The Anne McDonald Centre iPad program

 

There is no government funding scheme for iPads in Victoria, even when they’re used as communication aids by children with disabilities – the bureaucrats are afraid the kids are just going to play Angry Birds all day.  This ignores the immense potential of the new tablet technology.
 
Since iPads first became available 4 years ago, we have seen the great difference that they can make to children with little or no speech.  Many of these children also have problems using their hands.  When a child gets an iPad we often see significant improvements in hand function followed by increased communication and social interaction.
 
The Anne McDonald Centre has begun its own iPad project to show how children with little or no speech can benefit from iPad use.  Starter funding from the wonderful Newman’s Own Foundation has allowed Oscar and Prisha to be trained and supported to use their new iPads – and the more funding we can raise, the more children will benefit.
 
(The iPad is preferred to other tablets because more specialised therapeutic programs - apps - are available on iPads.)
 
The benefits of the iPad are such that we would like to see every child with limited speech have the opportunity to use one.  Unfortunately there is no state funding available for iPads and many parents of children with disabilities cannot afford one.
 
We are asking the Victorian government to provide funding for therapeutic iPads for children with disabilities.  Until they do, we’re trying to fill the gap.
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Anne McDonald Centre. 538 Dandenong Road, Caulfield 3162 Victoria, Australia Ph: 03 9509 6324, Fax: 03 9509 6321
 
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