iPad Positioning Tips for Children with Visual Impairment

As a person with a significant visual impairment, positioning my body and my technology appropriately is the best way to reduce my fatigue and discomfort, and to improve my productivity and enjoyment.  I think this is also true for our kids , even though they can't always recognize this need or communicate it to us.   In addition to visual needs, many of our kids with visual impairments, such as CVI, often have other challenges that should be considered when addressing the topic of positioning.    Here are some general positioning tips to consider when working with children who have visual impairments  and motor challenges:

Mounts and Stands:  Using the iPad table top is not always the best position for kids with visual impairment and motor challenges.  Placing technology upright and off of the table surface could help some children access the touchscreen more easily.  For others, placing the iPad to a visually stronger side, or away from a visual field cut, could be imperative.  Work with those professionals supporting your child (OT, PT, Vision Therapy, etc...) to assess which iPad mounts or stands (or which combination of these options, as one may not suit every need) would promote the best access position (visually and motorically) for your child.  Check out some of SNEAK's favorite iPad stands and mounts to see if any of them work for your situation.

Where Is the Body?:  Is your child positioned in a way that helps him/her optimally access the iPad screen?  Some children interact more readily with technology and other activities when we consider the needs of their body for stability and control.  Work with the professionals supporting your child to assess which seating or positioning options (e.g., wheel chair, side lying, laying on belly with bolster) are most ideal to help your child see and use the touch screen with minimal fatigue.  Check out this great SNEAK post on tips for positioning to body.

Lighting & Glare:   Under certain lighting conditions, the iPad screen has quite a bit of glare. Some children may be able to see the screen more clearly and easily with the room lighting to a minimum.  Consider the brightness levels of the iPad itself as well.  Your iPad could be set to automatically change the brightness of the screen according to the changes in environmental lighting.  Work with your vision support staff to see what brightness settings are best for your child's visual needs, or vice versa.  You could also consider "hooding" the iPad screen in areas where there is high glare.
UPDATED 04/17/2012L  Check out this great post on choosing anti-glare/anti-reflection screen protectors for iPad :)

What are your positioning tips?

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