Today’s guest blogger is Ashley Alliano, a  speech language pathology graduate student at Seton Hall University, who has developed the app, Unus Tactus, designed to help cognitively impaired individuals easily use cell phones. Although I don’t work with a population to test out this app, I thought it was important to share it with my readers.

UNUS TACTUS: There are several applications on the market that allow cognitively intact individuals to make calls utilizing a speed dial feature. These applications consist of features such as calling, texting, starting a video chat, and much more. Although they are easy to use for a normally functioning individual, they are far too difficult for someone with cognitive deficits. A 2011 report put out by the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that there are 5.4 million people in the United States who suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease. These citizens often get lost and need help, but do not have the functional language to express themselves to an unfamiliar listener. However, there is currently not a market for Alzheimer friendly cell phones that are easy enough to operate for these individuals.

Apple Products such as the iPhone and iPad have changed the lives of many typically and nontypically developing people all around the United States. Although complex picture speed dialing currently exists, I felt it was time to develop an application that suits the needs of people around the world with cognitive deficits. That is why I invented Unus Tactus. Unus Tactus is a fabulous new app intended to help individuals with cognitive and motor deficits by giving them an easy to use cell phone. It is a one-touch photo dialing app with GPS features including a geofence feature, which will alert an emergency contact if the user wanders outside of their designated area. In addition, once a photo is touched and a call is placed, an emergency contact is notified via e-mail. This optional feature allows the emergency contact to view the exact location in which the phone call was placed by providing a google maps link in the notification e-mail. This app is easy to use and set up and can be used by individuals who have cognitive, motor, or vision deficits. It has been reviewed by many bloggers and even recommended by assistive technology companies.

Features Include:

~ Unlimited number of contacts can be stored

~ 4×4 grid for easy to see and touch pictures

~ Picture and name display for every contact

~ Geofence with a radius of 1-15 miles

~ HELP button on every page

~ Customizable emergency contact

~ Optional e-mail alerts for every call made

~ Import new or existing contacts

~ Easy setup and editing

These features would allow cognitively impaired persons to safely travel and maintain independence for as long as possible, without their families having to worry about them.

If you would like to know more information about Unus Tactus you can read about us on our website,, facebook,, or twitter, @unustactus.

I hope that you know someone who can benefit from Unus Tactus!