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iPad: Helping Those with Special Needs One App at a Time!

Nov 13th, 2013 | by Ellen Seder
Ellen Seder

Ellen Seder

November 13th, 2013

All across the country, iPads are becoming more and more popular, especially in classrooms. iPads are not only fun and convenient, they’re also a powerful learning tool to help people with special needs.

One of the many features of the iPad is text to speech (TTS), which allows students to hear the words they’re reading. Not only does this benefit the visually impaired, but it also allows users to hear the proper pronunciation of the words as they read.

Another useful tool for the visually impaired is the VoiceOver feature, available for all apps. It is a screen reader that allows the student to point at something on the screen and hear a description of what is at that location. It has an adjustable speaking rate so those with both visual and hearing impairments can listen at the rate they need. Users can also use the Zoom feature to enlarge anything on the screen.

The iPad has adaptive technology that allows parents and teachers to customize the keyboard and touchscreen to meet each individual’s need. Shortcuts can easily be made and there are apps that allow parents and teachers to create an entire onscreen routine to help a student improve motor skills.

Are you and your family new to iPads? Here is a great eBook available to read for free: iPads 4 Special Needs explains all you need to know about iPads, the setup, and accessibility features.

Already familiar with your iPad? Here is a list of some great apps available for those with special needs:

  1. Articulation Station Pro – 2012 Apps for Children with Special Needs App of the Year! Helps those with speech delays to practice making sounds in words, sentences, and stories. Articulation practice has never been so much fun ($49.99)!
  2. ArtikPix – An engaging articulation app with flashcard and matching activities to help children with speech delays practice making sounds correctly ($29.99).
  3. Rainbow Sentences – Helps students improve their ability to construct grammatically correct sentences by using color-coded visual cues. Parts of sentences are color-coded to help students recognize and understand how combinations of these parts create basic sentence structure ($7.99).
  4. Abilipad – aka “the WRITE TOOL for the iPad” is a notepad app developed to assist writing. The Keyboard Creator lets users design keyboards using letters, words, sentences or pictures with custom key sizes, fonts, colors and audio recordings. It offers word prediction to assist with spelling and to reduce keystrokes, as well as text-to-speech that allows users to hear what is written ($19.99).
  5. See. Touch. Learn Pro – A picture learning system designed for children with autism and other special needs. Parents and teachers can create custom picture card lessons and automatically track the student’s responses ($24.99).
  6. StoryBuilder – Designed to help children to improve paragraph formation, improve integration of ideas, and improve higher-level abstractions by inference. And use of audio clips promotes improved auditory processing ($7.99).

Want more iPad app suggestions? See what these websites have to say:

Reference:

http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/advantages-ipads-special-education-students-4061.html

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-04-18/lifestyle/35454048_1_ipad-apps-apps-cost-dragon-dictation

Apps for Special Needs

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