iPad, can it benefit the cerebral palsy community? (@cityuni_hcid Demo Session)

Centre HCID using iPad
@cityuni_hcid researchers trying out Tap Tap Radiation

With a To-Do list that increases daily,  I often demote tasks that aren’t directly related to my PhD, unfortunately this has been one of those tasks. I was asked to write a blog about a demo session I ran at @cityuni_hcid on 8th June 2010, better later than never I guess.

— On May 28th 2010 I brought my iPad to @cityuni_hcid were it sparked considerable interest, I suspect it was because at the time it was one of the very few within @CityUniLondon. For the next week I found myself answering the same questions: what do you use it for? what sort of apps are available? is it worth spending £427+?. As a result, I decided to run a small demo session inviting @cityuni_hcid researchers to try the iPad and ask questions all in one go.

To ensure the session was interesting, esp. for researchers waiting to use the device,  the following was asked: iPad, can it benefit the cerebral palsy community?. It’s purpose was to enable the researchers to identify potential apps and or areas the iPad could be used to benefit users with cerebral palsy. To stimulate discussion I carried out an impromptu study that observed 2 iPad users with cerebral palsy. Photos and video clips were recorded via my iPhone 3GS and littered throughout the @cinterationlab. Unsurprisingly, the video clips appeared to encourage discussion more so than the photo’s, so I thought I would share it with you…

(Right) Photo's of the 2 iPad users with cerebral palsy using various apps and iPad accessories. (Left) A list of some of the discussed benefits.

Some of the benefits identified included: rehabilitation e.g. PocketPond app increased dexterity over the course of the observation; eLearning e.g. iBooks app and Memory Cards app provided independent learning; independent input especially when shopping (inbuilt Safari) and communicating was discussed by both participants as key to their iPad use; arts e.g. Granimator app  provided creativity and obviously entertainment e.g. Need for Speed Shift app.

There are many other benefits discussed and considerably a lot more that I can think of now, but it would be interesting to know what you think: iPad, can it benefit the cerebral palsy community?. Please feel free to leave a comment.


4 thoughts on “iPad, can it benefit the cerebral palsy community? (@cityuni_hcid Demo Session)

  1. Makayla:

    I saw this article in the NY Times today and thought of you and your research.

    I hope all is well with you. Seems like your work is really taking off.

    Christine Fitts
    (from the 2009-2010 MSc in HCS program)

    1. Thanks for the comment and for the article, was a very interesting read 😀 All is great with me, I hope all is well with you and your work. Yeah, I have been busy over the last few months PhD and http://www.a11yldn.org.uk kept me busy, and people appear to be very much interested in my work now days – which is good!

      Thanks again,


      1. Enjoyed your blog, very well written. It was of particular interest to me as my 3 year old great nephew has CP and is mostly confined to a wheelchair. He has been offered an operation in America that will give him a better quality of life if not curing him, and we are busy trying to raise the money for it. It gives me heart, that you are so full of enthusiasm for life. I know that a life can be eonjyed no matter what the handicap, as I have a 21 year old niece with Spina Bifida who lives a lovely life in a wheelchair. Thanks for sharing your intimate thoughts, God bless you, Best wishes margaret xx

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