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Resources for the Educational Use of iPads

A list of resources for teachers of children who are blind, visually impaired, deafblind, or with multiple disabilities with links to information and strategies about using iPads and other iOS devices as an educational tool.

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.

Using the iPad as an Assessment Tool ( (Part 2 of 2)
http://www.cadbs.org/news/gloria-more-on-using-the-ipad-as-an-assessment-tool/
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.

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.

Using the iPad and a Sequence of Apps for Young Children with Multiple Disabilities
http://www.cadbs.org/newsletter/resources-fall-2012/

Boy using iPad
A young boy uses an iPad.

Webinars

iExploration: Using an iPad for Vision Stimulation
https://www.perkins.org/course/iexploration-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.

Using iPads and Applications (Apps) with Children, Youth and Adults Who Are Deaf-Blind
http://www.cadbs.org/news/gloria-webinar-on-using-ipads-and-applications-apps-with-children-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
https://www.apple.com/accessibility/vision/

Braille Displays for iOS
http://www.apple.com/accessibility/ios/braille-display.html

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)
http://www.cadbs.org/news/gloria-apps-and-resources-for-young-children-with-special-needs/

iPad App Reviews and Articles (WonderBaby.org)
http://www.wonderbaby.org/articles/ipad-apps

iPad Apps from Thomas Marshall Does It All
http://thomasmarshalldoesitall.blogspot.com/p/ipad-app-info.html?m=1

Using the iPad with Students with Deafblindness, or My Adventure with the Shiny New Toy!
https://www.tsbvi.edu/attachments/newsletter/summer12.pdf#page=22
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.  

We put together a list of some of our favorite apps.


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

Our Favorite Apps!

iPad Apps and Resources for children with multiple disabilities

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Tips and guides

Steps for Completing the Screen Magnification Software Assessment

Colored illustration of animals with alphabet letters A, B, C, D
Activity and strategy

Alphabet Objects

A girl with low vision examines an iPad at close range
Tips and guides

Considerations For Low Vision Students In A Classroom