Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Resources for the Educational Use of iPads

Boy using iPad

As teachers return to begin another school year, many people are wondering how to use iPads as an educational tool with children who are blind or visually impaired, including those who are deafblind or who have multiple disabilities.  This post includes ideas for using an iPad as an assessment tool, research on using an iPad compared to a lightbox for vision stimulation, webinars, best apps (applications), and information on accessibility.


Research and Educational Tools

Infant & Early Childhood Program iPad Curriculum
Laura Campaña and staff from Junior Blind demonstrate how our Infant & Early Childhood Specialists use iPad tablets and applications during in-home early intervention services provided to young children who are blind, visually impaired or multi-disabled. This is available as a DVD.

The iPad as an Informal Assessment Tool (Part 1 of 2)
Gloria Rodriguez-Gil of California Deaf-Blind Services shares ideas on assessment.

iPad, iPod, iPhone – iTechnology and apps that have been used successfully with individuals with deafblindness or with visual impairments and additional disabilities
Linda Mamer, Deafblind Consultant (British Columbia) 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 or assessment tool to gather information, visually, auditorially, tactually, to be able to design individualized communication systems based on the child's responses.

iStimulation Presentation
Laura Campaña of Junior Blind presents research comparing the use of an APH lightbox and an iPad for vision stimulation with young children who are visually impaired with additional disabilities.

Posts on Paths to Literacy related to iPads

Using the iPad as an Assessment Tool ( (Part 2 of 2)
Gloria Rodriguez-Gil of California Deaf-Blind Services shares the second part of her ideas on using the iPad as an assessment tool with students who are deafblind.

Using the iPad and a Sequence of Apps for Young Children with Multiple Disabilities



iPad research for children who are blindiExploration: Using an iPad for Vision Stimulation
This webinar by Laura Campaña from Junior Blind presents an in-depth view of how the iPad can be used to provide vision stimulation to young children with varying degrees of visual impairments, including those with significant additional disabilities.  Download the handout from the webinar.

Appsolutely Engaging and Educational: Using iPad Apps with Children with Visual Impairments and Additional Disabilities (Parts 1 and 2)
This two-part webinar with Eric Jerman offers strategies, tips and techniques for using an iPad with students who are visually impaired and may have additional disabilities.

iOS Accessibility for Users Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
Jim Denham, Assistive Technology Specialist at Perkins, discusses iOS Accessibility features, including VoiceOver including commonly used gestures and options.

Using iPads and Applications (Apps) with Children, Youth and Adults Who Are Deaf-Blind
Gloria Rodriguez-Gil of California Deaf-Blind Services presents this webinar.


Accessibility Features of the iPad

iPad: Accessibility for Vision – General information about VoiceOver  Guided access

Braille Displays for iOS


Applications (Apps)

The resources below include suggestions for teaching skills such as:

  • increasing visual attention
  • developing an understanding of cause and effect
  • directed reach and motor control
  • eye-hand coordination
  • visual tracking
  • communication
  • special apps for children with CVI (Cortical Visual Impairment) using preferred colors, movement, light


Apps and Resources for Young Children with Special Needs (CA Deafblind Services)

iPad App Information (Utah Schools for the Deaf & the Blind)

iPad App Reviews and Articles (

iPad Apps from Thomas Marshall Does It All

iPad for Children with MIVI (Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Outreach)

iPhone, iPad and iPod touch Apps for (Special) Education
Eric Sailers

Using the iPad with Students with Deafblindness, or My Adventure with the Shiny New Toy!
This article by TVI Jamie Wheeler describes various iPad apps that are effective for children who are deafblind or who are blind or visually impaired with additional disabilities.

Our Favorite Apps!Best apps and Paths to Literacy teamed up to put together a list of some of our favorite apps.  You can see the list here: or download it as a pdf.


Let us know what your favorite apps are!


Download two-page handout:  Online Resources for the Educational Use of iPads with Children Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Deafblind.

iPad Apps and Resources for children with multiple disabilities




Posted by JDSS

Text editing with Ipad and Voiceover

Posted by Stephen Bennett

Speech Recognition Resource for People with Disabilities

Posted by Paul

Posted on August 22, 2013
Updated on: February 7, 2018

Previous comments for Resources for the Educational Use of iPads

Paul commented on April 11, 2017

I think people with disabilities will find the following resource useful:

Stephen Bennett commented on May 25, 2016

Can anyone direct me to information rgarding use of Ipad with google docs or the built-in Ipad Notes App? at present I'm able to perform rudimentary editing using Voiceover and IOS 9.3 but applying formatting and heading styles is a little erratic.
Thanks in advance

JDSS commented on February 10, 2015