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We recently spoke to a group of special ed classroom educators who helped define four of their biggest need areas—iPad accessories, music materials, sensory products, and communication devices.
Here are some of the latest and greatest products that meet these needs from our friends at Enabling Devices.
“All students can utilize iPads in one way or another.” –Hilda Moreno, Special Education Paraprofessional, Chicago, Illinois
All the teachers we spoke to agreed that iPads have changed the way their students learn. Moreno says iPads and the apps available for them really helped bridge the gap in parent/teacher/student communications.
1. Mounting System
It’s so important for students to be able to see what they’re doing clearly and to fully participate with the rest of the class. The iPad mounting system is one of the best tools available for students who have mobility challenges. GET IT NOW.
2. iPad Stylus
This stylus attaches with Velcro, so you can easily put it on and off. You can also adjust the length, based on an individual student’s needs. GET IT NOW.
3. iPad Wireless Switch
This switch is compatible with iPad Bluetooth devices, so students can easily move it around where they need it or where it’s most comfortable. It works with hundreds of switch-accessible iPad apps. GET IT NOW.
“I incorporate music and song in almost everything.” –Althea Benloss, Elementary School Special Education Teacher in the Bronx
Benloss likes using music for transitions. “It can help move students from one activity to the next, especially if they are in small groups or stations,” she says.
4. Ring Around Bells
This is a musical instrument that can be used in multiple ways. It’s perfect for music therapy and classroom music time. GET IT NOW.
5. Music Box
This is compatible with your switches, and you can plug in up to four to get different music and flashing lights. It will help with auditory and listening skills. GET IT NOW.
6. Boom Box
This is a switch-adapted boom box that plays CDs, too. It will help put the power and control in the hands of your students. GET IT NOW.
“Creating a sensory space is one of my favorite parts of the job.” –Cassie Lettow, Special Education Teacher, Lake Bluff, Illinois
“Sensory is so important,” Lettow says. “It allows students to engage with all of their senses and receive the special input they desire.”
7. Star Projector Sound Machine
Music, stars, and lights—this machine is always popular. It’s compatible with your smart device, and you can set it up to turn on and off with a switch, too. GET IT NOW.
8. Gel Pad Activity Center
This one activates all senses. Each switch offers multiple experiences. For instance, the green one blows a fan and plays music at the same time. GET IT NOW.
9. Color-Changing Bubble Column
There’s something soothing and mesmerizing about this color-changing bubble column. It stands seven feet tall and uses LED technology to illuminate the inside. You can adjust the speed of the bubbles. GET IT NOW.
10. Vibrating Animal
It’s cute, it’s soft, and it has calming stimulation and relaxation. (It’s also available as a rabbit.) GET IT NOW.
“We always have communication as a goal.” –Sharlene Nichols, Speech-Language Pathologist, White Plains, New York
“Our role in speech therapy is to make sure kids can access the curriculum and help them participate in whatever ways best suit their needs,” Nichols says. “We have to look at a student’s strengths, and play to those.”
11. Hip Talk Plus
You can have three, six, or 12 messages with up to 300 seconds of recording time. Then these custom messages can be played at the touch of a button. Recordings can be redone as much as you want. GET IT NOW.
12. Big Talk Communicator
Big Talks record messages up to 20 seconds. These are good for students who have verbal challenges but still want or need to communicate. They can also be activated by an external switch. GET IT NOW.