iPads and Struggling Students

J2 Training - Janet Corder and Joan Gore

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iPad Information

This website contains basic information about your iPad.

IOS Assistive Feature

The iPad comes with assistive features that have changed the learning landscape for students with special needs. Click here to find out more information about the assistive features,

Speech-to-Text Dictation

Turn on Speech-to-Text Dictation:
  • Open Settings
  • Tap General
  • Scroll to the bottom and tap Keyboard
  • Toggle Enable Dictation to On
  • Tap Enable to agree to the privacy notification
  • Tap Done

Use Speech-to-Text Dictation:
  • A microphone (Dictation Key) will now appear on your keyboard
  • Tap the Dictation Key
  • Speak what you want to be typed
  • Tap the Dictation Key again

Note: The Dictation Key will only appear if you are typing standard text. It will not appear when you are typing a URL (website address).

Accessibility Options

Open Settings
Tap General
Tap Accessibility

Voice Over - speaks items on the screen:
NOTE - I would not use this option. It is very difficult to turn off.
  • Tap once to select an item
  • Double-tap to activate the selected item
  • Swipe three fingers to scroll
Speaking Rate - slide the dot back and forth to control the speaking speed

Zoom - magnifies the entire screen:
  • Double-tap three fingers to zoom
  • Drag three fingers to move around the screen
  • Double-tap three fingers and drag to change zoom

Invert Colors - presents white text on a black background

Grayscale - disables colors that make the display difficult for some to see (color-blind)


  • Speak Selection - a Speak button will appear when you select text
  • Speak Screen - Swipe down with two fingers from the top of the screen to hear the content of the screen
  • Voices - many languages to choose from
  • Speaking Rate - slide the dot back and forth to control the speaking speed
  • Highlight Content - highlight content as it is spoken
  • Speak Auto-text - automatically speak auto-correction and auto-capitalizations

Larger Text - increase the font size

Bold Text - bold the font

Button Shapes - give interactive buttons a graphical outline

Increase Contrast - can improve the contrast on some backgrounds to make text more legible

Reduce Motion - reduce some of the special effects in later IOS versions that can be distracting

On/Off Labels - adds a more visible 1 and 0 digit to the standard white/green toggles

Hearing Aids - allows an iPad to connect with and manage compatible hearing aids

Click here for more information.

Mono Audio - assists users who are deaf in one ear

Subtitles and Captioning - provides closed-captioning when available

Video Descriptions - automatically plays video descriptions when available

Guided Access - keeps the iPad in a single app

Switch Control - to be used with adaptive switches

Assistive Touch - use if you have difficulty touching the screen or with an adaptive device

Home-Click Speed - adjust the speed for double and triple-clicking

Accessibility Shortcut - allows you to access some features by triple-clicking


123 Reading/Writing Practice - practice upper and lower case letters and numbers
ABA Flash Cards & Games – Emotions – covers over 20 different emotions and includes

cards and interactive games.

ABA – Problem Solving – What Does Not Belong? - includes hundreds of unique images

Adobe Slate - easily create visual stories
Adobe Voice - create high-quality voice-narrated slideshows

Autism Emotion - uses music and a photo slideshow to help teach about different emotions

AutismXpress – designed to encourage people with autism to recognize and express their emotions

Chatter Pix Kids - make any picture talk

ChoiceBoard-Creator - create customizable choice boards for the unique needs of individuals with communication challenges

ChoreMonster - earn points by completing chores or tasks

Amazing Coin - learn to count coins

Colorfly (in-app purchases) - coloring pages

Doodle Pro - drawing app with shapes, colors and more

Dragon Dictation - easy-to-use voice recognition app

Dry Erase Board - turns your iPad into a dry erase board

Easy Timer - easy-to-read timer

Flashcards for Kids – First Food Words - Includes photographs that are carefully selected. (in-app purchases)

Fun Brain Preschool - games that introduce students to learning

Grid Player - an Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) App that helps people who cannot speak or who have unclear speech

Hello Crayons - realistic drawing app that works like crayons
Also check out:

iTouchiLearn Words for Preschool Kids Spelling, Reading, Letters

Khan Academy - video tutorials

Learn to Speak – add your own voice to this interactive picture book.

Let’s Build a Bedroom – build a bedroom with toys, music and more
Let’s Name Things Fun Deck - includes 52 illustrated picture cards plus audio of

each card’s text

Mod Math - an adaptive program that improves math skills; created by a student with dyslexia

Model Me Going Places 2 – helps students learn to navigate challenging locations in the community

My First Voice Lite – uses the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to allow children with autism or any other language deficit to communicate their basics needs and wants

My Little Suitcase - children pack for their family vacation and choose where to go

My Little Suitcase – The Memory Board Game - find all of the cards that go into your suitcase

Petting Zoo ($2.99) - animal animations

Phonics Genius - learn to speak, read, and recognize words through phonic awareness

Popplet Lite - capture and organize your ideas

Seesaw - student-driven digital portfolio

ShadowPuppet EDU - Create easy videos

Skitch - annotation tool

SnapType - (free & $3.99) take a picture of an worksheet, quiz or test and fill in the blanks on the iPad

Snow Wonder - build your own snowman and play in the snow

Social Stories Creator and Library for Preschool, Autism and Special Needs – app for easily creating, sharing, and printing educational social stories, visual schedules and beautiful memories

Sock Puppets - create puppet shows by recording your voice

Speech Therapy – I Love Mom Picture Book – add your own voice to this interactive picture book

Spelling City - fun way to learn spelling and vocabulary words

Starfall - multiple games and activities

A Sunny Day - an app for kids with autism to understand simple behaviors in daily life

Touch and Learn – Emotions - teach basic concepts such as "boy vs. girl" or advanced concepts such as feelings happy, sad, frustrated, etc.

Venn Diagram (by International Reading Association) - compare and contrast information and organize it in a visually appealing way

Verbally - comprehensive Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) app (in-app upgrade purchases)

Virtual Manipulatives - uses visuals to effectively teach fractions, decimals and percentages

Visual Cue Lite – five useful tools for students to learn to communicate through pictures. (in-app purchases)

Xtra Math - master the basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts

Yes/No - allows non-verbal individuals to communicate yes and no

Lists of Apps:

Five Fab iPad Apps to Help Students With Dyslexia

75 Best Apps for Special Education

Autism Apps - a comprehensive list of apps that are being used with and by people diagnosed with autism, Down syndrome, and other special needs.

Learning Difficulties and Special Needs Guide

Complete Guide to Educational and Special Needs Apps

138 Apps for Early Learning for Children Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Deafblind

J2 Training

Janet Corder & Joan Gore

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