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IPads help visually impaired students see the world in a new way - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

IPads help visually impaired students see the world in a new way

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NEW YORK -

At one of the oldest schools for the blind in the U.S., nearly 300 students are learning to see the world in a whole new way. Each one has their own iPad even though almost all of them are visually impaired. Some, like Jessica Karim, have no vision at all.

"Technology is changing all around us and it's kind of great to be a part of that," Karim said.

She's an eleventh-grader at the New York Institute for Special Education, where executive director Bernadette Kappen showed us how students have traded in clunky, old Braille writers for tablets that can do much more.

"It's an opportunity to be more literate and have material at the same time as their sighted peers," Kappen said. "You can have screen enlargement, voice over for the totally blind."

Karim navigates hers with ease using a Bluetooth-enabled Braille writer.

"Probably the best thing, as far as teenagers go, is that you get to do your homework on the bus," Karim said.

Tenth-grader Kevin Figueroa is legally blind in one eye and can only see shadows and light with the other. But his lifelong dream is to make movies. With his tablet, his dream is quickly coming into focus.

"I love it," he said. "I try and get every opportunity I can to go outside and shoot something."

Teachers and students say thanks to the little gadgets, the possibilities are endless.

The school uses audio-enabled iPads to help teach reading comprehension to younger students.

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