[Source: Disability Scoop and ASHAsphere]
The iPhone and iPad will soon be even simpler to use for people with a wide range of disabilities thanks to a new software update, Apple Inc. officials said this week.
Changes designed to make the popular mobile devices more accessible are expected in a forthcoming update to Apple’s iOS software, the operating system that powers the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
A new feature called “Guided Access” will be especially beneficial for students with disabilities like autism, Apple representatives said, by helping users to “remain on task and focused on content.” The offering allows parents and educators to limit access on a device to one specific app by essentially turning off the “home” button and restricting areas of the touch screen that respond to commands.
“We’ve been surprised by the number of children with autism who’ve been flocking to our devices, especially our iPads, and we want to make that experience even better,” said Scott Forstall, the Apple executive responsible for the new software, in announcing Guided Access. “It allows children with autism to learn independently on their iPad.”
by Sean Sweeney
As you might have heard inklings of (I myself was glued to Engadget’s live blog), Apple is having its Worldwide Developer’s Conference in San Francisco this week. Traditionally, the keynote address from this conference brings important product development announcements, and today’s conference was no different. As many people come to this site for information about iPad, I thought it would be helpful to share some of the key points that can affect our work and use of Apple products.
First of all, you MUST MUST MUST click through to see the wonderful video that was shown as part of the keynote address, focusing on how Apple products change lives. It features not only an app that helps people with visual impairments navigate the world in new ways, but also a terrific segment on how Toca Boca apps on iPad (one of my favorite lines) can be used as a tool in speech-language pathology. Isn’t that AMAZING? So few people even know what we do, and to be highlighted in this broad way on an international stage…just wonderful. It’s even better that my colleague and fellow editor of TherapyApp411 Renena Joy is the SLP featured in the film.