Since buying my iPad last April, I have shared many of my experiences and insights on how the device has impacted my life:
- Giving an Award-Winning Speech on my iPad
- The iPad as an Affordable Communicator: A Follow-up Review
- Giving an Award-Winning Speech on my iPad: Part 2
- The iPad as an Affordable Communicator: Initial Review
- My Next iPad Experiment: Using Proloquo2Go to Conduct Interviews
In preparing to my two upcoming presentations – “The Untapped iPad Market: Is Your Site POUR?“ on March 13th and “The New AAC (Assistive and Augmentative Communication): Cheap and Disruptive?” on March 17th – I have read numerous stories of how the iPad is changing the lives of others with disabilities.
Here are a few of the stories I will share in my presentation on March 13th:
Byron had a stroke, losing use of his right arm and right leg and his ability to speak. After using the iPad and Proloquo2Go – the same app I use – for only three days, he could express his food and drink choices, his name and address, and, more importantly, his personal needs – like needing to go to the bathroom and where he has pain. This minimizes frustration for both him and his wife Cindy as he is now clearly understood and she isn’t trying to second guess what he wants.
Leo is 9 years old with intense autism. His Mom explains, “He is not conversational, he learns very slowly, and he has been prone to violent outbursts.”
Leo had shown interest in the iPod Touch, but its 3.5-inch screen was difficult for his fingers to navigate. Within a month of his Mom winning an iPad, Leo had mastered apps designed to teach spelling, counting, drawing, making puzzles, remembering pictures, and more. The iPad has also been used to teach manners and to distract his attention prior to outbursts.
Leo can’t use a pen or pencil very well, because, like many autistic children, he has problems grasping small items. Before the iPad, his most advanced drawing was a smiley face with legs. Now, using the DrawFree app, there’s ears, hats, arms, fingers, and toes!
At 10am, April 5, 2010, an iPad landed on the desk of American Federation for the Blind’s technology associate Brad Hodges for him to review for an upcoming article. In his “24 Hours with the iPad”, he shares, “On that night, I purchased a book from a book store, exactly as my sighted neighbors and colleagues would. …I believe the advent of accessible iBooks will be viewed by future generations as one of the landmark events in the lives of the blind.”
If you are considering upgrading to an iPad 2, consider renewing the life of your old one by passing it on to someone who could benefit by having an iPad, and, quite possibly change a life in the process.
Here are a few suggestions of where your iPad may be greatly received:
- A family with a child with a disability: Even though the child may have a communication device at school, oftentimes the device cannot be brought home, leaving the child voiceless during non-school hours.
- A special ed class for several children to use.
- A rehab centre.
- A day program for adults with disabilities.
- An employment program for people with disabilities to aid with their job search. An iPad would have been so helpful when I went for job interviews. Perhaps I may have landed a job.
- A friend or relative who has had stroke or other injury and who may benefit from using an iPad.
The possibilities are endless… Go with where your values are – whether it’s helping people with disabilities, people who are homeless or financially strapped, a struggling small business, a new non-profit – and give your old iPad a new life, rather than leaving it to collect dust with those other gadgets that you’ve outgrown.
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