Meet Dillan — and apps that help those on the autistic spectrum meet all of us

World Autism Acceptance Day and Autism Acceptance Month are just that — a time of the year when those on the autistic spectrum and those involved and engaged with the autism community share their lives and stories with the world in an effort to increase understanding, empathy, and empowerment for everything. As part of those efforts, Apple using its resources and its reach to introduce us to Dillan.

Dillan is autistic and non-verbal. In times past that might have caused him to be ignored or discounted, but in times present his has so very much to share. With his iPad and some genius apps, Dillan can share his thoughts and feelings with all of us. Dillan claims it's changed his life. By sharing his story, he's also helping change our lives.

Here are the apps Dillan uses:

  • Proloquo4Text (opens in new tab): A text-based AAC app (Augmentative Alternative Communication), Proloquo4Text gives voice to those who cannot speak. There are natural-sounding voices in 18-languages, customizable layouts, word prediction, sharing, and more. It's on sale for 50% off from April 2 to April 4, and offers a Watch app as well.
  • Assistive Express (opens in new tab) is another AAC app that emphasizes word prediction and favorites lists to minimize keystrokes and maximize speed and efficiency in communication.
  • Keeble (opens in new tab) is a custom keyboard made for accessibility. It allows those with vision or physical impairments to type more easily in any app, and can be customized to best suit individual needs.

More amazing autism-focused apps

More on autism from Apple: (opens in new tab)

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Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • You know, watching these videos, it's times like this when one takes a step back and asks "were it not for Apple would the others (Microsoft / Google) step in to provide a voice for people, for example those with autism?". A very moving, yet inspirational couple of videos.
  • You really think that Apple is the only company out there trying to assist and provide solutions for people with special needs or that they are the only reason why other companies might be trying to provide solutions? Really? Are you Rene Ritchie?
  • Apple are one of the best companies for providing accessibility options. If you were there in the early Android days, you would've seen that there was barely anything available on Android at the time to help people with accessibility
  • Hey, This is a great post, Rene; I cried when I was watching both videos. I am glad that Apple has acknowledged this important event. Whoever worked on those movies made the whole story of Dillan's consuming 90% of scene and quite subtly presented the iPad as an addition, and as it should be. Fantastic job, to whoever made it happen.
  • I'm very impressed, really amazing how this has literally changed his life. Well done Apple.
  • Well done!
  • Awesome stuff — accessibility in iOS and OS X has absolutely changed lives. Check out some of the videos by Apple Certified Pro Christopher Hills to see how he edits video in FCP X with just a head switch.
  • Derrrrrrrrrrrrrr Sent from the iMore App
  • Good video Sent from the iMore App