There have been a plethora of stories in the mainstream news and in blogs about the iPad and the amazing positive effects it's having for people with various disabilities. Children with autism are the subject of many of these stories, but there are plenty of others who are getting amazing results from their iPads too.
I haven't been able to keep up with all the stories, but here's a round-up of some of them. If you know of more, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post:
The Wall Street Journal itself has written about the iPad for people with disabilities: Using the iPad to Connect: Parents, Therapists Use Apple Tablet to Communicate With Special Needs Kids is a great article and includes quotes from Steve Jobs and also a video showing some use of the iPad:
Making weird cool - Robert Rummel-Hudson talks about why he thinks the iPad is a game-changer for AAC and why it's important to have devices that don't say "I have a disability!" as soon as you walk into a room with one.
Zach's A Mac - Zach is a 3 1/2 year old boy with cerebral palsy who's learning to use an iPad.
The iPad: a Near-Miracle for My Son With Autism - Shannon Des Roches Rosa writes about her son Leo and how the iPad has helped him.
iHelp for Autism by the SF Weekly is a long and well balanced story which explains some of the iPads possibilities as well as its limitations, talking to teachers and other experts as well as parents of kids with autism. This article also includes sections about Leo and Des Roches.
Opinion: Why The iPad Isn??t For Me - Paul has quadriplegia and is an ardent iPod Touch user but for him the iPad would be a step backwards in terms of accessibility. In this article he explains why.
Karen Janowski has written Why I Love the iPad for Education: Initial Observations. Karen is an assistive and educational technology consultant who writes excellently and makes many good points.
The Muscular Dystrophy's Magazine, Quest, has published Barbara Twardowski's The iPad: A Disability Friendly Device? which evaluates the iPad for people with various types of disabilities. It's a balanced look at the pros and cons of the device, and lists ATMac as a website useful for people using an iPad so it must be a good article ;).
From the wonderful Katilea, an adult AAC user, we have several great posts about her new iPad:
- Proloquo2Go and iPad: A Marriage made in Heaven!
- Physical Accessibility on iPad in General, for People with Fine Motor Difficulties
- AAC: Mainstream V Dedicated Devices
- iPad useful for Ataxians?
N0thingbuteverything has written several articles about the iPad as used by her 5 year old son, 'S', who has cerebral palsy:
- Proloquo2go and the iPad Review - a detailed review of Proloquo2Go and the iPad
- Proloquo2go?what I learnt next - More reviewing of Proloquo2Go, as well as a wish list of things she'd like to see in future upgrades.
Kate Ahern from Teaching Learners With Multiple Special Needs has written iPossibilities for Those with Significant Special Needs and their Teams listing many apps suitable for those at the more severe end of the 'special needs' spectrum.
Caleigh's Mum writes about her daughter's use of the iPad with Proloquo2Go for communicating. Caleigh has cerebral palsy and there are several videos of her using the iPad included too:
- Caleigh's Communication Part 4 - iPad
- iPad + Proloquo2Go, 1 Month Update
- Caleigh's Communication - The Review
Heidi has established a whole blog - Junior's Voice - about her son's journey with the iPad as a communications device. He uses the iPad via eyegaze with a helper holding the iPad to "read" the eyegaze and physically touch the screen in the right places.
Finally one of my favourite bloggers, Glenda Watson Hyatt, who has cerebral palsy also got herself an iPad and has been surprised by its usefulness:
- The iPad as an Affordable Communicator: Initial Review
- The iPad as an Affordable Communicator: A Follow-up Review
- Writing Under the Stars: A Follow-Up iPad Review
In personal news, I have just got my own Mac back after it spent two weeks out of action after the video card, so I had only the iPad and my iPod Touch to keep me occupied. I learned a lot about using the iPad which I'm going to show you in future posts. Unfortunately I also got tendonitis in my hands from using them too much, and I have a hernia repair operation scheduled in a week's time, so I'll be at least partially out of action for a few more weeks and ATMac will be slow. Please be patient with me while I work on healing!
Hope you enjoyed the stories above - what other iPad disability-related stories have you seen?
- Ricky Buchanan