Posts Tagged ‘ipads disabilities’
iPad helps American Boy find his Voice
The benefits of iPad apps and technology for those living with disabilities proven again
Despite the iPad being popular with absolutely everybody, we are convinced they help and support learning and communication for people with disabilities. Hunter Harrison is a five year old boy uses his iPad to communicate. Hunter lives with a neuromuscular disability which effects his motor abilities including those needed for verbal communication. Despite this, Hunter is learning to read, knows his numbers, letters, colours and shapes and will be attending mainstream school in September.
Hunter needs a communication system that works. It’s clear he has the facilities to flourish in a mainstream classroom environment. This view is shared by Jane Kleinert from the University of Kentucky who has been working with Hunter. She highlights how popular the iPad has been for use in classrooms, particularly with pupils with autism. The adaptability of the device is one of its most popular features.
Access to AAC Devices Limited, despite iPad affordability
Research in the US has shown that less than 50% of children who require AAC support have access to it. We don’t have statistics for the UK but we’re sure they won’t be significantly different. Access to AAC devices is essential for supporting communication development in children with disabilities. Professor Kleinert and a UK colleague are working together to develop an initiative to build communication systems for children with disabilities. The scheme has allowed Hunter his own iPad loaded up with the popular Proloquo2Go App. The app allowed Hunter to find ways to communicate but over time it has also led to improvement in his oral speech.
Unfortunately in America, the leading funding options won’t supply iPads as they restrict their funds to dedicated instruments designed for communication. The iPad doesn’t fit this category. However, dedicated AAC devices are often heavy and extremely expensive. The iPad of course has many portability and cost advantages and the success Hunter has achieved is something that every child should have access to. This video shows Hunter in action:
Trabasack can be used successfully as a low cost iPad or communication aid mount for more info click here
Five Great Communication Apps for your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch
Apple’s position as one of the most popular, important and powerful computing and telecommunications companies cannot be disputed. Their range of devices from the original iPod to the more recent iPad and iPhone series are fantastically equipped to handle a huge range of apps and many of these can be used to significantly improve day to day life.
Many people thought Apple had designed their apps purely for entertainment and fun but there are many more uses for many of their great apps, most significantly for us, communication. At Trabasack for Communication Aids we are always looking for the latest and the best technology available to aid communication and make it more accessible. Here we’ve compiled five of the best communication apps currently available through the Apple App Store!
1 – Yes/No – a very simple communication app which is fantastic for simply answering questions. Yes/No allows the user to voice their preference to most questions with a yes or no answer. This app is fantastic for those with learning difficulties who may find open questions difficult and therefore are more confident and comfortable with simple answers.
2 – iCommunicate. – Grembe Inc. – a communication app which allows for simple expression of feelings through symbols and sounds. You can customise it with specific photos of your environment, for example you could put together a storyboard or social story photos of the individual with the disability doing their usual daily tasks. Like an interactive PECs system.
3 – TouchChat AAC with WordPower – Silver Kite – an app designed for those who have difficulty using their own voice. There are a range of set messages and sentences stored within TouchChat but you can also add your own if the non-verbal individual has particular favourite phrases or sentences they’re used to and also you can add their name to TouchChat’s vocabulary.
4 – Assistive Chat – assistive apps – much like TouchChat, Assistive Chat supports those who have difficulty using their own speech. It’s a much more affordable option and has a range of customisable settings including the voice it speaks in, the size of the font on the screen and also word prediction so keystrokes can be kept to a minimum.
5 – Grace – Picture Exchange for Non-Verbal People – an award winning app designed for non-verbal individuals. Developed for those on the autistic spectrum, Grace is designed to allow users to choose pictures to express their needs independently and in time, where possible, vocalise their needs alongside using the picture.
These are just five of the great communications apps on the market and we believe each one of them can be really useful for furthering independence and general life experiences!
If you’re lucky enough to own one of these great Apple devices, don’t forget how useful your Trabasack can be. The Trabasack Mini in particular is designed to perfectly fit an iPad 2 and it’s a brilliant storage space for any Apple device. Equally, the Trabasack tray surface gives you the option of somewhere safe and secure to rest your Apple device when not in use!
How to use Proloquo2Go on Your iPad
Proloquo2Go is the leading portable and affordable AAC communication app for iPads and other Apple devices. Proloquo2Go can significantly improve the communication for those who are non-verbal or who have difficulty finding the words they need in certain scenarios, for example when they’re over anxious or stressed.
A simple guide to how to use Proloquo2Go on your iPad.
Initially, you need to have a basic understanding of Apple technology, which is extremely intuitive and known for its basic and easy-accessibility. Proloquo2go is potentially very advanced technology but has some very basic features which have been known to aid even toddlers in their speech.
Firstly, you will see a grid or list of core types of word and speech that you can add to for example: Food and Drink, My Places and My Clothes. From these you can tap the items which are relevant to your sentence and they will appear in the message window. If you need to conjugate these words you can simply press down and the full range of conjugations comes up. This means you can say ‘I am hungry’ instead of ‘I be hungry’ for example. To speak your sentence, you simply tap the message window and it will be vocalised by your iPad. If it’s a sentence you feel you’ll use frequently, you can tap the plus (+) button and it will be added to the vocabulary in your iPad into the category of your choice. You can also recall recent speech items via the ‘Recent Views’ button and then you can repeat sentences from early in the day if you need to do, making it easy to have necessary commands and sentences stored.
This video gives some more information regarding Proloquo2Go:
This is a very basic outline of how Proloquo2go can be used but it can become an essential part of your daily life as it aids all communication and potentially socialisation. To ensure you can access your Proloquo2go app and in turn your iPad whilst out and about, it helps to have a specially designed iPad bag. The Trabasack Mini Connect is ideal as an iPad bag as it is perfectly designed to fit both iPad and iPad2 devices and is both secure and safe. In addition to its use as a bag you can use your Trabasack Mini Connect as a lap tray, which is extremely handy if you’re and about and you have a question or anything else to say. You can simply have your iPad resting on your Trabasack Mini Connect and access the sentences or phrases you want to use via Proloquo2go.
It is that simple and it can revolutionise your daily life, with the tap of a screen.
Click here for more ideas about communication apps and ipads
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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.