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Family and social network support using assistive aids and technology

Assistive Aids and Technology Banner

Although not designed as assistive technology, social networking sites can and do function in this way as they can offer socially isolated and disabled people and their carers some opportunities to enhance their lives. Examples of popular sites are Facebook, Twitter and Skype which are free to download and can be accessed via computer, internet-enabled mobile phone or internet-enabled tablet (such as an iPad).


One of the largest social network sites. You can set up your own personal profile and keep in touch with your friends and family on Facebook by sending them messages and pictures. Facebook is also available as an app. 

User review - "Facebook helps me keep in contact and find out what my family and friends are up to with their updates to their profiles. I find it useful as most of my family live abroad". Anon 



A free app messenger that allows you to instantly send and receive messages from friends, colleagues or family. Switch from SMS to exchange messages, pictures, audio notes and video messages with WhatsApp users 

User review - "I use WhatsApp all the time. It is very easy and convenient to keep in touch with my family; I can send and receive video, pictures and audio to and from all of my contacts without paying any extra charges on my mobile phone as it uses the internet". Mark 



Make calls for free! Either via voice calls or video calls with a webcam, Skype enables users from wherever they are in the world to connect with an internet connection. Available on iTunes, Android, Windows Phone and PC. 


Simply Unite

Large touch-screen computers that allow users to: 

Send and receive personal emails 

Enjoy online games 

Receive photo and video albums     

Use Skype - a way to make online video phone calls 

Watch favourite films or catch up on programmes via BBC iPlayer 

Surf the internet 



Easy Chirp is a web-accessible alternative to the Twitter website. It is designed to be simple to use and is optimised for people who are disabled.  EasyChirp presents a user-friendly version of Twitter and makes its functions easier to understand (Retweet and Favourite are always visible rather than hidden).  It uses a large default text size, makes it clear who is following you, and the associated Twitter account @EasyChirp provides regular tips and articles on social media. 



Connect families. No matter how far apart they live or how much computer experience they have, Postcards keeps seniors up-to-date with the lives of their loved ones. 

  • Receive photos, messages, videos. 
  • Easy to use, even without any computer experience (no typing required). 
  • No user interaction required at all 
  • Can be managed by your family or caregiver from anywhere. 
  • Send photos from any site (including Facebook). 
  • Send videos from YouTube. 
  • Send updates from special events, as they happen. 


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