iPad Opens World to a Disabled BoyBy Hager, Emily B.; New York Times,
Publication Date: October 29, 2010
Article discusses the accessibility of the Apple iPad as a learning and communication tool for individuals with disabilities. Focus is on a 7-year-old boy with severe physical disabilities resulting from spinal muscular atrophy, who uses the iPad to read electronic books, communicate in writing, and do math. The device’s sensitive touch screen enables the boy to “turn the pages” of a downloaded book with the light touch of his index finger. Advantages to the iPad over devices designed specifically for people with disabilities discussed include its comparable affordability; built in closed captioning, magnification, and audible readout functions; and a wide selection of applications, as exemplified by “apps” teaching basic skills such as tooth brushing and communication to children with autism. Although insurers do not reimburse the cost of an iPad for individuals with disabilities, they will in some cases pay for the applications. Accessibility problems associated with the iPad noted include its sensitivity to touch sometimes resulting in unintended results such as flipping more than one page of a book at a time, and difficulties with input other than using a finger, such as a mouth controlled mouse stick.
Published by: New York Times Company (Website:http://www.nytco.com)
Link to text: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/31/nyregion/31owen.html