It's more than Accessibility, It's accessing Abilities!

Visual Supports and the iPad


In the past, visual supports were paper or object based. While these are great supports, paper-based supports have their drawbacks. They require lots of time to create, require lots of materials, are not able to be easily and quickly modified, can be bulky to carry around, and can be socially awkward to use. But today’s mobile technologies are changing that. Today’s students are growing up with technology. It is all around them and they are comfortable with it. Mobile devices can be a valuable tool for providing visual supports that are easier and quicker to create, more easily customizable, and more mobile.

All students can benefit from the use of visual supports. Visual Supports can be in the form of pictures, calendars, schedules, shopping lists, visual timers, social narratives, step by step instructions and more. Visual supports are great tools for students and adults with unique learning needs as they back up verbal information with visual supports. Visual Supports can help decrease surprises and anxiety, assist with transitions and improve behaviors. 

There are many apps available that can be used to provide simple and effective visual supports for the students we support. This workshop will provide hands-on opportunities of some of these apps, and provide opportunities to explore many  the types of visual supports available and why you might use them in the classroom and in the the community. This workshop will provide hands-on opportunities to explore apps for creating visual schedules, calendars, shopping lists, visual timers, picture supported literacy, video modeling, social narratives and more. Participants in this workshop will leave with information on how to provide visual supports on today’s mobile devices.

Since this is a hands-on workshop, class size for this workshop is limited to 25 participants.


At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify at least (5) built-in accessibility features of the iPad and how to use the features with the students they support.

  2. Identify at least (3) ways visual support apps can be applied in the classroom.

  3. Identify at least five (5) apps that can be used to  to provide visual support students with special needs.

  4. Identify at least three (3) use cases where visual support apps can prove useful for supporting students.