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Friday, February 11, 2011

Wanted: iPad App Writer

Do you know how to code an iPad app? Do you know someone who does? Do you network with people who might? I need your help. Spread the word.

The twins' Early Intervention therapists first tapped me last year to speak on their behalf to win a huge grant to supply their "workshop"--and by "workshop", I mean an until-now nonexistent place for occupational, speech, and physical therapists who serve developmentally disabled infants and children up to age three to adapt and store toys and devices for young children who are so developmentally behind that they cannot thrive without the special assistance that knowledgeable therapists can provide.

Other than my children, nobody is more important to me than the individuals who serve and support my children.

So last Fall, I drafted up index cards with my speaking points and ironed my clothes and put on lipstick and went to a ballroom at the fanciest resort in town to speak on behalf of our therapists. I told those executives and community leaders what these therapists do for my family--adapt our high chairs to improve their spinal posture, use common office supplies to separate the pages of their books so that their weak hands can more easily turn pages, tip me off on the latest toys and educational software that might meet their needs, suggest innovative ways for the twins to operate their electric wheelchairs, etc. And our therapists could be even more helpful to the community if they had some space to store their supplies, company money to purchase the incidentals, tools to help them cut plastic and foam to form adaptive seating for so many young children, and tablet PC's to introduce their young clients to the limitless world of educational technology!

And then a month later I was invited to the awards dinner. I had nailed it--my presentation won the $100k grant for our therapists. I drank some free wine and ate a LOT of bacon wrapped scallops that night. I shook a lot of hands and I suspect caught a lot of germs. Eh, give and take.

So, my therapists now have a space for their workshop. Big, expensive tools are on order. Other supplies have been delivered--including iPads. They even got some iTunes gift cards, which has been nice, so that they can browse the App Store and determine what kind of apps are suitable for their young clients.

In general, iPad technology is amazing. It's even more amazing from the perspective of a parent of children who have limited use of their arms, hands, and fingers. And I know for a fact that Apple doesn't know how useful their technology is in the hands of the disabled community OR ELSE THEY WOULD OFFER DISCOUNTS OR INCENTIVES TO SCHOOLS AND CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS WHO WISH TO BUY THEIR PRODUCT.

I digress. Back to my point--our therapists now have iPads in hand. They've discovered some apps that will perfectly meet the needs of some of their young clients--but other clients, not so much. They wish to meet with someone who can write apps for them. These would be simple apps--imagine the finger dexterity of a patient with cerebral palsy, for example. I am talking about creating apps that are cause-effect heavy.

I don't know how complicated it is to write an iPad app, but if you know how to do it and are willing to donate your time, this company has a 501(c)3 tax ID, so I imagine you could even write off your resource hours. My therapists have specifics around what they're looking for in an app. Ping me so that I can put you in touch with them. And repost this to any online community that might be able to help us.


  1. Have you mentioned this to Skittles/her DH - I know he writes apps. Mike, too.

  2. I just now had a chance to read this; I've sent this to Blake Watson, who has SMA and is a tech guru. Hope he - or someone - can help!

    Meanwhile, CONGRATS on doing such a fine job getting the grant money!!! Not that I'm surprised :)


  3. I zapped 'post' on a comment I left last night and then immediately zapped off the blog... just as I thought I MAY have spied a word verification thingy. Phooey.

    I forwarded the link to this post to Blake Watson, a tech guru who happens to have SMA.

    I would have sent it to Misty O'Neal, who was recently hired by Apple (and who also happens to have SMA), but she's been really sick, so I didn't.

    Hope you get some good leads!

    Meanwhile, congratulations on what was evidently a whammy of a presentation!!! No surprise :)