Our family’s involved with a Gloucestershire charity that supports disabled children and adults with small grants.
Increasingly over the past couple of years we have been asked to help fund iPads for children of all ages with special needs.
Before agreeing to any funding we like to find out WHAT the ipad is to be used for and HOW it will benefit the child.
We also ask for a supporting letter from a professional such as the child’s teacher to make sure that it is the best option.
So, before searching for charity funding ask yourself WHY you are looking for a iPad grant and whether it’s a good choice/value for money for your child as you will need to convince your potential funders.
Let’s look at the benefits......
Sounds fantastic but what about the downsides.......
iPads vs Tablets
So, is the iPad the best choice? Or should you look at cheaper tablets?
Every tablet is slightly different so do compare features and other additional options.
Prices vary even with the cheaper alternatives depending on storage capacity, memory card slots, touch screen clarity etc.
Think about how your child will use it for as you may need to buy one with larger storage capacity (videos, games etc take up more memory)
The more storage you need the greater the cost.
The newer tablets often have the option of a memory card slot to easily increase capacity – iPads don’t have a memory card slot limiting increased storage.
Be realistic and anticipate your child's future needs to ensure your choice has a longer life span.
Also consider that if your child uses an iPad/tablet at school it makes sense to have the same one at home for consistency especially where the child has communication or learning difficulties.
But if it’s to use purely for entertainment as a means of “distraction” the make may not be an issue.
Ask yourself what apps will your child need? Are they only available from Apple or can they be downloaded from Google Play or the Amazon App store?
The Bottom Line
Ultimately the decision whether to look for funding for an iPad or an alternative tablet will be yours.
Make sure that you have explored all the different options and explain how you arrived at your final decision when making grant applications.
So long as you are clear to funders about the reason for your choice and provide supporting evidence of the benefits to your child they are often supportive of iPad/tablet grants.
IMHO both the iPad and tablets have much to offer and definitely make an excellent addition to the lives of disabled children (and their parents!).
The following charities have been known to fund ipads/tablets in the past or may consider applications.....
Able Kidz (for education and learning)
Cerebral Palsy Plus (BS postcodes only)
Colchester Catalyst (Essex only)
Darren Wright Foundation (BS postcodes only)
Douglas Hay Trust (Scotland only)
ECAS (Edinburgh and Lothians only)
Ellie Savage Memorial Trust (East England)
Evening Chronicle Sunshine Fund (North East England)
MACS (for visually impaired)
Mayfield Home Trust Limited (Gloucestershire only)
The Royal Blind Society (for visually impaired)
SF Fund (East Midlands)
Shropshire Cerebral Palsy Society (Shropshire only)
Vision (for visually impaired)
Victa (for visually impaired)
Wipe away those Tears (Essex only)
Don’t forget to approach small local charities too – they may not be able to fund the full amount but may be able to offer a contribution to the overall cost.
A selection of small local charities are listed in the Grants UK section and you can find out more by visiting your local library.
These might help too.....
What did you choose?
What Apps does your child use and why?
Share your experience to help other parents........