Here a few iPad apps that are particularly useful for communication.
We select a few communication apps for the iPad below. There are plenty of iPad apps out there designed for children and adults with disabilities and some of them are absolutely fantastic and can really change the quality of life for their users. Here is a compilation of some of the apps currently on the market:
Proloquo2go – this app is really life changing. A full touch-to-speak service which translates keystrokes into words and gives those with speech problems or complete lack of speech a chance to communicate verbally for the first time. This is costly for an app but compared to a traditional speech device is good value. An excellent review of Proloquo can be found on the very useful blog by Kati Lea: My life with Ataxia
Angry Octopus – Angry Octopus is a specifically designed story to help children learn to manage their anger. Highly acclaimed and recommended, this app teaches muscular relaxation and relaxed breathing through an interactive story rather than instructional teaching.
Stories2Learn– this app helps you create Social Stories for kids and adults diagnosed as having an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. It allows for the creation of personalised stories so you can include photos that the individual with the disorder can relate to and understand.
iCommunicate – another communication app which allows for simple expression of feelings and symbols. Again, you can customise it with specific photos of your environment, for example you could put together a storyboard with a photo of the individual with the disability and a photograph of their bed, symbolising bed time. It’s like interactive PEC cards for iPad users.
Doodle Kids – fun for anyone but has been described as particularly appealing to those with severe learning disabilities who respond well to sensory, light and colour therapies.
MyChoicePad – a brilliant and interactive way for learners and carers to understand and learn Makaton. It can significantly help adults and children with learning difficulties communicate their needs through symbols, images and words.
iBooks - built into every iPad and popular amongst those with disabilities and without, iBooks allows you to read books or have them read to you straight from your iPad. Fantastic for people with visual impairment. There are a range of free books and you can purchase more if you need to!
There are many more communication iPad apps both in development and already available to assist people. The iPad is a huge development for people with disabilities and can really offer new opportunities for communication and education. We will soon be reviewing some apps developed by users, a great step forward for design.
For people who want to mount and carry an iPad safely and cheaply, we recommend a Trabasack Mini Connect. It has a range of straps and carrying options, you can rest it comfortably on your lap while using your iPad. If you want to you can attach the iPad to the soft surface for security.