A lot of people aren’t aware of all of Apple and the iPad’s use for students with special needs. People aren’t aware because it doesn’t affect them… or so they think. I am studying special education in school so maybe that skews my opinion, but I think it’s important for everyone to know the basics of the iPad’s accessibility and ways to adapt lessons to include those who need accommodations. Whether general education teachers are prepared or not inclusion is the way education is going. This means students with special needs, such as physical, mental, or learning disabilities will be in general education classrooms and those teacher will be expected to include them and make lessons to accommodate them. Below are some iTunes courses that may be helpful to those facing inclusion:
Two of the courses are called Inclusive Design and Creating Inclusive Learning Environments and these are offered for free from iTunes. Both of these courses are similar because they give an overview of inclusion and provide resources for teachers. They focus on the Universal Learning Design (ULD) method in order to reach as many students as possible. Both courses are aimed at helping teachers create successful learning environments for all students.
A third course is called Apps for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. This course is geared towards anyone working with a child with ASD whether it be a teacher or parent. Unfortunately, only the first 11 of 67 videos are free, but they provide very useful information. These videos thoroughly cover the apps and give information on how to select appropriate apps depending on the child’s traits and the apps features. This is a very good start to finding apps if you are unfamiliar with them.
One very simple way to help your students with the iPad is to use the accessibility that’s already built in. You might already even be using it without realizing it. This webpage covers all of the accessibility in Apple’s products. They give a brief overview of everything you can do on the iPad and it can be very useful for students who don’t need accommodations either. Below I put together a PowerPoint that lists where all of these settings can be found and adjusted.