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Technology for Student and Adult Independence

Compiled by Anna McTigue at Education Development Center, Inc. supported by the information, insights and testimonies of Michele Bauer, Elizabeth Bauer, Shari and Nicholas Krishnan and the Oakland County Public Schools, Oakland County, Michigan. 

This resource is inspired by a request for information that was forwarded to the Inclusive Schools Network on the part of an individual.


The Question

"I have a transition aged client who needs a prompter program (like those used for folks with TBI or Alzheimers), that takes him through the process of getting ready for school in order to promote independence. I know there are software programs that use a handheld computer. His parents would like him to be able to do this on IPhone or IPod Touch because it would be less obvious than a separate device. Do you know off hand if there is an app for the iPhone or software product that can be loaded on an IPhone or IPod that would provide these features?"

The Response

Inclusive Schools Network sent an email to a few individuals in the field and here are some of their responses:


"Here is a great IPhone Prompter for the needs you are requesting. Here is a link to the website for HandHold Adaptive, LLC called iPrompt. You can download the program at the iTunes store and they have great instructions, screenshots. Etc. This program has great reviews as well.

iPrompts: the portable, customizable, visual prompting tool for those with special needs. Their app is designed especially for parents, special educators and therapists to use with developmentally challenged and language-impaired individuals, like people with Autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and apraxia of speech. iPromptsTM also benefits kids who just need more structure, including kids with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and even typical, pre-verbal toddlers!

Hope that helps!!"


Nicholas has used his iPod Touch in school and in the community. It has really been a huge help! Oakland Schools, since they loved how Nicholas was using the unit, started looking for many applications that would work with the iPod Touch. This was great and a cost effective solution for the schools

Since Nicholas got his iPod Touch, Rajan and I both switched to iPhones and in the future, Nicholas will have one too. The nice thing about the iPhone is that Nicholas doesn't have to wait for a wireless "hot spot" to connect to the Internet. So, he can do whatever he wants to do at any time that he wants to do it. The Ipod Touch and iPhone brings Nicholas much calm, hence reducing his anxiety.  We love it. Additionally, the newer IPhones take video. This is great at music lessons and for his volunteer work. He records what he is supposed to do, and the instructor/boss doesn't have to say it again. Nicholas reviews the videos right on his iPhone.  Before we had the iPhone, we had to make videos, reduce the file size, the export it to his iPod Touch.


Nicholas had speech therapy. And I like his speech done in a vocational context. The band director that Nick has worked with has offered to allow Nicholas to do volunteer work for him every Tuesday. Mr. Burdette allows himself to be recorded with the tiny iPod Nano, and he talks Nicholas through the task. Nicholas hears the task live and can replay the video on the Nano (it
has speakers too)!  Nicholas and the speech therapist then carry on their session from there.


Share your story! What technology has made a difference in your life or the life of an individual you work with? Email your responses to