A number of autism apps have been highlighted by Apple on World Autism Awareness Day, an annual event intended to educate people about those with autistic spectrum disorders. It is part of the company’s extensive commitment to accessibility.

The United Nations has drawn attention to the specific challenges faced by people with autism during the coronavirus outbreak…

UN Secretary-General António Guterres wrote:

This year’s observance takes place in the midst of a public health crisis unlike any other in our lifetimes — a crisis that places persons with autism at disproportionate risk as a result of the coronavirus and its impact on society […]

The breakdown of vital support systems and networks as a result of COVID-19 exacerbates the obstacles that persons with autism face in exercising [their] rights. We must ensure that a prolonged disruption caused by the emergency does not result in rollbacks of the rights that persons with autism and their representative organizations have worked so hard to advance.

Apple’s webpage emphasizes the power of apps to help those with autism.

Now more than ever, autistic people can share their voices with the world. With the help of amazing apps, they can learn, play, and communicate. Through the power of books and podcasts, they can tell their stories. During Autism Acceptance Month, we celebrate how their unique experience enriches us all.

The company provides App Store links to apps in four categories: communication; life skills; games, videos and music; and Apple Watch tools.

Top billing goes to Proloquo2Go, a communication app intended for use by those who cannot speak or have difficulty expressing themselves verbally.

Tap images. Type words. Speak. Proloquo2Go is an easy to use communication app for people who cannot speak or need help being understood. Featuring natural sounding voices, including real children’s voices, Proloquo2Go is a simple yet powerful AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) tool. The app is fully customizable and can be utilized to build language skills and grow with a person’s communication, supporting both beginning and advanced communicators.

Parents, therapists, teachers, and users around the world recognize Proloquo2Go as the gold standard in AAC solutions. The app is used by people with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Angelman syndrome, and others with speech difficulties. The app is available in English, Spanish, French, and Dutch and supports bilingual use, so you can switch languages on the fly.

Apple is also celebrating a month-long autism appreciation initiative. The company also distributed iPads to 15 autism spectrum artists. View their creations here.

Creativity 

For many individuals on the spectrum, art and creativity provide powerful forms of self expression. Throughout April, Apple is celebrating great artistic talent from this community and highlighting their sources of inspiration. 

  • Apple is collaborating with The Art of Autism nonprofit for ‘Created on iPad,’ an online exhibit featuring 15 emerging artists who identify as autistic. The exhibit goes live this Thursday on the-art-of-autism.com.
  • The Apple TV Inspirations series will feature Kayla Cromer, trailblazing actor and one of the first people on the spectrum to play the role of a character on the spectrum in a major series. Cromer stars as Matilda in the Freeform comedy ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Okay,” and will share films that have inspired her passion for acting. http://apple.co/AutismAwareness

Help with Remote Learning

Apple Education is offering new support resources for teachers and parents, including those working with neurodiverse students. This includes one-on-one virtual coaching sessions with Apple Professional Learning specialists. 

App Store also has a collection of Learn and Study From Home apps to help all learners across multiple subjects. In addition Apple Education is providing videos with product-focused tips for remote learning, and Apple has posted info on how to customize your iPad to make learning more accessible`:

https://www.apple.com/accessibility/ipad/learning/

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