In December 2012, a generous anonymous donation of 17 iPads, cases and iTunes cards were gifted to the participants of the Easter Seals Adult Program. BridgingApps had the pleasure of working with the clients of the Adult Program 1-2 times per month on how to use the iPads. Throughout the year, they learned how to select and use apps on the iPad to enhance their lives. January marked the one year anniversary of using the iPads, and we held a celebration to recognize and award the participants on their excellent progress. We decided that all deserved to graduate with the title of “iPad Master”. The event would not have been complete without a cake.
Some of the topics covered during the year were iPad orientation, set up, downloading apps and using assistive features. We introduced Assistive Touch, which allows easier access for those with fine motor challenges, and Zoom for those who need large print. Everyone enjoyed trialing styli of different shapes and sizes from our Assistive Technology Lab to write on the tablets. One of the more challenging aspects of using the tablets was remembering our Apple ID’s and passwords. It is amazing how quickly those can be forgotten. Once everyone got his or her accounts and emails set up we moved on to the fun stuff. Some of our favorite activities were:
Taking pictures, Using the calendar, Making videos, Sharing photos via social media, Printing photos using apps, entering the contact information of friends and family, Using Facetime to video conference with friends and family
Favorite apps: Facebook, PicCollage, Beep Me, Do It, iBooks, CNN
What did the participants have to say about their iPads? All of them responded that they love it and have adopted them into their lives for use in many daily tasks and activities. The participants all expressed their gratitude. When asked about their experience, Rhonda said she is thankful that she can now order her Metrolift online using her iPad. It is so much easier to accomplish the task with the touch of her finger versus relying on someone to make the call for her. Michael benefits from playing brain games on Luminosity. Jennifer is delighted that she can now download Stephen King books and enlarge the print to her liking. Brian began using Proloquo4text as a quick way to communicate with his friends and family. And, Robert loves playing Words with Friends.
It has been a joy watching the evolution of their skills and enjoyment over the course of one year and the creative outlet and social connections that using the iPad has provided. Collaborating with Betsy Wechter on the iPad project has been phenomenal, and we look forward to another fabulous year of learning in 2014. The program volunteers have also helped enormously and had a bit of fun in the process!