Apple profiles iPad apps for World Autism Acceptance Day

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in iPad
At the release of its new 9.7 inch iPad Pro, Apple presented a video of Dillan, a young man who is both autistic and non-verbal, who was able to begin expressively communicating via apps on his iPad. Today, the App Store is featuring more of Dillan's story and a range of apps developed for autistic people.




Apple has a featured page on its website recognizing April as Autism Acceptance Month. The site includes both a link to ResearchKit studies (including autism work being done at Duke University and University of Cape Town) and autism related apps, podcasts and iBooks that can be found in the App Store.

Apple points out that that CDC notes that 1 in 68 U.S. children are affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD). iPad in particular has generated positive feedback from parents, therapists and Autistic children and adults themselves as being a breakthrough communication tool, as featured in the "Dillan's Path" video below.



Apple's "Voices of Autism" collection of apps in the App Store includes Proloquo4Text, a text‑based AAC (Augmentative Alternative Communication) app demonstrated by Dillan in the video.





Proloquo4Text presents a customizable single screen layout to enable non-verbal people to join a conversation using free, natural-sounding voices in 18 languages, with word and sentence prediction, social media sharing and more.

The app works on iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Apple Watch, and is currently featuring a 50 percent discount over the weekend from Saturday, April 2 to Monday, April 4.

Another app, Assistive Express, is also designed to allow users to express themselves in natural sounding voices in the most simple and efficient manner. It uses word prediction to minimize keystrokes and features a favorites list to quickly access often-used phrases. It works on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.




Apple also featured Keeble, an iOS accessible keyboard for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch that Dillan uses in the video. The Keeble keyboard features many customization options, and is designed to enable people with physical or vision impairments to type within any app.




Accessibility has long been a primary focus for Apple, and its its efforts in promoting and facilitating use of its products by all people regardless of their disabilities has regularly been recognized by accessibility advocates and individuals with impairments--including blind from birth performer Stevie Wonder, who praised Steve Jobs back in 2011, saying "his company took the challenge in making his technology accessible to everyone."

Last December, Tim Cook drew attention to the Cerebral Palsy Foundation using Siri, and over the past year the company directed prominent attention to accessibility features in Apple Watch and iOS devices for Global Awareness Accessibility Day and 25 years of the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    amazing tools and amazing videos. truly Apple at its best. 
    gremlinmoreckxbitSoli
  • Reply 2 of 57
    In my opinion, it is Apple's long-term commitments to initiatives like this that make the frequent off-the-cuff criticisms of their efforts in environmental protection, improving contractor working conditions, protecting data security, and equal access to opportunity seem particularly shallow and cynical.

    Many of the resources needed to make these types of accessibility features have been baked in to their products and OS's since the early Macs.
    gremlinmoreck
  • Reply 3 of 57
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,447member
    ration al said:
    In my opinion, it is Apple's long-term commitments to initiatives like this that make the frequent off-the-cuff criticisms of their efforts in environmental protection, improving contractor working conditions, protecting data security, and equal access to opportunity seem particularly shallow and cynical.

    Many of the resources needed to make these types of accessibility features have been baked in to their products and OS's since the early Macs.
    The best and biggest always have a target on their backs. Slimeballs are always going to bring up “child labor” and “suicide nets.” Losers like Mike Daisey will always try to make a buck off of Apple. Greenpeace targeted Apple viciously all the time. Now that Apple has the best environmental record and programs of any tech company on the planet Greenpeace can’t be bothered to give any credit to Apple for doing it. Google, Microsoft, Dell, Amazon all get passes mainly because nobody gives a shit about them and they don’t have the star power Apple has. Apple actually thinks it has mission to improve the world. The rest are just businesses.
    nolamacguygremlinration almoreck
  • Reply 4 of 57
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Why “accept”? Why not “treat”?
  • Reply 5 of 57
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Why “accept”? Why not “treat”?
    That's not really a treatable condition. People diagnosed with some variant seemingly just live with it. You probably wouldn't notice it in people with less severe conditions, but it really isn't a treatable condition. It's also worth noting that that autism spectrum disorder isn't the same thing as what people usually think of as autism. It encompasses a wider range of conditions.
    edited April 2016 nolamacguymessagepad2100moreckafrodri
  • Reply 6 of 57
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    hmm said:
    That's not really a treatable condition.
    Of course it is. There are therapies and medicines in existence already, and it is by definition impaired operation, so of course it can be cured/treated. That it can't be now is irrelevant. 
  • Reply 7 of 57
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    hmm said:
    That's not really a treatable condition.
    Of course it is. There are therapies and medicines in existence already, and it is by definition impaired operation, so of course it can be cured/treated. That it can't be now is irrelevant. 
    Are you familiar with the types of treatment available? They do not  address primary symptoms. Saying it can be cured is currently science fiction and not relevant today.
    nolamacguysingularitymessagepad2100moreckafrodri
  • Reply 8 of 57
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    hmm said:
    That's not really a treatable condition.
    Of course it is. There are therapies and medicines in existence already, and it is by definition impaired operation, so of course it can be cured/treated. That it can't be now is irrelevant. 
    Please provide a link or two that shows a proven method for 'curing' Autism or Asperger's syndrome.
    messagepad2100moreckafrodri
  • Reply 9 of 57
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,327member
    Why “accept”? Why not “treat”?
    Why not do both?

    And there is danger in the pursuit of a "cure".  While I definitely believe that it's beneficial to treat the speech and physical impairments so that people with autism are better able to navigate the world, I strongly feel that their mental diversity (i.e. the different ways they perceive the world) can be beneficial to humanity if we learn to understand and integrate it into society. Rather than seeing it as something which needs to be changed and/or isolating them in treatment facilities.  It's already well documented that there have been many people with asperger's (now considered to be part of the autism spectrum) who have contributed much to our world.
    edited April 2016 messagepad2100moreckmattinozafrodri
  • Reply 10 of 57
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    hmm said:
    Of course it is. There are therapies and medicines in existence already, and it is by definition impaired operation, so of course it can be cured/treated. That it can't be now is irrelevant. 
    Are you familiar with the types of treatment available? They do not  address primary symptoms. Saying it can be cured is currently science fiction and not relevant today.
    Well, brain malleability discoveries in the last decade suggest that your brain could "work around" some limitations, though obviously not the most severe ones.
    That explains how people high on the spectrum can actually do quite well.

    It's a akin to physical therapy not "curing" amputation, but can lead to a much better life anyway.
  • Reply 11 of 57
    lkrupp said:
    ration al said:
    In my opinion, it is Apple's long-term commitments to initiatives like this that make the frequent off-the-cuff criticisms of their efforts in environmental protection, improving contractor working conditions, protecting data security, and equal access to opportunity seem particularly shallow and cynical.

    Many of the resources needed to make these types of accessibility features have been baked in to their products and OS's since the early Macs.
    The best and biggest always have a target on their backs. Slimeballs are always going to bring up “child labor” and “suicide nets.” Losers like Mike Daisey will always try to make a buck off of Apple. Greenpeace targeted Apple viciously all the time. Now that Apple has the best environmental record and programs of any tech company on the planet Greenpeace can’t be bothered to give any credit to Apple for doing it. Google, Microsoft, Dell, Amazon all get passes mainly because nobody gives a shit about them and they don’t have the star power Apple has. Apple actually thinks it has mission to improve the world. The rest are just businesses.
    Greenpeace has given Apple plenty of recognition as a leader, but that doesn't make for a big controversy:

    http://www.macrumors.com/2014/04/02/greenpeace-apple-green-energy-innovator/

    http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/solar-deal-apple-raises-bar-yet-corporate-climate-leadership/





    moreck
  • Reply 12 of 57
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,635member
    hmm said:
    That's not really a treatable condition.
    Of course it is. There are therapies and medicines in existence already, and it is by definition impaired operation, so of course it can be cured/treated. That it can't be now is irrelevant. 
    Medicine helps to relax the patient and in some cases allows them to function a little better in today's society. Therapies and specific training can help the patient focus on what they're doing, providing the possibility of altering some of the worst effects of autism. As @hmm mentions, autism has been enlarged to encompass a wide variety of disorders (ref: https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism). Since it's a neurological developmental disorder, it's seen mainly in children. People are more aware of everything nowadays so many people historically have gone undiagnosed. All those kids you called "geeks" in school where probably somewhere on the autism spectrum. Of course, until recently very few of them were treated. Now, many more are receiving one-on-one treatment to help their brains attempt to develop "normally." Until medical researchers can find all the reasons for autism, there won't be a 100% treatment plan. disclaimer: My wife is a teacher and has worked with many autistic children and received training. It's not something a couple pills cures.
    moreckhmmafrodri
  • Reply 13 of 57
    why-why- Posts: 305member
    Why “accept”? Why not “treat”?

    oh my god you literally know nothing about mental illness
    moreckxbit
  • Reply 14 of 57
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,864member
    hmm said:
    That's not really a treatable condition.
    Of course it is. There are therapies and medicines in existence already, and it is by definition impaired operation, so of course it can be cured/treated. That it can't be now is irrelevant. 
    It can't be cured. My nephew is on meds and he could be either be so passive all he can do is sit and be a veggie or so manic, it frustrates my family. 
    moreckhmm
  • Reply 15 of 57
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 945member
    A friend of mine works with autistic kids, and the iPads are quite prevalent. They use NovaChat and Proloquo mostly. I looked at those on the App Store and they are quite expensive. Probably covered under most health plans but too expensive to experiment with as casual user. 
  • Reply 16 of 57
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    hexclock said:
    A friend of mine works with autistic kids, and the iPads are quite prevalent. They use NovaChat and Proloquo mostly. I looked at those on the App Store and they are quite expensive. Probably covered under most health plans but too expensive to experiment with as casual user. 
    I don't know anybody with autism, but I've heard about Proloquo2Go before, and at the moment it's $124.99. Big deal, that's not expensive at all. Those types of apps used to be much, much more expensive before.

    What kind of parent wouldn't spend a lousy $125 on an app that would greatly benefit their child that has autism?

    Have you been to a doctor or hospital lately? $125 is peanuts. The last time that I went to a doctor, I was probably there for less than 5 minutes, and that was more than $125.

    Before the iPad, I remember reading that specialized devices for autism would cost many thousands of dollars.

    Many people spend more on sacks of gems than the $125 app.

    If a parent doesn't have $125 to spend on their sick child, then they shouldn't have any children to begin with.
    ration al
  • Reply 17 of 57
    Why do my eyes always start leaking when I watch these videos?

    seriously, the iPad as a tool for autistic people is amazing, in the UK the BBC have a series called Employable Me and the first episode showed a man with autism who could speak through a tablet trying to find a job. He was assessed by a Cambridge professor and his brain was truly amazing. Self taught pianist, 3D programmer and could solve visual puzzles with ease. 

    Anything to make people's lives easier is a plus in my book. 
    ration al
  • Reply 18 of 57
    xbitxbit Posts: 302member
    apple ][ said:
    What kind of parent wouldn't spend a lousy $125 on an app that would greatly benefit their child that has autism?
    I think the point is that you don't know whether that $125 app will benefit your child until you try it.

    But, I agree, it's peanuts compared to what it used to cost.
    ration al
  • Reply 19 of 57
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 945member
    xbit said:
    apple ][ said:
    What kind of parent wouldn't spend a lousy $125 on an app that would greatly benefit their child that has autism?
    I think the point is that you don't know whether that $125 app will benefit your child until you try it.

    But, I agree, it's peanuts compared to what it used to cost.
    NovaChat was at least $300.00. The school I am familiar with provides several iPads per class, and the typical class size is 5-6 children, but the kids can't take them home and so need to have their own anyway. 
    Autism ignores economic boundaries as do most diseases, so to some people it's quite a lot of money, despite what Apple 2 seems to think. 

    cnocbuiafrodri
  • Reply 20 of 57
    My friend had a brain aneurysm a few years ago which left her unable to walk but she could talk. Before getting an iPad she was very sporadic with her talking and you had to jump through hoops in order to get her to talk. Since getting an iPad she is very talkative and her cheeky nature keeps shining. For whatever people say negatively about Apple's products they do give people a very powerful voice and change people's lives for the better.
    Soli
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