Beverley and Colin Dean founded Special iApps in 2011, as a non-profit social enterprise. We couldn't find the apps we needed to teach our younger son William, who has Down syndrome and autism. He'd had several medical setbacks since being born in 2005, and his hearing, speech and co-ordination weren't very good.
We found that most apps had too much going on in the background, weren't configurable or easily personalized, and didn't cater for William's limited finger skills.
As we had worked for many years in education and IT, Bev suggested we develop our own apps! Colin left his university job, and our elder son Joseph lent us his voice for the sound recordings.
Between 2012 and 2018, we were very fortunate to have graphic artist and photographer Barbara Lowe working with us. Her daughter Maya also has Down syndrome.
We are also lucky to have a large group of volunteers from many countries, who tirelessly translate our apps into many languages. Many organizations who support disabled children have approached us, asking to have the apps in their languages.
We are grateful for the ongoing support of our local universities in the North East of England, for academic input, research projects and graduate internships.
With their help, we now have several apps that are teaching children of all ages, with a variety of special needs and disabilities, around the world.
Why use our apps?
They're different, because they are uncluttered, don't have in-app purchases or adverts, and can be configured and personalized to suit your child. We say that our apps enable errorless learning, in small steps, without distractions.
We work very closely with parents, teachers, speech and language therapists, and many other professionals. We trial our apps, and improve them based on feedback from people like you.
Tell us what you think!
Parents and professionals have helped us enormously, with suggestions and stories of how they are using apps with their kids. We can learn a lot from you, so please get in touch!