I am asked a lot about what kind of accessories you would want to get and use with a special needs user for an iPad or Android Tablet. The items in this list are all iPad related but you can find similar ones for your Android Tablet. I figured the best way to keep and maintain this list is to publish is in the website. Each user is different so you will find that not everything may be appropriate for you special person.
The single best accessory you can get to protect your device is a screen protector. Not only does it prevent your device from getting scratches (which it will if you don’t have a screen protector) but it can also help the touch responsiveness of the screen when it gets drool, food or other stuffs on it. My son goes through these drooling spells and his iPad works better with a screen protector on than when he uses mine without a screen protector.
There are a ton of generic screen protectors from a few dollars on up. I would get a medium priced one. Make sure it is designed to fit your model iPad or Android tablet. Click here for a view on how to install a screen protector without bubbles.
For those of you who want to make installing a screen protector a lot easier, Skinomi Screen Protectors are applied with a light spray, you just use the squeegee in the kit to remove the excess spray, let it dry (24 hours) and you have a rock solid screen protector. As a bonus the screen protector can be removed with your finder nail. I have one of these on my Android and it is bullet proof. I have not had to mess with it for 2 years.
In the AT Lab (Assistive Technology iPad Lab) we have at BridgingApps.org we see a lot of different link of cases. They fall within two main categories, light protection and heavy duty protection:
I am a big fan of the ZooGue Leather Case. Noah has had this case and has use it for almost 2 years. What I like about it is that it has a built in arm I can position it at almost any angle. It also has an adjustable strap that can be used to attached to the back of car seat head rest. You will need to get a separate screen protector. Some users may put too much pressure on the built in arm and it may collapse. If you have a user who may not know their own strength then you may way to look at a heavy duty case.
I like both the Otterbox and Trident cases. Both have built in screen protectors and they are built like tanks. I think a lot of parents are drawn to these kinds of cases to protect the iPad. When shopping make sure you order the right case for your iPad. Also check out some of their other models. For example some of the Otterbox models have build in stands and covers.
The Big Grips Frame was design for younger users who need something larger and softer to grab a hold of. The case is very protective of the iPad. It does not come with a screen protector so you will need to buy one. There is also a stand for the Big Grips you may want to use sold separately.
There are a ton of different stylus out there. Some are cheap, others expensive. Thin, thick, light, heavy, are all things to consider. It is likely you will have to try a few before you find the one that works. And as your user develops you will want to keep challenging them.
Noah has used the AluPen for a while. He likes it because it is thick and has some weight. Because of its thickness we have not had to modify it. This is a big plus.
The App Crayon is pastic, thick and has good weight to it. I like this stylus a lot. I don’t feel like it will break no matter how badly it is treated.
Ivo Beckers is an amazing dad who makes iPad stylus for all sorts of special needs applications from mouth styluses to mini t-bar styluses for little hands. Click the image above to see a list of different styluses in Etsy.
You will love working with the folks at Lasered Pics. They make very reasonably priced standard and custom keyguards for a ton of different AAC apps. Each keyguard is made from thick durable acrylic and uses suction cups to keep it off the surface of the iPad and made it removable. You can get each keyguard in clear or other high contrast colors.
The iKeyboard is a removable keyguard. Some users find that they can type much better with this attached to the screen. It is removable and each letter opening has a plastic bubble to give the user positive feedback as they type each letter.
For more reviews of new iPad accessories go to BridgingApps.org
Disclosure: If you buy items through the links on this page, Amazon will gives a small commission for each sale. In no way has this effected the items on the list or my recommendations. The commission goes to supporting this website and providing the book for free.