iPad makes a huge difference to visually impaired schoolgirl's life, gives her back the cool factor

Australian schoolgirl Holly Bligh has started using an iPad to assist her learning in her school, and it is reaping huge rewards. Holly has albinism, which has badly affected her vision to the point that she needed a large magnifying glass to see textbooks and papers. Now, with the use of an iPad, all it requires is a simple tap or pinch gesture to blow up the area of interest and she can join in with the rest of her class. The iPad has also brought about a cool factor for Holly compared with having to use a chunky magnifying glass.

Holly’s mother claims that the iPad has increased Holly’s attention span and estimates that visual fatigue now takes twice as long to set in. She was so impressed with how the iPad has improved her daughter’s life that she emailed none other than Steve Jobs to thank him; and received a response too.

Thanks for sharing your experience with me. Do you mind if I read your email to a group of our top 100 leaders at Apple? Thanks, Steve.

Holly will always have limitations with her eyesight; but with the use of an iPad and her amazing attitude, we are sure this girl will go far! Do any of our readers use an iPad to overcome vision problems? Let us know!

[Herald Sun]


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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

iPad makes a huge difference to visually impaired schoolgirl's life, gives her back the cool factor


I have a mild vision impairment that affects the clarity of my central vision and I find both my iphone and ipad extremely useful tools. Whilst the font size can still be a bit small at times, the accessibility zoom built into iOS which works in any app is extremely useful when my eyes are tired. Of course pinch to zoom in safari makes the web very accessible, especially on the ipad, and this can be improved yet further with third party browsers which allow font size adjustment. I find my iphone extremely useful when travelling for checking directions and train times etc. I also find the camera doubles up as an extremely useful emergency magnifying glass!

I love hearing things like this....my younger brother has autism and is nonverbal. Since I got my first iPod touch in 2008 he has been attracted to ios, he always wanted to press buttons and swipe the screens. He got an iPad in May and took to it like a pro. The instrument apps, YouTube, and bubble popping apps are his favorite. What's best is that he has learned to type and now after 15 years I can have conversations with my brother. Now he has a Facebook and can socialize with family across the country. The iPad is truly magical

I read this in the Herald Sun yesterday and it's a really nice story, and to see Steve Jobs acknowledging it as well is fantastic. These stories which show how these products can dramatically improved people's lives, especially those with disabilities, is inspirational and touching to hear about.

There is a lady that attends my church that just turned 100 years old. She uses an iPad to read the bible during service. It is the only way she can see a bible because even very large text bibles didn't work for her. It was always awesome to see someone her age handling an iPad!

I am a person with albinism and am absolutely mazed by the easy access that the ipad has given me. As a professional responsible for ensuring that individuals with disabilities have access to technology I cannot praise the product enough. It is a real window to the world

Hi I like apple company as my brother say one day I will taren to an apple and yes I am happe if this happen ;) i am optometrist and I can understand what she's saffaring with her vision so yes thanks apple com. Again to make our life more easy

Great story - the iPad in particular is a fantastic device. I know a lot of people dislike the doubling up of pixels of iPhone apps to the iPad but for some vision-impaired people, they can make such a difference. I hope devs consider this.

My soon to be 4 year old son has albinism and we were fortunate enough to get an iPad just for him! It's amazing the progress we've seen in his desire to want to learn to write and trace letters of the alphabet- there are so many fantastic apps that are useful and helpful in preparing him to start school next year. And he just knows how to use it, we really didn't have to show him much at all, what a great educational tool!
Also, I was so happy to read this story, thanks for sharing!

My son has an ocular eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa. It is a retinal degenerating disease that causes blindness and at this time there is no cure. He still has some central vision but peripherally he cannot see. He is also color blind. Can anybody tell me how or if an Ipad could be useful to him?