The positive impact of iPads for people with disabilities

The positive impact of iPads for people with disabilities

Yes we know, everybody wants an iPad, they are one of the must-have items of the 21st century and if you haven’t got one, chances are you’re lusting after one. Despite their cult status as a symbol of power and technological prowess, there is evidence to suggest iPads are actually improving the lives of those with disabilities in a number of unexpected ways. Here we discuss just a few of the ways that an iPad can have a positive impact on a person with various disabilities.

  1. For Communication

Before the development of the iPad and its release on the general market, devices which use text-to-speech or touch-to-speak technology were extremely expensive, You would have been looking at, at least £1000 for a remotely serviceable device but now you can get your iPad for less than £400 and touch-to-speak apps such as Proloquo2go can be found for less than £120. This is extremely beneficial and can be life changing for non-verbal adults and children. Now, if your child with speech difficulties is thirsty they can let you know with real words. Many apps can also be customised and adapted to personally suit your specific needs with additional features such as photographs and such like.

There are apps which can be used by people with severe movement disorders and difficulty with speech. The Yes/No app allows for simple Yes and No responses and gives dignity to individuals who have may have no other means of easy communication. Such developments in technology truly are revolutionary for people who need them.

  1. For Learning

There are many specific apps and programs which are designed to help those with additional needs and disabilities. Apps have been designed and tailored to suit children and adults with specifics disabilities and play to the strengths of the individual in question rather than aiming for a standard “norm”.

There is sufficient evidence which suggests that many children defined as having an Autistic Spectrum Disorder respond very well to iPads and other tablet devices in a learning capacity and some SEN schools are beginning to implement this technology to support pupil’s learning.

Applications like Stories2Learn which help in the creation of social stories and Draw Free are really great for the development of children with additional educational needs and can be a great supplement at home for what’s learnt in school!

  1. For Therapy

There is much evidence which suggests that using an iPad can significantly increase the development of a child or adults fine motor skills. People born with low muscle tone sometimes find it hard to develop their fine motor skills but through consistent use of an iPad which requires very precise touch screen presses and sophisticated finger isolation these skills can slowly be coaxed and developed.

There is in fact an app called Dexteria specifically designed for developing your fine motor skills.

  1. For Behaviour Management

There are many great apps designed for helping parents, guardians and teachers manage and measure the behavioural developments of children with special needs. One of the most popular apps for this particular process is Behaviour Tracker Pro which allows for all types of assessments.

There are also great apps which can help young adults with learning disabilities further their independence such as Medication Reminder which will help remind you when to take your meds and Nudge which gives you reminders to keep on top of your to-do list or daily goals.

The iPad has thoroughly enhanced the lives of many people with additional needs and disabilities and their power cannot be underestimated. To confidently and comfortably use your iPad on the move, you should also consider buying a Trabasack which is perfect for housing your iPad but also works a portable desk if you fancy using it when you’re on the move or there’s no level surface available.

 

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Trabasack is available from these Communication Aid companies (to add your company to the list, please email duncan{at}trabasack.co.uk)