Using Consumer Devices - iPad, iPod, and Android
In only one year the Apple iPad has revolutionized the tech industry. 15 Million iPads have been sold and estimates are that within the next 3 years over 115 million tablets will be shipped.When the iPad was launched there was a lot of talk of what exactly it would be used for. Movies, games, school work and social networking where all mentioned as possibilities. What no one foresaw including Steve Jobs himself was the use of the iPad for special education.
One year later dozens if not hundreds of applications have been created that enhance the quality of life for individuals with all types of disabilities. The market for such applications has become so big that Apple has created a Special Education section of their App Store to cater to the special needs community. Stories in media, among them the New York Times and the San Francisco Weekly are extolling the virtues of using an iPad for assistive communication.
Almost from the day the iPad was launched there was an immediate buzz about the special needs apps that were available in the iPad app store. Apple quickly realized that the iPad was perfectly suited to enhancing the lives of individuals with special needs and created a special education section of the app store. Websites and blogs sprung up dedicated to reviewing apps for Assistive Communication, Social Skills, Life Skills,Scheduling and more.
With all the hype surrounding the iPhone & iPad I started to wonder: what if you are a Google geek and prefer the Android platform? Or what if you work for Google (which would mean iPhone & iPad use is prohibited) and you have a child with special needs? Are there any quality special needs apps for Android Phones or Tablets?
Assistive Technology Exchanges
The Vermont Assistive Technology Reuse Project manages the Assistive Technology Exchange in New England (www.getATstuff.com), the Vermont AT School Swap (www.Vermont.ATSchoolSwap.com) and the Medicaid Equipment Reuse Project. See Below. These forums provide an avenue to affordable equipment, which increases independence and often enables individuals to stay in their homes or schools.
Here you can look for or list Assistive Technology devices for sale or for free.
The goal of getATstuff is to help get Assistive Technology devices that are no longer being used into the hands of people who need and can benefit from them.
A.T. School Share
The AT School Share allows participating entities (e.g. collaboratives, public/charter school districts, and private/public schools) to track their inventory of Assistive Technology devices. It is also designed to encourage the recycling of devices that are no longer in use and that have been marked as available for "sharing" (e.g. short or long term loan or sale/donation) to others.