Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

iPads as a Literacy Tool for Learners Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Are you wondering how iPads can be used with your students? Whether you are working with young children, learners with multiple disabilities, or braille students, there are resources about apps and accessibility features that can help on the Path to Literacy!

What kind of apps work best for children with visual impairments?

Image of Dr. Seuss ABC app.


iPad Apps for Children with Visual Impairments
This section of the WonderBaby site looks at apps out that might help children communicate, develop finger dexterity, learn about cause and effect and just have fun.  Examples are given of ways in which  iPad apps to facilitate learning in children with low vision and other visual impairments.  Many specific apps are reviewed, such as Tickle Finger, Big Trace, Dr. Seuss' ABC and Peekaboo Barn.

Image of iPad using Zoom feature

Learn about accessibility features!

Accessibility Features for the iPad for Users Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

This overview of the accessibility features on the Apple iPad for users who are blind or visually impaired includes information on the VoiceOver screen reader and Zoom, including a description of the features, as well as some hints on how to get started with them.


 Use the iPad as an assessment tool...

iPad, iPod, iPhone – iTechnology and apps that have been used successfully with individuals with deafblindness or with visual impairments and additional disabilities

Dr. Linda Mamer, British Columbia Provincial Deafblind Consultant, shares a how-to paper, with sample observational sheets, sample observational sheets that have been filled in, and a list of current apps. The iPad is viewed as an observational / assessment tool to gather information, visually / auditorially / tactually, to be able to design individualized communication systems based on the child's responses.


Watch this webinar about iPads for students with CVI and other types of visual impairments

Child using iPadAppsolutely Engaging and Educational: Introduction to iPad Apps for Kids with Special Needs

Eric Jerman, M.Ed., COMS is the father of a three-year-old boy who has Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) and global developmental delays.  In this webinar Eric shares strategies, tips and techniques to begin using an iPad with students who are visually impaired with additional disabilities.


 Find out how other TVIs use the iPad

Photo of iPad in open caseiPad Resources from two TVIs

Marsha Bork and Faye Gonzalez from the Madison School District in Phoenix, Arizona share helpful information about the accessibility  features of the iPad.


Explore some of the latest research on iPad apps for children with visual impairments

iStimulation: Research on iPad Apps for Children with Visual Impairments

Image from study on visual attentiveness using iPad

This presentation by Laura Campaña, Director of Infant & Early Childhood Program at Junior Blind of America introduces multiple applications on the iPad iOS platform that have been tested on children with visual impairment.  It includes cumulative data collected on iPad use compared to APH Lightbox use with children with visual impairment during a study done by the Junior Blind.  The purpose of the study was to investigate the use of the Apple iPad as a means to strengthen or initiate visual engagement, parental interaction, communication, visual attentiveness, reaching and/or activation among children with visual impairments and/or multiple disabilities.


iPad as a literacy tool collage



web page appears awesome!

Posted by Denise Sample

Amazing site!!

Posted by Marcy Meachum

Posted on August 27, 2012
Updated on: January 24, 2018

Previous comments for iPads as a Literacy Tool for Learners Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Marcy Meachum commented on October 1, 2012

Hi Charlotte, I really love this website and I've only skimmed thru it!
Thank you for all the hard work you have put into this site.
We can put all your great ideas to use immediately.

Denise Sample commented on September 6, 2012

Charlotte, I am a TVI / COMS. I have yet to peruse the details on the site but looking over the headings it appears that it is all applicable to my caseload. I cannot wait until this weekend when I have time to look closely. This is definitely a must share site with the other members of my team.