Tag: Disability »
It's important to encourage communication with any child but it's all the more vital for those children with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Fortunately, technology is on hand to help in some cases. AutisMate is one such app that aims to help boost the social skills of people with autism by helping them communicate better.
AutisMate was designed by Jonathan Izak, someone whose younger brother and first cousin who have autism. It allows users to add their own pictures, videos and voice recordings to the app in order to create scenes that help promote positive interactions.
The app goes one step further by using the iPad's GPS functionality to provide users with scenes relevant to their current location.
This can all be set up from within the app with over 12,000 included symbols, custom voice recordings and synthesized voices to make it ideal for each child's needs. It can even be set to use multiple phrases to communicate the same idea in order to promote generalization through variety.
It's great to see such specialist apps utilizing the potential of the iPad and will hopefully make a huge difference for many families of children on the autistic spectrum.
I'm a big fan of apps that make people's lives easier. All the better is an app that genuinely improves someone's life, not just in terms of convenience but in terms of a significant and positive life change.
One such app for some parents is that of FindMe(Autism). It's an app that's designed to help young, autistic children practice simple social skills that many other people take for granted. Requiring no language or reading skills, it's accessible to the vast majority of autistic children with access to an iPad.
The app is simple to play with the aim being to find a person in a scene and tap on them. As the levels progress, distracting objects emerge such as plants or animals thus educating the child to focus on their aim in order to be rewarded.
It sounds so basic but it's something that UK broadcaster, the BBC has reported has helped many families. The app helps encourage the children to focus on other people and their needs while also boosting their self confidence and technological skills.
Autism is a very individual condition so there's no guarantee that it will help every young autistic child but considering FindMe(Autism) is a free app to download, it's well worth a look. It may well help hugely.
There are a lot of Twitter clients out there all vying for everyone's attention. Tweets Aloud does something a little special compared to the rest though: it allows users to stream their Twitter feed via text-to-speech voice technology thus allowing them to listen to their Twitter feed rather than read it.
A few advantages come about from this. Users can listen to their tweets much like a radio station while they're exercising or doing other things while at the PC or at work. Other users can use it to save effort such as if they're suffering from either a short term or long term disability that affects their mobility and they'd rather listen than navigate through the app. Those with visual impairments could also benefit.
Each tweet is read in an easy to understand young woman's voice and users can quickly play, pause or skip forward or backwards just like when using an iPod. Even common jargon such as smiley faces or texting abbreviations can be converted appropriately so it still all makes sense.
Two versions of Tweets Aloud are available. A free/lite version allows users to read/listen to the latest 10 tweets alongside an ad-supported interface while the full version offers readings of up to 100 of the latest tweets. It's priced at $1.99.