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Related reviews:
  • General menu
  • Session creation
  • Accessibility
  • Mobile tablet comparison

What does it consist of:

January 2019


Ability Connect is a free alternative communication application for mobile devices, promoted and developed by the University of Alicante with the support of the Vodafone Spain Foundation. The application allows multiple devices to communicate in real time via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or mobile data. This app allows the content to be communicated to be adapted to the needs of different groups with disabilities, such as people with hearing impairment, low vision or dyslexia.

Forms of Acquisition:

The application is available for free for terminals with Android or iOS operating system.

Click the following link to download the Android version of the application:

Click the following link to download the iOS version of the application:

To find out more details about the application or contact the developer, click on the following link:


Technical verification:

The tests have been carried out with a Xiaomi A2 lite terminal with the Android version (2.3.5) and a Samsung J5 2016 and an iPhone 6S terminal (2.3.5) with the IOS version of the application, as well as with a tablet Samsung.

For the correct use of the application it is necessary to grant the pertinent permissions in Android once installed.

The main functionality of Ability Connect is the creation of shared sessions for the exchange of information, usually text. There are 2 main ways to share these sessions, on the one hand, Bluetooth and, on the other, through an Internet connection, be it Wifi, 3G or 4G.

We have tested the application in both cases and opted for its use through Internet sessions, since in this case they work more reliably.

The session through Wifi (which includes Wi-Fi connection and 3G or 4G mobile data type) works well in any of the 4 terminals with which we have tested.

During the tests carried out, some problems arose between the Bluetooth connection of the different terminals and that is why we propose the use of sessions through the Internet for a better user experience.


Unless stated otherwise, the sessions created are public so that all users of the application, including those outside its immediate environment, can access and read the information. To prevent this from happening, a password must be set if you want to protect access to sessions. The default password is 1234 but it can be changed to another in the setup menu.

The tests carried out on tablet devices show us that the application adapts perfectly to the screen size of this type of device. Sessions through Wifi or mobile data in the case of having a SIM card work in the same way as in Smartphone devices.



In the history section, you accumulate a history of the sessions you have participated in as a host (created by yourself) and as a guest. In this section of the story there is some disorganization among other things because the sessions are not stored with the correct date, so we propose to review this point, since it is very useful when rescuing sessions from past moments. We believe this functionality is one of the most powerful in the app because it is what allows you to use it as a place to store notes from the sessions you have attended.



The application also has a section called editor for personal notes, very useful in case you want to make a note outside of the general session. The text written in this section is stored for consultation each time the application is accessed.


In the Accessibility section, we can only say that everything that is included is done carefully and reliably and provides the basis for including new functionality in the future. In short, Ability connect is a 4x4 at this point that facilitates access, reading, viewing or listening to sessions in multiple ways and always adapting to the preferences of each user.

Ability connect uses techniques such as sizes, contrasts or fonts, speech synthesis, and enables the efficient use of support products such as Talkback, Voiceover or Brailleback with which it can respond to a large number of needs.


Use cases

The application focuses on its use in the school environment, but it is also extensible for use in conferences, classrooms and workshops in the work or cultural environment.

Among the multitude of people with diverse needs who can benefit from the application we can include the following groups:

  • Deaf people (by text)
  • Blind people (via screen reader and speech synthesizer)
  • Deaf and blind people (braille display compatible with voice-over or brailleback)
  • People with reduced vision (use of large letters and improvement of contrasts)
  • People with speech difficulties (using text)
  • People with reduced mobility who have difficulties with handwriting when taking notes (storage of messages in text format and future addition of voice dictation functionality)
  • Students without any functional diversity who wish to have a record of class grades.
  • Some other profiles of people with cognitive difficulties who can benefit from being able to consult information repeatedly.
  • Some other profiles of people with cognitive difficulties who can benefit from being able to consult information repeatedly.

According to the developers, the application will soon have a new version that will include the dictation of notes by voice and its subsequent automatic conversion to text (functionality that is now implemented as a separate application called "ListenAll").

For people with low vision who do not use screen readers, the application has its own speech synthesizer. For this, it is necessary to access the menu in the upper right corner indicated by an arrow, and click on "read aloud" each time we want to repeat the text.


Ability connect is a useful, accessible and useful application with a real impact on the training and cultural activities of its users.

In our opinion, it does not make much sense to maintain functionalities that do not run reliably, so we would eliminate the possibility of Bluetooth focusing efforts only on sessions over the Internet.

We are aware that its developers continue to come up with improvements and will soon release a version that brings together the most important ones.


  • The many accessibility options for different needs.
  • The simplicity of use.
  • Free and multiplatform: iOS, Android, tablet, smartphone ...
  • The possibility of storing the sessions to be consulted later.

Improvement points

  • Some bugs in Bluetooth connectivity
  • Session history could be better organized
  • Design and manufacturing: 4 5 on.
    This section refers to the physical aspects and details of the manufacturing of the technological product
  • User experience: 4 5 on.
    This criterion is linked to the user's assessment when relating to the technical product or application.
  • Technical benefits: 3 5 on.
    Description of the quality of the technical specifications of the technological solution
  • Accessibility: 5 5 on.
    It is the degree to which people can use or access a product, technological solution or service, regardless of their technical, cognitive or physical abilities

Social valuation:

We have tested the application with our volunteer Andrés, to check its operation with sessions for users for people with reduced or no visibility.

The idea in Andrés's words is brilliant. It solves a global communication need that has never been addressed from so many profiles.
People may be attending a class or a conference or workshop and do not need to take notes as the content is stored.
Students or people who for some reason cannot move could follow the sessions from home remotely and configuring their accessibility preferences.

The application is well labeled for screen readers on both IOS and Android, and it can also be used with Braille lines, in this case it has been tested with a Focus14 line.
A good improvement in the future could be the possibility of downloading sessions in pdf and allowing to attach files.
In general, it is very agile for studying, allowing access to content for all student profiles.
Voice dictation would be very practical, so we are looking forward to the integration of the Listen all application that will give access to this functionality.

We also include the evaluations that Francisco Trigueros, president of the Association of Deafblind People of the Valencian Community, has sent us about the application.


  • Impact and utility: 4 5 on.
    Describes to what extent the functionalities of the product are useful and impact on improving the life of the user
  • Usability and accessibility: 5 5 on.
    Possibility of the device to be used, understood and taken advantage of under equal conditions for anyone
  • Design and ergonomics: 4 5 on.
    Assessment of how the design of the technological solution adapts to the person to achieve greater comfort and efficiency when using it
  • Ease of Acquisition: 5 5 on.
    It refers to the possibilities of accessing and acquiring a technological solution by the user.

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