iPhone and iPad apps for disabled children

iPhone and iPad apps for disabled children

Summary: This is a selection of apps designed to assist children with learning disabilities.


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  • Category: Schedule and organisation

    Compatibility: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later.

    Maker: Handhold Adaptive

    Price: $49.99

    iPrompts is an application for the iPod Touch and iPhone that offers a visual schedule, a countdown timer and a simple choice making utility. It is designed to replace needing to carry physical schedules or boards.
    The visual schedule does allow for a portable way of using the feature for reference, and this in turn can be used as a public means of demonstrating cues for disabled children.
    However, when testing the app, I found that the countdown visual could be slightly confusing to younger children – an improvement would be making this element of the app clearer and more user-friendly. There is also no way to ‘lock’ the option menu.

    Click here to view the iPrompts tutorial.

    (Source: Apple)


  • Category: Learning, word games

    Compatibility:  iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later. 

    Maker: Anusen Inc.

    Price: $0.99

    Word Magic was nominated for Best Educational App in 2009 in the 'Best App Ever' awards, and was also featured in "Apps for kids" by Apple. The app was designed keeping preschooler and kindergarten kids in mind, and is most suitable for children between the ages of 3 and 6 / 7.
    It is a method for children to have fun with words and complete spelling practice using visual prompts and games. The interface has a very simple design, and children complete games by touching the answer.


    Click here to view the app demo.

    (Source: Apple)


  • Category: Phonology, articulation

    Compatibility: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.

    Maker: RinnApps

    Price: $29.99

    ArtikPix is an articulation-based app with flashcard and matching activities for children with speech delays. ArtikPix contains 21 decks with 40 cards each (913 total cards) for the following sounds:
    th, f, v, ch, sh, k, g, s, z, l, r, s-blends, r-blends, l-blends, p, b, m, n, t, d, and j.
    The decks are combined, selected for sound group (e.g., beginning th, er), then practiced through games and activities. The features also include recorded audio and voice recording facilities. After user requests, there is now a new group scoring feature for up to 4 children to complete activities together.

    Click here to view a child using the app in a therapy session.

    (Source: Apple)


Topics: iPad, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

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  • too fast

    I watched the demo and thought that the speed of the screen was much too fast. My daughter would never be able to handle that speed and I imagine that many other disabled children would be the same. Is there a speed control ?
    • RE: iPhone and iPad apps for disabled children

      @paula ABC Wildlife? Yes, when i tested the app the speed wasn't something i considered a problem for small children to use -- the demo makes it appear a lot quicker than it actually is. Hope that helps!
  • Are there any communications aids that use Makaton

    or even PECS that could run on an iPhone?

    I rebuilt a PDA for my daughter about 5 years ago, and programmed it to display tiles on its touchscreen and then speak the phrase built with them as she cannot speak herself. PECS threatened me with legal action if I didnt cease development, or turn over my work to them, so I trashed it rather than give my work to those thieving swine... However, seeing Proloquo must mean they were bluffing about copyrights, because thats like my device too. More comprehensive, but visually very similar.

    My daughter really needs a way of communicating that others can understand, because most people (here in the UK at least) dont understand BSL, let alone one of the many symbolic languages that have spread here from the US. I've never heard of Proloquo, and I know more symbolic languages than most people.
    I personally dont like them, and cant program for one, but an iPod Touch has the form and the software to do the job and would save me a lot of work too - so long as it contains a language she already knows.

    It would be nice if I wasnt charged a fortune for it too. From experience, manufacturers charge more if it has a 'for special needs' sticker on it.
    • RE: iPhone and iPad apps for disabled children


      You might like to check out "taptotalk.com" as they have an app which you can add your own library to. I don't remember paying much for it.
      • Thanks, I'll do that.

        @skossr I still have the databank on a CD somewhere, I spent ages drawing stick-figures and recording the speech synthesiser from an Amiga, besides all the programming. Bounce-proofing a Moto A925 and hacking the microwave parts out without crashing the OS. It was a smart talking brick, and I'm still a bit annoyed they took that from me, as well as her.

        Still, thanks. I suppose I should be grateful I can just 'get an app' for her now, because I honestly didnt see that coming.