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Your Dollars @ Work: iPads Open Doors for Adults with Autism

Last year, the Celgene Corporation donated over 300 gently used iPads to Autism Speaks. As our focus on adult services continues to grow, we decided to donate the iPads to programs serving adults with autism. We sent the iPads to our field offices around the country to distribute them in person to organizations in their local communities. To date, Autism Speaks has donated more than 1600 iPads to institutions and individuals in need. 

The iPads have helped open new doors for the adults who participate in the recipient programs. Below are some pictures of the adults with their new devices as well as testimonials from program directors about how the iPads have or will make a difference in the lives of the individuals they serve:

"The iPads have been a huge help in assisting the participants as they identify their community resources as well as helping with specific conversation strategies. The photo shows two participants going through a few educational tutorials using the life skills app. They went through things like grocery shopping, safety while out in the community and how to ask for assistance while you are out alone as well.  After each tutorial, the staff and participants had a short discussion about what they saw.  Both of the participants stated that they had knowledge of these topics prior to watching the tutorial but that it had some useful information that they would not have thought of before." 

"To many people, the iPad is associated with fun and leisure, but for speech pathologists and teachers the iPad provides effective, fun and interactive ways to engage students in learning and developing communication skills. We will use your generous donation of iPads to both assess and teach speech, receptive/expressive language, communication, articulation and social skills for both children and adults with autism spectrum disorder. The iPad offers schedules for students who require visuals and benefit from routines. The iPads will allow the teachers and clinicians here to develop our student’s academic, speech, and communication skills." 

"Many of our individuals here at our adult day program will benefit from having access to an iPad. The computer-assisted instruction will be utilized to enhance the skills in the areas of activities in daily living, critical judgment and decision-making. Specifically designed apps will be utilized in the development of cognitive skills such as visual memory, visual tracking, auditory memory and visual motor integrative skills. The iPad will serve as a tool in developing countless picture activity schedules for daily planning which will be developed and utilized to facilitate successful inclusion in our work readiness programs."

"In our day program there is a group of six individuals with autism. Two have no functional language and will benefit from the numerous apps to improve communication via pictures, games, etc. The other four individuals will benefit from small group activities to develop their abilities to socialize with peers."

To stay tuned for the next iPad grant announcement, sign up for our Community Connections newsletter here!

Your Dollars @ Work is a blog series highlighting the important work of past recipients of Autism Speaks grants to give you a glimpse into how your donations are changing lives of so many in the autism community! Check out previous entries here.

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.