Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vision impaired girl's use of iPad impresses Steve Jobs


A 9-year-old girl with sight problems has swapped out magnifying glasses and other clunky equipment for  an iPad.
Holly Bligh, 9, has albinism, a genetic condition that affects not only the pigment in her skin, hair and eyes, but also her vision.. To read, teachers had to make photocopies with enlarged text for her or she had to use a magnifying glass or other devices to read.

Thanks to an iPad she now can zoom in and enlarge the text with the touch of a finger. Bligh can also read about twice as long as she could with regular printed material.
Holly's attention span has increased and her mother, Fiona, estimates "visual fatigue" now takes twice as long to set in.
"Holly's very adaptable and she's got a fantastic attitude," Ms Bligh said.
And now she is cool with her schoolmates.
Bligh’s mother wrote Steve Jobs a letter thanking him for “completely changing” her daughter’s life.
“All the other kids think it’s awesome that she gets an iPad!” Fiona Bligh wrote to Jobs. “Sometimes in the past Holly has found her extra equipment embarrassing … But the iPad has a coolness factor!”
Jobs reportedly wrote back:
“Thanks for sharing your experience with me. Do you mind if I read your email to a group of our top 100 leaders at Apple?” Jobs signed off with “Thanks, Steve” and asked for a photo of Holly with her iPad.
Hailed as a “magical device,” the iPad has proved to be a valid learning tool and assistive technology for people with disabilities. The preliminary results of one small study at a school students with a range of physical and mental challenges, including autism and deaf-blindness, show an average of 20 percent improvement in communication abilities from using the devices, according to researchers.
A good round-up of how people are using iPads as learning tools or for assistive technology is available here.
Via Herald Sun 
Via Cult of Mac

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