Apple Special Education Apps

  • Apple has a growing number of apps catering to individuals with special needs with a featured special education section in its App Store. The section titled “Special Education” includes 72 applications for the iPhone and 13 applications for the iPad in 10 categories ranging from communication to emotional development and life skills.
  • These Apps can be used on Apple’s iPhone, iPad or iPod devices from assisted technology devices to organizational tools and teaching aids.

Public Law 108-364

  • While most of us are familiar with regulation 300.324 of IDEA there are other laws with direct bearing on providing assisted technology to individuals with disabilities. One such Act is the Assistive Technology Act of 2004.
  • The finding in this Act are (2) disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to (E) enjoy full inclusion and tegration in the … educational mainstream of society.
  • One of the purposes of the Act is (2) to provide States with financial assistance that supports programs designed to maximize the ability of individuals with disabilities and their family members, guardians, advocates, and authorized representatives to obtain assisted technology devices and assistive technology services.
  • Click here for a copy of Public Law 108-364.

1996 Chafee Amendment to the Copyright Law

  • “Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 710, it is not an infringement of copyright for an authorized entity to reproduce or to distribute copies or phone records of a previously published, nondramatic literary work if such copies or phone records are reproduced or distributed in specialized formats exclusively for use by blind or other persons with disabilities.”

2005 Implementing assistive technology in an inclusion environment

  • The Chafee Amendment to the Copyright Law improved accessibility of state standards for many students with disabilities. However, the material these students use can not be shared with the general education population. With the influx of improved technology it is now possible for students with disabilities to have access to the needed assisted technology devices and not use anything different than what could be used by the general education student. A study was conducted at Pepperdine University describing such a program. Click here for the abstract of the study.

2009 Bookshare.org

  • One of the barriers mentioned in the above study was cost. Now through a multi-million dollar grant books and text-to-speech software is available to qualified students for free! My students were able to go from answering multiple choice questions at the back of an adapted, easy reading version of the Odyssey to writing a five paragraph essay on the loyalty theme using the standard text. Click here for more information.

2009 Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic

  • Recently the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D) was given a grant from the federal government to make membership to the largest library of audio books free to students with disabilities. Imagine the student having trouble reading an adapted third grade level version of Romeo and Juliet who can listen to the original version and talk about it for months. Textbooks as well as novels are available through the program. Click here for the membership/certification form. Certifications can also be processed online. Click here for a draft of a letter that could be sent to parents regarding enrolling their child in the program, and click here for additional information regarding Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic.