UK charity Guide Dogs is giving away 2,500 iPads to visually impaired children

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A UK charity has launched a program to provide thousands of iPads to visually impaired children around the country.

Following a successful pilot scheme last year, the Tech for All program from the charity Guide Dogs is now open to applications for 2022.

It’s open to any child aged between three and 18 with a visual impairment and will provide them with an iPad tablet to use outside of school.

‘We know from our research how important access to technology is and Tech for All is designed to empower children with sight loss with the tools they need to be more engaged, confident and keep pace with peers,’ explained Emma Foulds, Director of Marketing and Strategy at Guide Dogs.

The charity says last year’s scheme significantly improved children’s confidence, creativity and independence.

Initial findings revealed after four months with an iPhone or iPad, on average a child’s reported autonomy increased by 18%, engagement by 13% and sociability by 5%. 

‘Whether it is FaceTiming with friends, playing games, reading or learning, the accessibility features on an iPad can be key to unlocking the world for a child with a vision impairment; discovering their passions and maximising their potential,’ Emma added.

Guide Dogs said it chose the iPad because Apple’s gadget has extensive built-in accessibility features, allowing children to use the same device as their friends, but customise it for their unique accessibility needs.

There are two million people in the UK with sight loss, including 360,000 who are registered blind or partially sighted.

Losing sight can come from age-related issues but also through conditions like glaucoma where your optic nerve is damaged by the pressure of the fluid inside your eye.

If you want to know more about the Tech for All program or apply to be considered for a free iPad, you can do so by following this link.

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