The holiday season is upon us, and so is the season of greeting cards! At Beit Issie Shapiro, we love to create greeting cards with our students, and we’ve put together a list of tips for you to make the process as inclusive as possible.
Tip #1: Use open platform apps
We like to use the Tiny Tap and Ji Tap platforms. Not only are the platforms rich with fun creation packs, but they are so easy to use that most of our students are able to do much of the process on their own. Create the card and then save it as a photo. Then send the photo on social media for quick delivery. You can also print the photo and send it as a traditional card.
Some examples of holiday creation packs in Tiny Tap and Ji Tap:
Tip #2: Provide for varying levels of writing ability
Many people with disabilities may have difficulty thinking of or typing their own messages. Having a family or class conversation in advance, about what kinds of messages can be written on the card can help get ideas flowing. Some may just need help to type their greeting into the app. Others may want to choose from a bank of written messages, and some may need to use symbol support.
Many of our students are not yet writers and so we save individual symbols into the photo gallery where they are easily accessible and the student can choose what they would like to say. Similarly, whole messages can be written using communication software and saved as a screenshot to be added to the card as a whole sentence. Add the message from the photo gallery then decorate the card as you like. In the example below we saved symbols from Symbolstix into the device gallery.
Tip #3: Use the camera
Photos are a great way to personalize your cards. Choose photos from the gallery or take a fun selfie. I’ve rarely encountered a student that doesn’t like taking photos, and since the camera on the iPad (and other tablets) is so easy to use, everyone can take part. The camera is even switch-accessible! A photo is also a great alternative to a signature.
Using the open platform apps mentioned above to create greeting cards allows for some adaptations for users of various abilities, but if you’re looking for a simpler and quicker option, photo cards can also be easily made using apps like Instagram, that have fun filters, templates, and text options.
Experiencing the joy of sending and receiving greeting cards
With our tips, you can encourage people of various abilities to create greeting cards, allowing both the recipient and the sender to experience the joys of this holiday tradition. In our experience, families are often overcome with emotion when they receive cards from their loved ones. For many of our families, it is the first time they have received a card from their child where they really felt they were reading their child’s words.
And of course…greeting cards aren’t only for holidays! Remember these tips when writing birthday cards or when you just feel like sending a message to a loved one.