Jan 132011

Mike holding an iPad with one of his sketches on the screen

My iPad has allowed me to resume sketching (in preparation for painting) even though I can no longer use a drawing pencil.

To begin with, this article is being written using the Dragon voice recognition system that came free for my iPad. Without it, doing this kind of writing would be very difficult if not impossible, because my fingers can no longer bend or be controlled.

But that is not what originally caused me to purchase an iPad. That happened last year when I was planning to take a watercolor workshop and realized that my weak fingers would no longer allow me to do planning sketches in preparation for painting.

I had already tried a drawing tablet that connects to my computer. I found it very difficult to use since you needed to hold the stylus over to the side of your computer while looking straight ahead at the screen. This didn’t lend itself to a very intuitive form of drawing, for me at least.

But when I saw that the iPad had a touchscreen and that it came with applications for creating art, I decided it was the solution. It turned out I was right, as I have been able to do a great deal of sketching using my iPad and a stylus.

Since then, I have discovered that the iPad is an ideal solution for people with physical disabilities. To begin with, it is very lightweight so I can carry it around with me wherever I go. The voice recognition is ideal for e-mail, Facebook postings, etc.

It is also a great way to take reading material with me as you can download books using either the Apple iBook’s store or the Amazon Kindle store or you can copy other documents that you have into the iPad for reading wherever you happen to be.

It is a highly portable computer, a library, a music studio, a weather station, a radio, a movie theater, a bus or travel planner, and the list goes on. In fact there are now millions of little applications designed for use on the iPad many of which are idel for the physically disabled. Just recently I used its inclinometer to determine that our community’s sidewalks had driveway openings too steep for wheelchairs or scooters to safely cross.

I will talk about many of these areas in future posts. But in the meantime I encourage everyone reading this to at least investigate the iPad for your own use.

  3 Responses to “Why IPad”

  1. glad to have found your article. my brother is bed ridden due to numerous stokes. his mind is fine, his hands like yours are pretty curled up and almost unusable as are his legs, also he can no longer speak. he lives miles away from family and is so isolated, he lives in a state facility in Michigan. would like him to have an ipad but not sure how he could use it as he could not hold it, i also would like to know if you know of any organizations that would provide him with a free ipad. Also what is the dragon voice? Any info you could provide would be helpful. Thank you, Diane Cornelius

    • I wish I could help with your question about donated iPads. A quick search of the Internet did not turn up anything. Dragon voice recognition is a powerful program that costs $100 to $200 on a standard computer but is available at no cost on the iPad. I am using it right now as it is much faster than trying to type with fingers that don’t move.

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