When we think about all the different ways that having an iPad has changed our life, we probably think about its capabilities for providing entertainment, browsing, e-reading and so on. But for people with learning disabilities, the iPad has the potential to open so many other doors… Did you know there are special apps designed for people with learning disabilities? For example, in addition to buying an iPad though a high street outlet, people with learning disabilities can also buy an iPad through an organisation called ‘Therapy Box’, who provide iPads with pre-installed software such as ‘ProLoQuo2GO’ – a communication app that is useful for people who have little or no speech (click here for more information).
Below are some comments and wonderful stories from staff in our Supported Living service about how iPads have already helped to transform the lives people living with a learning disability. The service is run by Leeds Adult Social Care and supports over 300 adults with learning disabilities to live more independently.
“DF has used the ProLoQuo2Go app with the support of staff to enable him to have a voice. This has been primarily to help him exercise choice around his home, around basic things like what he wants to drink but he also takes a lot of pleasure from watching cartoons and playing games. He has also taken the iPad with him on holiday when he went to EuroDisney to help with communication”.
“Although it was felt that the ProloQuo2Go would benefit JD, he has not taken to this but has however become proficient in using it primarily to pursue his interests of watching videos on YouTube. This has given him a lot of pleasure and the ability to go off to his room independently, and enjoy time to himself without relying on staff to support him with activities. He is also keen to take photos of his surroundings, his housemates and staff using the iPad. We have a new member of staff who is working with JD to develop his use of the iPad to enable him to communicate easier with staff, and also use it to help him plan his weekly and daily activities.”
“AJ bought his iPad independently having previously had no IT skills. The staff team worked with him to develop his skills and also help him to justify the purchase to his family who were a little sceptical at first. He now regularly pursues his interests of buying books and DVDs, especially old horror movies, military warfare and conflict. AJ has difficulty with his sight and speech sometimes but has taken to using the voice recognition on YouTube to search for videos. Unfortunately he purchased a version of the iPad before Siri became a standard feature but we are currently pursuing other uses around diarising events, calendars and the speaking clock to find apps that will help him in these areas.”
“MN purchased his own iPad also and has taken to it very well after already having quite a bit of experience with laptops and smart phones. MN uses this to plan his own activities and appointments and works with his one-to-one workers and the Church Lane staff team to co-ordinate his diary with ours and to manage his day-to-day affairs. He also uses this quite a lot to purchase music and to use email which is his preferred method to communication with staff, healthcare professionals, friends and family.”
Please note the names of individuals above have been changed to protect their identity.
To read more stories from the Fulfilling Lives service which supports over 800 people who have profound learning disabilities, visit the Fulfilling Lives section of our website.
For more information about the range of services available for people with learning disabilities, please visit our website to find out more about the Supported Living, Fulfilling Lives, and the Respite Services.