iPads Are Making a Difference for People with Disabilities

iPads for people with disabilities

iPads are already extremely popular and now they’re being celebrated even more because of a new national trend of using them to help people with disabilities.

“Popular for its features and apps, it offers dynamic and cost-effective tools,” states The Arc —the nation’s largest community-based advocacy group for people with disabilities.

People with intellectual disabilities nationwide are using iPads as a tool to help them practice their cognitive-functioning skills for self-sufficiency. Endless apps exist that teach people how to perform daily tasks using video and/or step-by-step instructions.

It’s a great resource that people with intellectual disabilities of all ages can use in their own homes without needing to be with a caregiver at a care site. Many professionals approve of using an iPad as a non-traditional teaching tool because it provides more intuitive learning—not to mention—using it is fun!

iPad App Examples

  • Cooking tutorials
  • Math practice worksheets
  • Financial management tools
  • Virtual personal-assistant programs such as Siri

Many, many more apps exist. A Michigan nonprofit that provides programs and support to the families of individuals with special needs, The Friendship Circle, lists 10 websites with special-needs’ apps.

BridgingApps is a volunteer community specially sharing information about using the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android devices with people who have special needs. It’s a great resource for the young and old with disabilities to find apps to suit their needs.

The iPad apps teach persons with intellectual disabilities how to perform day-to-day functions independently, in turn, helping them to become comfortable living alone with greater confidence. Using the trendy device also gives people with a disability a sense of assimilation to modern society.

Another perk of using iPads is the cost savings compared to purchasing several expensive programs from separate devices. Many apps are free and are all housed within the same device. Individual programs can cost thousands of dollars. Multiple people can also share an iPad.

iPads are proving to be a tremendous resource for people with an intellectual disabilitiy community and will continually improve their capabilities as new apps are introduced.

Do you use any iPad apps that could benefit someone with a disability?


Scioto finds and purchases properties that are safe, convenient and affordable homes for people with developmental disabilities. We work with provider organizations, state agencies, families, and individuals to ensure the homes we purchase are specific to the needs of the people who will be living there.

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