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Accessibility Apps and the NEW iPad Pro and iOS 11
As Oklahoma’s statewide Assistive Technology Act Program, Oklahoma ABLE Tech focuses on improving access to, and acquisition of, assistive technology for individuals with disabilities of all ages. So, with this month’s Wellness News article, we are highlighting how the new iPad Pro and iOS 11 work together to improve learning and the general experience of those with special needs. The apps are compatible with older iPads, too!
The newest iPad Pro models were announced at Apple’s October 30th event in New York and are available to order now. They are also available in shops (OrangeTech in the Student Union*) as of November 7th or you can order direct from Apple.
The iPad Pro’s Re-design and Capabilities
Quickly, because in this article, we want to tell you about apps that are available from ABLE Tech for a free 6-week trial on your new iPad – the new features of the iPad Pro are bulleted below:
- The new models are 11-inch and 12.9-inch in size. Each of these have options of Wi-Fi or 4G and they have storage options of 64GB, 246GB, 512GB and a cool terabyte for the top model.
- Although the body of the iPads aren’t much larger than their predecessors (formerly, 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch), the screen size shows a greater difference due to the reduction in size of the side bezels which are 40 percent smaller. While these devices aren't quite all-screen, they are getting pretty close. The displays are also curved at the corners, enabling them to come much closer to the edge. No screen space is taken up by a Home button: that has disappeared entirely.
- The new iPads are also slightly slimmer; they are available in only two colors: silver and Space Grey; there is a new magnetic connector for the new Apple Pencil, which attaches neatly to one edge and charges wirelessly and, finally, Apple has ditched the Lightning port. The new iPad Pro models have a USB-C connector where the Lightning port used to live, which should mean greater versatility when using them with third-party accessories (and allows them to charge outwards, so you can charge an iPhone from your iPad). However, no headphone port – you’ll have to get some USB-C headphones, buy an adapter, or go wireless.
- The most obvious new feature is Face ID. This is like the X series of iPhones, but it's slightly expanded – it works in both portrait and landscape orientations, as befits a device that is used in multiple configurations more regularly than a phone.
- these aren't ALL the new design and capability updates, read more about them on Apple's iPad page.
Apple, beginning with Steve Jobs and continuing with Tim Cook, have expressed a commitment to accessibility. Check out Apple’s accessibility webpage because they tell their story best.
Apps for iPad Pro and Accessibility
While Apple has done a lot for basic accessibility needs, there are many iOS apps out there that can transform an iPhone or iPad into an even more fantastic tool for individuals with more specific requirements. The six apps highlighted below, for people with disabilities (and others), offer solutions for problems faced by individuals. Most of these apps are available on ABLE Tech’s Device Loan website and we’re providing links to Apple’s App Store and/or Google Play for your convenience.
You can also find updated, comprehensive information on apps for people with disabilties on ABLE Tech's main website: App/Tablet Resources. This page divides these resources into Education, Employment and Community sections.
Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call.
TapTapSee is a mobile camera application designed specifically for blind and visually impaired users. The app utilizes your device’s camera and VoiceOver functions to take a picture or video of anything and identify it out loud for you. Double-tap the right side of the screen to take a picture or double-tap the left side of the screen to take a video. TapTapSee can accurately analyze and identify any two- or three-dimensional object at any angle within seconds. The device’s VoiceOver then speaks the identification aloud.
A picture and Text-based Communication App for children with communication challenges. It's the only AAC app with simple, practical guidance for parents and educators, helping you extend AAC beyond therapy and into homes and classrooms.
This app is an Augmentative and Alternative Communication solution for students who suffer from speech difficulties due to autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, apraxia, aphasia or traumatic brain injury. The main aim of the app is to give children and adults with speech impediments a voice. Its visual vocabulary allows creating sentences of varying complexity to communicate wants, needs and messages that are more advanced. The app is flexible and customizable and allows choosing from a range of realistic accents for children and adults to match their “inner voice”.
Hamilton CapTel for Smartphones allows you to read captions of what’s being said during phone conversations while you listen and talk with people on the go! Similar to captions on a television, word-for-word captions of your conversation are displayed on your smartphone. Place and receive calls on your mobile device and read captions of what’s being said. You’ll never miss a word again.
Petralex Hearing Aid will automatically adjust to specific features of your hearing. Use the power of your smartphone and latest technologies for maximum sound amplification. No registration and no advertisements. You only need a simple headset in order to use it.
* OrangeTech offers Apple Education Pricing to current and newly accepted OSU students and their parents, as well as faculty, staff and alumni. There are also attractive financing options available from Oklahoma ABLE Tech and the University & Community Federal Credit Union in Stillwater.
Questions? Contact Oklahoma ABLE Tech at 744.9748 or firstname.lastname@example.org