iPad Resources

Applications and features for the iPad to assist people Picture of an iPad with several apps on the screen.with disabilities

We love the iPad and see lots of potential uses to support people with disabilities. However, the iTunes App store doesn’t have a category specific to disability issues. We’re compiling this list of apps and features that you might find useful. There are many more resources than this and more coming out each day. At least once a week, try searching the specific topics you’re interested in to see if there are new innovations in apps.

Check out this CBS News report about People with Autism using iPad apps for communication.


  • The Apple website has a lot of information about their accessibility features with detailed descriptions
  • A website http://momswithapps.com/ has a lot of helpful apps to peruse for education and daily living.
  • You can go into parental controls and turn off the Internet – you can create a password code in general settings if you are concerned your tech savvy child will go into the parental controls and turn the Internet back on.
  • In parental controls you can identify allowed content and create shortcut tabs on the home screen so your child can only visit certain websites.
  • Try searching for “Special Education” in the iTunes App store
  • Cases can be purchased from Otterbox or Gryphon cases – they’re especially durable and offer extra protection.
  • Many of the apps referenced here are also available for the iPod Touch.
  • The iBackflip is a pack you wear that protects your iPad and also can be flipped down to be used easily and conveniently.
  • Pictello is an app that allows you to create your own social stories. It has multiple applications as you can use it to teach your child about a social experiences and expectations but can also be shown to respite providers so they can understand how to do routines and tasks while you are out. What is great about Pictello is you can record your own voice into the instructions. Many great features to this app.
  • Everyday Skills is an app that has pre-made social stories about common everyday things your child might experience.
  • Community Sidekick is an app that sends you an email at regular intervals with a map to where the person is at. Can be used for older children and adults who are going out in the community independently. It can also be used for providers who want to be able to call for assistance discretely as it has a “please contact me” function. Other great features to this one.
  • Image to speech will take a photo and then read the text in the photo to you.
  • Sign 4 Me provides 3D sign language instruction
  • iWakeYouUpThere will alert you when you get to your location – great for people who fall asleep on the bus or train – there are multiple applications that provide this function with different features so just search in the app store for location alarms
  • LocationMinder allows you to set multiple alarms that trigger based on where you are at. When you are near that location it will remind you what you are supposed to do there.
  • AutoVerbal Pro is an app that provides pictures for communication and also text to speech with customizable voices
  • Eye Glasses is an app that zooms whatever you are reading like a magnifying glass
  • First Then Visual Schedule is a customizable schedule you can use your own images and voice.
  • soundAMP R discreetly amplifies sound and also records it so you can play it back later. You can record instructions from the doctor, behavior specialist, teacher etc.
  • Here is an augmentative communication Wiki that our friends at Cuyahoga County, OH have made.

Basically, if you can imagine it then it might exist so spend time every month searching for the latest and greatest. If you discover an app or tool that is useful to you, please let us know!