Saturday, April 9, 2011

Free iPads ITouches for Special Needs

Here’s a comprehensive list of groups who are currently accepting applications as of April 2011. Please read the notes at the bottom of the list and use your common sense when contacting anybody or giving them your details.

This list is for groups specifically distributing iPads, iPhones and iPod touches for communication purposes.

Also please remember, iPads and iPhones and iTouches are great but they are not the right solution for everybody. If you are not already working with a speech pathologist (SLP) and perhaps an occupational therapist as well then the first thing you need to do is consult these people (if your child is at school then ask your special education department about this). A speech therapist can evaluate your child’s abilities and needs and can often organize trials of different devices for your child. Blindly spending a lot of money on an iPad – which might not be usable or helpful to your child – is a gamble which might backfire badly, so I definitely recommend that you consult the experts on this one.

All information on this list comes from the program websites. I have not personally verified any of this information.

iPads can be wonderful communication tool
The blog Apps 4 Children With Special Needs is giving an iPad away to a family in need every time $500 is raised.
Who can apply: No information specified
Program’s history: One iPad distributed (March 2011), published waiting list lists 50+ people.
Program location: Location unknown
Further information: iPads 4U

Babies with iPads is granting iPads as funds allow.
Who can apply: Applicants must be residents of western virginia, USA, with a child under 60 months old. Further details on website.
Program’s history: One iPad distributed
Program location: Western Virginia, USA
Further information: Babies with iPads grant application eligibility requirements

The Conover Company is a software development company, focussing on assessment and training software for both companies and the educational area. One of their product areas is iPhone and iPad apps for special education, including life skills, literacy skills, social skills and work skills. The company has established the Conover Mobile Technology Grant to promote the use of mobile technology and Conover Company apps to improve individuals’ ability to function independently in their homes, schools, workplaces and communities
Who can apply: Website specifies “Individuals, parents, caretakers, teachers, counselors, religious leaders, private organizations and public organizations.” Application form implies but doesn’t specify that applicants are USA-based.
Program’s history: No history known
Program location: Wisconsin, USA
Further information: Conover Mobile Technology Grant

Danny’s Wish is committed to providing life enhancing resources and experiences for children and families dealing with autism and autism spectrum disorders. Their goal for this campaign is to raise $50,000 to supply approximately 100 iPads to those children affected and in need the most.
Who can apply: Recipient must be a USA resident with an official autism spectrum diagnosis and be nonverbal or minimally verbal. Gross income of family below US$100k.
Program’s history: No history known
Program location: New York, USA
Further information: Danny’s Wish

The HollyRod Foundation introduced the “Give the Gift of Voice” campaign in 2010 to provide iPads to give a voice to those without. To date, HollyRod has given away more iPads for communication for Autism than any other organization. Over 100 individuals ranging in age from 3 to 32 across 27 states can now make their voice heard. It is our commitment to continue this program so that every individual with Autism has a voice.
Who can apply: Not currently accepting applications
Program location: USA
Program’s history: Over 100 iPads distributed
Further information: The HollyRod Foundation

iHelp for Special Needs is dedicated to help raise funds for children with special needs to receive iPads and relevant apps to assist with communication, life skills, and social skills. The group helps parents and groups to raise funds for themselves, and supplements these funds.
Who can apply: No information specified
Program location: Texas, USA
Program’s history: One iPad distributed (December 2010)
Further information: iHelp for Special Needs

iPads4irishautism (previously “I Want My iPhone For Autism”) refurbish and redistribute used iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches. This program is run by Lisa Domican, who also develops the Grace AAC app.
Who can apply: No information specified
Program’s history: No history known
Program location: Ireland
Further information: iPads4irishautism

The iTaalk Autism Foundation refurbishes used iPhones and similar devices and distributes these to children with Autism.
Who can apply: No information specified
Program’s history: No history known
Program location: Ohio, USA
Further information: iTaalk Autism Foundation

The Puzzling Piece are running an iPad challenge. You sell 60 pieces of their puzzle-piece autism jewellery (at US$20 each) and they will send you a brand new iPad. The Puzzling Piece is run by a couple who have an autistic son.
Who can apply: Site implies parents and teachers, but no limits specified
Program’s history: No history known
Program location: Florida, USA
Further information: The Puzzling Piece iPad Challenge

Small Steps In Speech has a mission to help children with speech and/or language disorders take the steps needed to be better communicators. This is achieved through grants and donations to service providers and qualifying charitable organisations.
Who can apply: Applicant must be USA based and under 22 years of age.
Program’s history: No history known
Program location: New Jersey, USA
Further information: Small Steps In Speech Grant Application

All information on this list comes from the program websites. I have not personally verified any of this information – that’s up to you.
Note that Apple themselves do not donate devices to anybody, to the best of my knowledge, and are very unlikely to start doing so.

I think that if you need a device for somebody and can’t afford it, your best bet is probably not to apply to these sites – their waiting lists are already very long. In my opinion, you’re most likely to have luck with raising money on your own – suggestions on Squidilicious’ How To Get Your Kid With Autism That Wonderful iPad and On A Tight Budget: 7 Ways To Get An iPad For Your Child With Special Needs.

No comments: