Friday, September 17, 2010

Say What? What about accessible technology and the iPad?

I recently purchased an iPad for my granddaughter to use during the recovery period following her surgery. Aimee has cerebral palsy, is sight impaired, and has limited motor skills. She loves music, iTunes, You-Tube and a variety of other applications and websites so thought I could provide even more by introducing her to the iPad. And I wasn’t wrong.
The iPad is truly remarkable, especially for those with a variety of disabilities, like Aimee, that limit her ability in almost every aspect of her life. The iPad immediately provided her with a new enthusiasm to do even more. First, its size is small enough to handle and to place on a wheelchair tray, yet large enough to be able to see the screen. It provided focus and interest not only for fun but learning as well.

Apple has built some amazing accessible technology right into the iPad. There is a screen reader and voice-over technology that works with all the standard applications that come with the iPad. A great feature, particularly for the sight impaired, is the ability to use a white on black text setting and to adjust the font size for reading.

The App Store provides a non-stop variety of applications to select from that include books and reading, math, drawing, educational games and music that can be applied for your own child’s needs.

The book applications offer several reading options that include reading aloud automatically, or to read in the traditional manner while turning the pages (which Aimee can do on her own). Holding a finger down on a word provides an instant definition in a dictionary pop-up on the screen.

In his recent SJ Mercury News Column, Around Town, Sal Pizarro states, “Since the iPad was launched in
April, teachers and doctors who work with autistic children and adults have been raving about the device. Apps such as Proloquo2Go and Grace are being praised for their ability to help students with autism and other disabilities build communication skills.”
I don’t own stock in Apple, but wish I did. Thank you, Apple for your example of taking accessible technology to a new level. Now, if we could only get our schools to do the same.

For more information, go to Apple-Accessibility where you will find information about the accessibility features built into all Apple products, including product descriptions. If you have questions, you can email apple at accessibility@apple.com.

I encourage you to head over to an Apple store and check the iPad out for yourself!

Best,

Julie

1 comment:

  1. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
    KP 10.3 Power Wheelchair

    Keep Posting:)

    ReplyDelete