iPad for us?

I have now used a wi-fi iPad for a few months but, I hasten to add, I have not investigated its full potential as yet. My son helped to set up my e-mail, install the weather app, showed me how to take photos and look at them using the zoom function and, most importantly of all(!?), how I could play Rumble or Ruzzle as it is now called. Ruzzle has taken up MANY hours of fun, time-wasting entertainment time for me but now I plan to make full use of my new buddy, Paddan.

For those of you not familiar with Ruzzle, it is a 16 letter matrix word game similar to Scrabble where the aim is to challenge/invite friends to find as many words as you can in the allotted two minutes. Three 2-minute rounds make up one game. When I began playing, I was useless … the time aspect added to the stress and my fingers did not do what my brain wanted them to do and I did not “see” the possible words! On my “bad eye” days I often mistake O for D or C for O etc. Playing many practise games before challenging “real” players helped a lot and now I win more of the games. I find I usually have a lot more shorter words as it is harder for me to get an overview of the full 16 letter matrix holding the iPad quite close to my eyes. I usually concentrate on a 4 letter corner at a time and find as many words as I can before moving on to the next corner … so I tend to win by the amount of shorter words rather than on the number of letters in longer words. I also found that Ruzzle uses a very strange dictionary with many “made up” words as well as not accepting “real” words! OK, that is enough of Ruzzle for now!

So, my quest to learn about more features hidden in Paddan …. Apple describes the accessibility Vision adaptations that are available and useful to those of us with Stargardt’s (or any visual impairment) very clearly.

I have not yet tested/used the voice over function, tending to hold up Paddan closer to my eyes instead. However, this tends to give me “Pad arm ache” as my bubby Paddan is no feather-weight! I also find my nose unknowingly “presses” on some link/icon and takes me somewhere I do not wish to be! I will test the Voice Over and tell you in a later post how I have found it. In the meantime, I will also surf, read and gather links relating to the iPad and the visually impaired and include them on future posts under the Technology category.

It would be good to hear from any other visitors to stargardts.net who also like their iPad and who would like to share iPad tips and tricks.


  1. I have an Android tablet – ASUS Transformer – that does very well, and has visual accessibility options. It also has a keyboard for easier typing, and it can announce the letter you’ve typed, which is pretty handy. They keyboard detaches for use, making it easier to hold close.

    I also have a Kindle Fire HD, which can read my books to me, and supports a good number of audio books read by a professional. It does quite well. It is also an android device, and can run a good number of the android apps, some of which are very handy for us limited sight folks.

  2. I do not have Stargardts but have a macular condition that has the same effect. I have had my iPad for going on two years. Using a regular computer has become more trouble than its worth but my iPad has saved the day. (But I know exactly what you mean by pad arm ache!). I always enjoyed reading books but now use my iPad to download audio books on an app called Overdrive. Once again I can enjoy books. I have been known to use the iPad camera to see things better. Take a picture of something you can’t see then blow up the picture till you can see what you have missed. The iPad even makes a great magnifier. In the camera mode hold the iPad over what you are trying to read and zoom in on it. I have 3G service with mu iPad. I have a free app called TextPlus. It is a free texting site! iPhones are out of the question to use, but with TextPlus I can now text. If you haven’t discovered the three finger zoom for apps yet, be sure you look into it in the accessibility options. The three finger zoom is the best part of the iPad! If I were Apple, I would put advertising material in every retinal specialist’s office! Enjoy your iPad. I never even considered a radiation effect on my eyes from it. At 20/200 and 20/400 I don’t know that it’s going to hurt me too much and I am sure that the good that it does for me would sure outweigh the bad!

    1. Barb, Great tips, thanks a lot! I am going to look into some of the apps you mention.

      1. They just changed the text plus. It did have a light background with black letters. They changed it to dark blue with white letters. It was more difficult to use. I emailed the company and they gave me a free download of “text plus silver”. If you have trouble with the dark one, contact them and they will probably help you out too. Another app that I have is called “pages”. It cost about $10. It is similar to MS Word. I use it to write letters, make flyers, etc. I can also use it to read word files that people email me. Lots of good stuff out there! Love my “eye pad” !

    2. Wow! I’m really inspired. Thanks for the great information. I wish I had read your message a lot earlier. I have Stargardts and the same visual acuity as you. I have not used my iPad much because I didn’t know it could be as useful as you explained. I’m going to check out the apps and begin looking for other creative ways to use it. Thanks again.

  3. Hi
    Was wondering if you worry about the radiation effect on your eyes by having the iPad very close to your eyes-I certainly do

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