Hands on Safety Report

Personal Safety App Review

Below are a few of the personal safety apps that were discussed on the show. All of them are useful in different ways in the event of an emergency. I have tested for their accessibility and use ability. Some are listed among the top apps for 2020.

EMNet FindERNow

App Store Rating: 4.3 

Price: Free with an option to upgrade if you want more information on paediatric options

Helps you find the closest ER with one click and uses the  phone’s built in GPS to get you directions.

This app, created by Massachusetts General Hospital in MA, helps you find the closest ER with one click and uses the  phone’s built in GPS to get you directions. Perfect for use while traveling or at home, it is important to note; this app only works in the United States.

Most of the options on the screen are labeled for VoiceOver users. In the map area, at the center of the main screen, there are even rotor options for zoom and points of interest. The buttons to call 911, your location, pin markers for the hospitals, and the link to start getting directions all work correctly. You can even double -tap and hold on the hospital name to get more information. There are a few places, however, that are not labeled. There is an unlabeled heading at the top and two at the bottom which VoiceOver reads as possible text for location and menu, but they cannot seem to be activated with or without VoiceOver.

I found the app to be straightforward and fairly intuitive to use. Upon opening the app for the first time, you will have the option of allowing it to use your location. This is necessary if you want the app to locate options near you. Tapping on the  nearest location took me to the Map’s app for GPS and the menu option gave me more information about each hospital in my area.

Siren GPS

App Store Rating: 4.4

Price: FreeAdds a panic button to your phone that calls 911 or its equivalent. Will determine your location only if your community subscribes to Siren 911.

Note: this app is available in multiple countries around the world.

When you first open the app, it asks you to use your location as most other apps do. Then it asks you to create an account. It’s a pretty accessible set up process. After all that is done, the main page is pretty accessible. If you are in an emergency, you can hit the Fire, ambulance, or Police button and it will ask if you want to call 911. 

ICE Medical Standard

App Store Rating: 4.4

Price: Free with in app purchases

Offers a medical ID which displays on your phone’s lock screen.

This app allows you to create a medical ID and have it as an overlay for your wallpaper on your lock screen. When you first open the app, it puts you right on the ICE tab and you can fill out or edit the information. It asks for information such as your name, address, photo, emergency contact, gender, birthday, allergies, medications and more general information. You can add as little or as much personal information as you wish. You will need to go into the. Wallpaper tab to enable it to show on your lock screen. It is also recommended that this app is easily accessible by having it in the top right or left corner of your home screen if you do not wish to have your personal information on your lock screen. It is very easy to use on iOS and is also available for Android.

Medical ID

Android only

The major difference between this app and the ICE app is that you can send location information to emergency contacts, set up multiple profiles for different family members, and call ICE contacts from your lock screen.

Circle of Six

App Store Rating: 4.4

Price: Free

IOS only

Aimed specifically at college students, Circle of Six allows you to add six trusted contacts to the app so they can be notified with  2 taps that you need help, even if it means you  need a phone call to give you an excuse to walk away.

One thing to note for any VoiceOver users out there, the app is not great on iOS. Also, Canada is not an available region. 

Find My 

Only available on Apple Devices

All ready installed when device is purchased

This app allows you to track your friends and devices. Of course, a friend has to give you permission to track them or vice versa. It is useful in situations when you know a friend or a family member is expected somewhere at a certain time and they don’t show up or if they don’t answer their phone. Those are just a few examples of how it can be used.

Google Trusted Contacts

Appstore Rating: 2.6

Price: Free

This app allows users to have a direct line of sharing between one another. It let’s you add trusted contacts who then can request your location if there is an issue. However, you can deny the request if everything is fine. If you are not able to respond, your last known location is sent automatically within a certain timeframe. 

When you first open the app, it asks you to sign in. After you go through all the steps to sign in and grant or deny Google access to your location, it will ask you which contacts you want to add as trusted contacts. After all this is done, you are good to go. The app is very accessible and straight forward. 

After some exploration, I can’t seem to find this app on the Play Store.


These are only a handful of the safety apps out there. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. In the end, go with what you feel is best for you. If you do have suggestions for other safety apps that we haven’t explored, do feel free to send us an email at


Known iOS 11 Bugs

Each year, Apple releases a new version of iOS with new features which change the operating system in ways that can cause bugs for users. While we all wish this did not happen it is inevitable, and it is good to know what works and what does not work, so in this article, you will find what we have found to be known bugs in iOS 11.

  • iPad multitasking with split view apps is broken currently with VoiceOver. Workaround can be found at
  • Zoom will not rotate between portrait and landscape properly all the time. This occurs when the device is rotated to landscape and back to portrait. Sometimes, the device will rotate back to portrait but the zoom window will stay in a landscape state.
  • A VoiceOver bug has been found that causes drag and drop of icons to not work correctly in the Dock and on the Home screen This causes the entire device to hang for an unpredictable amount of time, and is not always seen to happen. Only known fix is to reset your device’s settings.
  • A VoiceOver bug has been found that causes Messages on iOS to say, “null” when a conversation is deleted. This does not display visually but does show with VoiceOver. @mcourcel on Twitter reports that closing Messages after deleting a conversation fixes the null conversation.
  • A bug has been found that causes iOS to relaunch Springboard when a user activates the App Switcher or opens an app from the App Switcher while VoiceOver is running. This does not happen if VoiceOver is not running. and does not always happen when switching apps.

What bugs have you found? Let us know and we will post them here. To send us your bugs, email us at or tweet us at @iaccessibility1 on Twitter.

iA Cast

#iACast Interview CyberTimez Maker of CyberEyez

Aleeha and Michael interviews the CEO of CyberTimez maker of the CyberEyez glasses at the NFB 2017 convention in Orlando Florida.


Quick Tip: Share Apps From the Home Screen

Have you ever wished there was a faster and easier way to share apps with your friends without going to the app store and searching for it? iOS 10 brings you the ability of sharing apps with your friends directly from the home screen.

Here is how it’s done.

  1. Find the app you want to share and 3D touch on it.
  2. Tap the share app button at the end of the list.
  3. The share sheet will appear and you will be able to choose the option you want.

This is a much faster way to share apps. You wont have to spend time looking around in the app store looking for an app you want to share. For people that have phones without 3D touch, or have 3D touch turned off, you will have to go to the app store to share apps.

This feature is only available to devices that support 3D Touch, so you will only have access to this on newer iPhones running iOS 10.