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iPad Apps for Blind/Visually Impaired Children

Posted Sep 23 2011 5:02pm

It's been almost a week since Thomas got his iPad and it is working out great! There are so many good apps for special needs kids but the trick is finding them. There are sooooooo many apps!

I've been scouring the internet for app recommendations and I've compiled a list below with a quick review. I will also list other sites with app recommendation lists. There are tons of apps and they are constantly are being updated and changed so you really have to start trying them out for yourself. Many of these apps are cheap or free.

Tom's current iPad apps
  • Peekaboo Barn   Very simple graphics. You tap on the big red barn and an animal will come out and make a noise. Then a child's voice says the animal name. Easy and cute! I plan to try the other Peekaboo apps also.
  • BabyTap  This may be Tom's favorite! Big white screen that you tap and shapes will appear with a sound like a baby laughing or a doorbell ringing. Tom loves it when it makes baby sounds. This is a simple and visually uncluttered cause and effect app.
  • Bubbles   It starts with a black screen. When you run your finger over the screen bright blue bubbles appear which you can then pop! Simple and great!
  • Musical Hands   Another favorite! The screen is divided into three rows of colored boxes. Each row is a different instrument. When you touch a box you get sound and a little burst of color where you touch. 
  • Itsy Bitsy HD   An interactive storybook of the Itsy Bitsy Spider. Almost anywhere you touch on the screen will cause something fun to happen and a sound. Tom loves Itsy Bitsy Spider!
  • bright Start baby  You can choose Mozart, Beethoven or Bach on the first screen. Then high contrast black and white images move over the screen. Some images are simple and some are more complex. When you touch the screen stars appear at your fingertips. It is touted as excellent for kids with CVI (Cortical Visual Impairment) and I can see why! This app is free.
  • i love Fireworks Lite   We have the free version (Lite) and it's perfect. As you drag your fingers over the screen fireworks fly through black screen and burst into color. Nice color on a black screen and cool firework sounds.
  • PlayPhone   Tom loves my iPhone so I had to get this one for him. The whole screen becomes a giant multi-color phone. The buttons are big and easy to hit. Each button will call a little character who says something silly.

Itsy Bitsy HD
iPad Recommendation Links
Get on Facebook and check out Thinking Outside the Light-Box: Vision Therapy Support Group. I just found this group and I'm so glad I found it. They don't have a blog or web address so you have to use Facebook to find them.  Go to the notes section to find a huge list of iPad app recommendations.

Want to know what it's like to be visually impaired? Check out the Braille Institute's free VisionSim app !

Do you know of a good app? Please tell us about it in a comment!

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