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Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Developers, Educators, and Learners by Scott McQuiggan, Jamie McQuiggan, Jennifer Sabourin, Lucy Kosturko

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CHAPTER 14

Making Accessible Apps: Autism and Visual Impairment

INTRODUCTION

When it comes to mobile devices in education, they present a distinct opportunity to reach all students. Where certain populations might have been marginalized by past technologies or traditional classroom structures, mobile technology offers a new way to personalize and make learning accessible for those with special needs. In this chapter, we'll discuss the functions that set Apple's iOS apart as the market leader for accessibility and how this impacts two specific populations: those on the autism spectrum and students with visual impairments. We also present things to consider when making an app to ensure it is accessible to all users.

ADVANTAGES OF THE IPAD FOR SPECIAL POPULATIONS

Students with autism or with low or no vision face many challenges in traditional education settings, as do others with special behavioral and physical needs. Autism typically is diagnosed by the prevalence of three key symptoms: difficulty with social interactions, verbal and nonverbal communication, and self-regulation.1 To participate in lecture style, classroom education, proficiency in these areas is key, so students with autism quickly fall behind or, often, require a separate classroom for learning. Students with visual impairments are most often mainstreamed, placed into typical classroom settings, but, depending on the severity of their visual impairment these students have different tools with which to learn. Audio, ...

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