The iPad is loaded with accessibility features from font size, assistive touch, speak auto text, voice over, speak selection, and zoom. These features are especially important for people who are visually impaired, physically disabled and need more than one tool to access their iPad independently.
Following is a list of apps and accessories that will enhance the iPad experience, including styli, iPad covers and other features that make the iPad the best tool for both students and adults.
Toughest iPad- Biggrips- available for the iPad 1 and 2. The Big Grips Frame helps keep the iPad from slipping out. It is made out of foam, which protects against accidental drops. Best of all, the Big Grips is non-toxic, lead and latex free, PVC free, resistant to oils and chemicals, durable and lightweight. It also has a stand that can be purchased separately. The case is $39.95. Purchasing the case and stand together is $49.95.
Bupcap- Does your child keep hitting the home button when working on an app? Bupcap will prevent this with 3 different types of caps from regular to maximum protection. These covers fit over the home button. The company recommends: starting with the Explorer 6-Pack, which includes two BubCap (regular), two BubCap Ultra, and two BubCap Max home button covers. The cost ranges from $5.00 to $6.99.
Keyguard- Bumpers to prevent the student from accidental activation of a key. This is especially great for apps such as Proloquo2go. The guard is $19.95.
Mouthstick Stylus $40.00 Stylus a solution for quadriplegics, people with ALS, MS or other disabilities where they cannot use their hands. It has a default stick size, which can be altered when ordering. It has two working solutions: A fully conductive mouthstick with a Stylus Sock on the tip or a separate Stylus Sock that you can wrap around your own mouthstick plus a slice of the same conductive fabric that connects the sock to the iPad body.
iPad Steady Stylus $40.00 This T-shaped stylus has a wooden handle with a grip made from transparent rubber wrapped around a wooden stick. The pointer is made from aluminum with a conductive fabric sock plug as the tip. Especially good for people with limited strength in their hands.
Stylus R Us has a wide variety of telescoping styli ranging in price. The average price is around $40.00.
SoundAMP-R $4.99 Using ear buds, hear what you would like to hear. Provides users with clear sound and maximum volume possible. Records lectures, presentations, and interviews. Bookmark the recording to remember important points. Export recordings to your computer.
Voice Brief $2.99 Personal assistant app; allows users to customize for news, the weather, calendar and more.
Big Contacts-large font $.99 BIG Contacts is for anyone who has trouble reading the default text in the iPhone's contacts app. The bold and condensed Helvetica font is one of the easiest fonts to read.
Sign Language Fun Learning $4.99 Lively and engaging video app includes proper American Sign Language for letters, numbers, animals, family members, transportation modes, nature scenes and salutations.
Web-Reader text to speech $1.99 Uses text-to-speech technology along with web page content recognition to read web pages to users. Configure web pages to be read as soon as they are loaded, read pages manually after they are loaded, or use cut, copy, and paste to read only sections of text.
Intellipad $19.99- Expensive, but worth it! Offers notepad functionality plus word prediction, text-to-speech and a customizable keyboard. Keyboard Editor allows users to merge cells to form larger keys. Enter letters, words or sentences. Select fonts and letter sizes. Choose from an array of colors and color templates that can be applied to the whole keyboard or to select keys. Users can create audio recordings that are played when the key is pressed.
Vicki Windman is a special education teacher at Clarkstown High School South.