How to Make Instructional Content Accessible on iPad

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Presented By: Caroline Musselwhite Ed. D., CCC/SLP / Kelly Key, ATP / Lauren Sheehan, M.Ed.

For students with complex needs, the iPad may be the most accessible device of all time. But the iPad is only an empty screen with a ton of potential. What we fill it with and how we use it to address student needs is what matters most to our teaching. That is true whether students are in the classroom or remote.

Readtopia gives us a comprehensive reading curriculum for special education that integrates ELA, science, social studies, math, and life skills content. The content is accessible online and gives us rich videos, graphic novels (at seven levels), and word study/phonics activities—resources that make instruction remarkable even from remote.

Through iPads, we make this content accessible to our students. But how? Using two Readtopia Thematic Units (available for free), we’ll illustrate tips and strategies for:

  1. Implementing special education lessons on iPad—from remote and in the classroom
  2. Sharing lessons with students/families
  3. Making content accessible with text-to-speech, word prediction, and speech recognition
  4. Using built-in iOS tools (magnifier, voice control, colored filters, etc.)
  5. Keeping students on-task with guided access (lock student in)

About the Presenter

Caroline Musselwhite Ed. D., CCC/SLP

is an assistive technology specialist with more than 40 years of experience working with children and adolescents with significant disabilities. She has taught courses at several universities, authored a number of books on educational topics, and presented thousands of workshops throughout the world. She is also a founding member of the Board of Directors for the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC).

Kelly Key, ATP

is an administrator for the Barrington school district in Barrington, IL. She has been in her current role for 13 years as the assistive technology coordinator and a special services facilitator for Barrington Community School District 220 in Barrington, IL. Prior to becoming an administrator, Kelly was a special education teacher for 9 years. She has a BA in teaching special education, a MA in Early Childhood Special Education, a CAS in Educational Leadership, and completed the CSUN Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program (ATACP).

Lauren Sheehan, M.Ed.

 is a Special Education Teacher at

Shepard High School in Palos Heights, Illinois. Lauren has dual Masters degrees in Special Education, and Curriculum and Instruction as well a certificate in Assistive Technology. She has been teaching students with low-incidence disabilities for 12 years now. Most of her students are AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) device users who use plenty of assistive technology to meet all kinds of needs. She has taught students across the whole spectrum of complex needs.


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