According to the Content Standards for California Public Schools-“The ability to communicate well–to read, listen and speak- runs to the core of human experience. Language skills are essential tools not only because they serve as the necessary basis for further learning and career development but also because they enable the human spirit to be enriched, foster responsible citizenship and preserve the collective memory of a nation.”
The English-Language Arts Content Standards will serve as a guide for teachers, administrators, parents and other support personnel on when to introduce knowledge and how to sustain the practice of skills leading all students to mastery. This framework will also address the delivery of content-rich curriculum to special-needs students (ELA Content Standards for California Public Schools).
The table below will highlight technology that supports the English-Language Arts (ELA) of Listening and Speaking. The table below is based on California Content Standards For Students with Significant Disabilities.
* The apps & computer-based interventions listed are only a small representation from the thousands of apps and computer based interventions available to support Standards in Education.
Grants, Fundraisers And More!
Over the past two years iPads have proven to be an essential tool in augmenting communication, language, literacy and life skills for students with autism. Unfortunately, not everyone who could benefit from an iPad has access to this wonderful device. Thank goodness there are many incredible people, groups and foundations that are making resources available for everyone to enjoy the benefits of having their own iPad.
Following is a list of websites that offer opportunities to acquire iPads, along with by tips on how to win grants and submit applications. Last, is a list of alternative means of procuring an iPad for your child or student on the spectrum.
Tips For Filling Out An Application
- Read and understand the guidelines before starting your application. Follow the guidelines carefully including deadlines and attachments to ensure your application does not end-up in the “round” file.
- Be very specific in describing your needs and goals. Remember to answer the 5 (wh) questions; who, what, when, where and why you need an iPad.
- Make sure all questions are answered, boxes are filled out, and spelling and grammar are checked. If possible have another set-of-eyes read your application for completeness and double check for errors.
- Don’t get discouraged if you do not receive the grant. Keep trying! Remember there are thousands of people trying to get grants and even the most well written applications do not always get funding. Send a thank you note and try again.
- If you do get the grant, send a thank you note, photos of the iPad in action and share how the iPad has helped your child or student.
What Else Can I do To Get An iPad?
The following websites will let you set-up accounts so that family and friends can send love and donate funds to your specific campaign.
Try contacting your local school district’s technology department. Most districts have iPad programs in place. If not then inquire about an evaluation for your student.
Ask friends and families to forgo the usual presents and give Apple/iTune gift cards for birthday, Christmas, holiday favors, etc. This adds up quickly and most students will have enough funds for an iPad and apps within 4-6 months.
Local Community Groups
Inquire about donations from local businesses, community or charity groups. Many local groups will help with community fundraising by having a pancake breakfast or rummage sale.
Credit Card Points
Many credit cards give points for dollar(s) spent. Points can be redeemed for an iPad or cash to purchase an iPad. Check with your credit card company to see if they double points on certain purchases (gas & groceries).
What’s The Best Case for My Child
Choosing the right case to protect your iPad and let your child express their individuality is, in some ways, just as important as choosing the right applications. Individuals with autism are using iPads in many different environments and for purposes that are as individual at they are. Below is a feature matching chart that will help you decide what case is right for you.
Table 1 is an example using 5 great cases that have been great fits for my students with autism. At the end of this post there’s a link to download a blank table, use it to help you determine which case fits your particular needs.
When considering cases for students with autism or any youngster it is a good idea to make sure it offers protection from drops and bumps. Cases should be able to absorb the shock of a drop as high as a desk as well as the occasional toss.
Spill Proof (indirect spills)
Some cases offer protection from spills by elevating your pad off the surface of a table or desk. By raising your iPad off the surface an area is created between the surface and the iPad this buffer allows spills to simply run off without making contact with the iPad; however, there is no protection from direct spills on the iPad itself. For added protection from liquid spills during messy activities such as lunchtime, place your iPad into a Ziploc plastic bag. There are several Waterproof cases available as well, but they are not recommended for everyday use, however.
Individuals with autism often use their iPads as a means of communication and need to have it with them throughout their day. A carrying case can make the transportation of an iPad from place to place easy and stylish. Custom made carrying cases can provide extra protection from knocks and falls when traveling from place to place in your busy day.
When the iPad is meant to be used on a student’s desktop or table, then a sturdy stand is an important feature to consider. Stands that let the user adjust angle and move back and forth from landscape to portrait quickly and securely are highly desirable in the classroom environment.
There are hundreds of cases available for the iPad. I choose 5 to highlight that have kept my iPads safe and allowed my students accessibility; however, they are not the only cases appropriate for use for students with autism. Use the feature matching table to determine which iPad case is right for your child or student.
Download the Case Feature Matching Table Here