Working digitally with students with severe SEND needs

Hi, I am looking for ideas and inspiration with how we can use Apple products to work with a group of learners who have disabilities and low cognitive abilities. It would be great if I could be pointed in the direction of anyone doing this or some ideas to look into.

I am based in South East England.



2 replies

July 11, 2024

Working with students in various SEN settings my best advice is to stick to the core apps that come on the iPad. Then break down your topics and try to find integration of iPad into each topic. Below are some ways we integrated iPad this past year.

  1. Notes - used for making and ticking off lists.
  2. GarageBand - to record tracks for various occasions such as chinese new year (use the chinese instruments)
  3. Keynote - for drag and drop workbook style activities for halloween
  4. Pages - writing post cards / letters to santa.
  5. Keynote - taking photos, removing backgrounds and adding to story backgrounds.
  6. Fitness - to track olympic style activities
  7. Clips and iMovie - for the day to day recording of student engagement and activities.
  8. Maps - to explore the local area wit flyover. To explore the world. Then students presented their locations.
  9. Apple Music - to sing and dance to songs with lyrics displayed (literacy)
  10. Clock - to time activities.
  11. Voice memos - to record podcasts.
  12. Camera - for capturing photos and videos.

Student choice is also important. Some like drawing pictures, others prefer typing so thinking of activities that allow for choice is key.

July 11, 2024

Hi Daniel!

In my work with teachers of students with disabilities and cognitive issues something that has been helpful is Assistive Access, which reduces cognitive load by offering more focused choices on iPad.

Here's more information on setting up and using Assistive Access:

Here's a list of cognitive related accessibility feature on iPad that might also be helpful - Spoken Content and Safari Read view is my favorite pairing!

Many of these accessibility features are also included in MacOs as well, depending on the device your students will have.

Hopefully this helps get you and your student started!

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