more being created each day. User reviews of apps are helpful in determining which ones are best to download, but selecting apps for educational and therapeutic purposes requires careful research. But this task is now easier than ever, thanks to BridgingApps.org – a new website created as a program of the Easter Seals Greater Houston – that is “bridging the gap between technology and people with disabilities.”
BridgingApps is not just for people with disabilities, however. It is a vast but curated repository of apps suitable to assist individuals managing a variety of concerns, and the social workers and caretakers who support them. The thousands of apps on the site (3,197 at the time of this writing!) are easily navigated through the BridgingApps search tool – it allows you to search by category, age range, price range, skill and more so that you can quickly find the best apps for your unique circumstances.
Not only that, apps listed on BridgingApps are reviewed using standards-based assessment tools, so you can rest assured that the apps you’re downloading aren’t a waste of time taking up precious space on your phone, they are useful tools that are proven effective! When you click on an app through BridgingApps, you can read an extensive review of the app and, in many cases, listen to an audio recording of the review or watch a video of the app in action.
The website also creates curated lists of top apps for specific populations and issues – for seniors, for stroke survivors, for autism, for ESL students. Just click on AppLists within the search tool, and you can scroll through tons of available lists. You can also become a member of the website for free, and connect with an online community of app users!
There are many other great resources to be found on the BridgingApps website if you simply explore! For social workers, the website is a wonderful tool that can help you find apps to recommend to clients, harnessing technology for social good.