Children with autism and other special needs are using the
iPad and other Apple devices for therapeutic or educational apps, and Apple
knows it. On June 11, 2012, Apple
announced the release of the new iOS 6, which includes some features beneficial
for the special needs community.
Apple has always been pushing the envelope and forwarding
people’s expectations of what mobile technology is and what it can do. One new feature of the new iOS 6 is
Guided Access, which keeps children from exiting a program they are using. In a sense, it’s a way for parents or
educators to “lock” children into an app by preventing them from tapping the
home screen. This feature will
help children with special needs stay focused on the task. Apple even mentioned this feature is
useful for children with autism.
While Apple might have only mentioned autism by name,
children with ADHD or other learning disabilities will benefit from Guided
Access. When children have a hard
time staying focused, it is often too easy to tap the home button or quit in
the middle of a task. Guided
Access allows parents and educators to “confine touch input to certain parts of
the screen,” which is a useful application when children are taking a test or
completing an assignment on the iPad.
Parents and educators are spending money for these quality apps -- now
you have a way to keep kids engaged and really utilizing the app for all its
What is really impressive is that Apple is taking the
initiative to enable their products for everyone, including individuals with
special needs. Apple is helping
make technology work for all users, no matter their abilities.
The new Apple iOS 6 is scheduled to arrive this fall and
will be available for wireless upgrade on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.