iPad Minis as Assistive Technology for Students with Visual Impairments

Building on the work we did in June 2012 to train four Kenyatta University students with visual impairments to use iPods and keyboards to read and create documents, we had these four students train 10 additional students with visual impairments using iPad minis and keyboards. Within two days, all of the students were checking and sending email messages, listening to music, checking Facebook, along with reading and creating documents using the assistive technology. We are working with the Directorate of Disability Services and the Department of Special Needs Education at Kenyatta University to find funds to purchase more equipment so more students with visual impairments can make use of this equipment.

The four students who have been using iOS equipment since June told us how much the equipment has changed their lives, from supporting their academic work to allowing them to check the color of their socks (using an app). All four students reported that they are able to be much more independent than they were without the equipment.

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Preparing the iPads
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Sammy exploring an iPad mini
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Silas feeling the Speed Dots (raised dots on a screen cover to orient one's fingers to certain locations on the screen)
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Sammy helping Hellen and Samson learn how to use an iPad
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Job exploring an iPad mini
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Silas assisting Fred
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Beatrice and Lucy assisting Mary
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Sammy assisting Samson
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Sammy assisting Lydia
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Patrick assisting Mary
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Job and Thomas exploring their iPad minis
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Eric listening to the VoiceOver feature on an iPad mini
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Dennis listening to the VoiceOver feature on an iPod
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Fatuma looking at a Braille document to find the top
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Sammy assisting Hellen and Samson
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Alan helping Job learn keyboard functions
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Patrick assisting Lydia with tapping on an iPad mini screen
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Group photo
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Eric taking a photo of Dennis using the camera feature
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Joe and Alan talking with Prof. Mbugua, director of Disability Services at KU
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Sammy sharing with the group about what the iOS equipment has meant to him over the last six months
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Silas sharing how the iOS equipment allows him to be more independent
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Lucy sharing with the group
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Fatuma and Hellen listening to the VoiceOver feature on an iPad
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Patrick assisting Lydia in setting up her email on an iPad mini
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Prof. Mbugua talking with Sammy
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Mary and Samson listening to the VoiceOver feature
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Silas uses keyboard commands to navigate on an iPad mini
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Thomas and Dennis
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Alan and Sammy

About Joanna Masingila

Joanna Masingila is a Professor of Mathematics and Mathematics Education at Syracuse University. She was a Fulbright Scholar to Kenyatta University in 1998, and since that time Syracuse University and Kenyatta University have an institutional linkage.
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One Response to iPad Minis as Assistive Technology for Students with Visual Impairments

  1. Pingback: Activities Through the Kenyatta University-Syracuse University Partnership Project | Joanna's Journey Through Life

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