Families in San Francisco will be able to access Assistive Technology such as iPads from a new iPad Lending Program at Support for Families of Children with Disabilities in San Francisco. Twenty-four iPads will be available to lend to families and there will be workshops in Spanish and English for parents on how to use the devices for their children’s communication needs. The hope is that parents will connect with the technology and find support moving forward to find other resources such as grants, insurance, or other funding to maintain their consistent use of the device as a “talker” or assistive communication device.
While there are existing iPad loan programs, the challenge is how to reach families who either do not know how the technology can benefit them or how to ask for it as part of the IEP process. With that in mind, by next year SFCD will also offer a Parent Provider Workshop which will include service providers and stress the role of collaboration which is one of the crucial components to the program.
Parent workshops will start in September 2013, in both English and Spanish on a monthly basis. Topics covered in the workshop will include: how to use an iPad, IDEA regulations, apps for assistive communication, incorporation of the “talkers” in conjunction with speech therapy and occupational therapy and resources in the community for accessing this technology on a long-term basis.
Contact information: Support for Families Phone: 415-282-7494 Web: www.supportforfamilies.org