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Autism Communication App Wins Smart Accessibility Award

A Spanish developer who created an app to help his five-year-old autistic son communicate has won 50,000 euros at the second annual “Smart Accessibility” awards for Android smartphone apps, presented by the Vodafone Foundation.

Ablah ( http://bit.ly/10JJ5F6 ) is an augmentative communication application developed by Juan Carlos Gonzalez. Users select images, text and sounds on a touch-screen to make the device “speak” for them.

Ablah was one of four category winners at the 2013 awards, topping the ‘Wellbeing’ category.

The ‘Mobility’ category was won by the Jaccede app ( http://bit.ly/VF0kT1 ), which allows users to search for locations that are accessible to people with a disability. Information is displayed on features such as step-free entrances to buildings and whether accessible toilets are available, and users can contribute their own accessible locations.

The Happen app ( http://bit.ly/VF2n9J ), winner of the Independent Living category, is a customisable tool aimed at those with a visual impairment and the elderly. It allows users to easily search for popular online information such as news and weather, and then choose the format they receive it in. For example, someone with a visual impairment may choose to have the information spoken to them.

The fourth category, Social Participation, was won by Starting Blocks ( http://bit.ly/R6JETT ). This app teaches basic mobile technology skills through eight lessons, which guide users through key functions of touch-screen technology.

The awards, co-organised by the AGE Platform Europe network and the European Disability Network, form part of the Vodafone Foundation’s Mobile For Good programme, which supports global community projects using mobile technology.

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