Apple iPad

The iPad was Apple's latest device, launched in early 2010.
Apple iPad
It is a touchscreen tablet computer, in fact almost a large iPod touch. It can be used to read books, watch movies, listen to music, play games; and for general web and e-mail access. It measures 9.56 inches high, 7.47 inches wide, 0.5 inches thick, and weighs 1.5 pounds. You can currently purchase an iPad with 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB memory. The iPad runs the same operating system as the iPod Touch and iPhone. It uses wi-fi or a mobile data connection to browse the Internet, load and stream media, and install software, but you need a USB cable in order to synchronise the iPad with iTunes or a PC.


All of the Apps on the iPod Touch are included in the iPad. According to the Apple website, there are thousands of Apps now available for the iPad, with more being added to the list every day. Many of the Apps and already installed features, are specifically aimed at people with disabilities.

According to SameDifference, The RNIB has praised Apple for the accessibility features built in to the iPad, which makes it easier for blind and partially-sighted people to use the touch-screen, tablet-style computer. The charity said the voice-over feature was particularly useful for ebooks, allowing iPad users to download dozens of titles from Apple’s iBookstore and have them read aloud. Accessibility features can be activated by users the first time they register their iPad through iTunes. See the original article . . .

The researchers of Trace Center told the media that anyone who is suffering from stroke, cerebral palsy or ALS can actually expect a lot from Apple ipad. They cited out the examples of Alzheimer patients and brain surgery aftermaths where people tend to employ graphic based communication rather than the verbal one. This is exactly where Apple’s Ipad comes into play. Moving on the same line we have Assistive Ware who have already gone ahead to download and put to use a communicative iPad application by the name of “Proloquo2Go”. It was said that the application serves to function for all those who have a speech problem to go ahead and adopt themselves to speak through symbols or by typing in words. The symbols or the speech will then be converted automatically as in normal voice. Similarly anyone who finds it difficult to read, iPad’s book reader shall read it aloud for them. Source . . .

New Apple iPad2 launched

A new, lighter and thinner iPad has just been launched by Apple. Read more about it and it's rivals here . . . . . . .

Official Apple iPad promo video

New developments in iPad input alternatives

The iPad in it's standard form does not officially accept any other input method, other than via it's native touchscreen or the keyboard designed to fit into the docking port.
Apparently you CAN use an Apple Magic mouse with the ipad - provided it has been 'jailbroken'. Check out Simonblog for the details. Probably not recommended unless you're not bothered about losing your warranty.

Specialist assistive technology designers like RJ Cooper have successfully developed a Switch interface for it. This follows closely on the heels of a specially adapted iPad compatible headpointer (scroll down the page).

The iPad cordless 'super switch' from RJ Cooper

It works through Bluetooth 2.1 for simple pairing and range of over 50 ft. Any app that has been programmed for switch access can apparently use the iPad Super Switch. And according to RJ Cooper, all AAC app developers *are* incorporating switch access, eventually, and which will work with their devices.

More information and images of the Superswitch . . .

Image of RJ Cooper iPad compatible switch

On an Apple forum recently, it was said that the iPad was designed purely for touchscreen use and was never intended to be used with a mouse or alternative input method (other than their own dock connected keyboard). Well, we now have a switch which works with it. A mouse can be used on a 'jailbroken' iPad. How long before we also see a joystick which works with it?

VoiceOver screenreader and Zoom magnifier

Easy enough for a 99 year old!

Tips for setting up an iPad for low vision elderly people . . .



Proloquo2Go, the augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) system, is now available for the iPad

Proloquo2go on the iPad

Find out more about Proloquo2go . . .

Making head pointers work with the iPad

How do you use a headpointer with an iPad touchscreen. It's not pressure sensitive and is only responsive to small amounts of electricity that your body produces. In other words, you normally need to physically touch it for it to work.

RJ Cooper have been making hardware adaptations and accessories for a number of years and have now started producing them for the iPad. They have come up with a simple solution for headpointer users.

The photo opposite, is of a headset which has been adapted so that the pointer is iPad compatible.

See how it was done . . .

RJ Cooper also offer a variety of iPad stands, covers and cases.

Head pointer for the iPad

iPad Apps in general (this section under development

  • iMean.

    iMean turns iPad into a letterboard with large easy-to-read keys and word suggestions. It was created to help the developers autistic son communicate and formulate his thoughts. He enjoys the word suggestions not just for speed but because they make him read. It is hoped that other people who use typing or facilitated communication because they cannot speak or speak well will enjoy this app too.

  • Alphabet Fun.

    Alphabet fun for iPad

  • Word Magic.

    Apparently nominated for Best Educational App in 2009 and also featured in "Apps for kids" by Apple. Has had some favourable reviews.

  • TapSpeak Choice

    New communication App for the iPad.

    TapSpeak Choice image

    Children and adults with autism, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, cortical vision impairment (CVI), stroke, or any disability that impairs their ability to communicate can make use of TapSpeak Choice.

  • Tap to Talk.

    TapToTalk turns an iPhone™, iPad™ or iPod touch® into
    an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device.

    Tap to Talk screenshot

    This is the original TapToTalk, designed for a Nintendo DS. Same pricipal. The iPad app just takes this to another level.

    How to customise TapToTalk . . .

iPad 'Brushes' App


Dragon Naturally Speaking for the iPad

Dragon Dictation is a voice recognition app powered by Dragon Naturally Speaking that allows you to speak and instantly see your text or email messages on the iPad™, iPhone™ or iPod touch™.

More information about Dragon on the iPad . . .

Review of the Dragon App for the iPad . . .

Dragon on the iPad

Use your iPad as an environmental control unit

Ipad control App

Brain Pop App

Brain Pop screenshotThe BrainPOP Featured Movie app delivers fresh, animated movies every day, with content relevant to significant historical and current events.

After watching the Featured Movie, students can test their new knowledge with the accompanying interactive quiz. It's had some great reviews.

See the reviews . . .

Using an iPad with the nose

Connect the iPad to a larger screen

Handwriting recognition App for iPad

More information about Writepad . . .

So you want to Jailbreak your iPad? Check out the PCWorld guide on how to do it . . .

iPad Accessories suppiers

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