Even Steve Jobs is Impressed with How iPad Helps Girl with Vision Problems


Ben Swinnerton, Herald Sun
Ben Swinnerton, Herald Sun

A 9-year-old girl with sight problems has swapped out magnifying glasses and other clunky equipment for  an iPad.

Holly Bligh, of Melbourne Australia, has albinism, which affects her vision. To read, teachers had to make photocopies with enlarged text for her or she had to use a magnifying glass or other devices to read.

Thanks to an iPad she now can zoom in and enlarge the text with the touch of a finger. Bligh can also read about twice as long as she could with regular printed material.

Bligh’s mother wrote Steve Jobs a letter thanking him for “completely changing” her daughter’s life.

“All the other kids think it’s awesome that she gets an iPad!” Fiona Bligh wrote to Jobs. “Sometimes in the past Holly has found her extra equipment embarrassing … But the iPad has a coolness factor!”

Jobs reportedly wrote back:

“Thanks for sharing your experience with me. Do you mind if I read your email to a group of our top 100 leaders at Apple?” Jobs signed off with “Thanks, Steve” and asked for a photo of Holly with her iPad.

Hailed as a “magical device,” the iPad has proved to be a valid learning tool and assistive technology for people with disabilities. The preliminary results of one small study at a school students with a range of physical and mental challenges, including autism and deaf-blindness, show an average of 20 percent improvement in communication abilities from using the devices, according to researchers.

A good round-up of how people are using iPads as learning tools or for assistive technology is available here.

Via Herald Sun

  • James Darvall ?

    Apple is more than just a few ‘nice-looking’ ‘overpriced’ products, it can also be a life changer! One of the many reasons, why I love Apple ?

  • zazou1

    Steve should send her the world’s first 12″ Ipad…..  What a great story!!

  • Wes

    Amazing story! Very touching and it made me smile. 

  • Scott Gould

    Nicole, thanks for sharing this heartwarming story, it brings a smile to my face and makes me feel like the universe is a good place (at least until I turn on the news later).

  • Ramón

    Thanks for sharing this story!


    Another example of how technology is changing lives, one day at a time. 

  • Tom McGrath

    Brilliant story, thanks! I can’t help noticing that she seems to have drawn a double helix on her hand, scientist in the works perhaps? 
    If only we could find solutions as simple as these for all of life’s problems.

  • gareth edwards

    cool, a disability lessened and a stigma removed – a really good result. Nice of Steve to write back too. I respect him for this. Lets’ hope it gives those inside Apple a little extra push to make much more of an effort to make this kind of technology more affordable for those who could really benefit and also help push developers to see the huge potential out there for devices like this. Huzzah!

  • Aj Tk427

    Great story and I’m sure there are a lot of others like this.  Not to go all geeky and all, but I sometimes think that this is the magic that Steve talks about in his presentations.  We all laugh when we watch them, because we’re all geeks and know how these things work.  As illustrated above, the magic is when an device such as the iPad can radically change a persons life.

  • Gustavo Santana

    cool story hansel

  • Dean Ricciardi

    I have the same condition as Holly, but I went to school before even the advent of the PC. I’ve been very fortunate, and other than not being able to drive, I have been able to live a full and successful life. I’m happy to see how technology can make a positive difference in someone’s life.

  • martinberoiz

    Actually, she probably has to enlarge the text with the touch of _two_ fingers. Just saying.

  • Ashley Joseph

    hahahaha #zoolander it is a great story tho

  • Bob Forsberg

    WOW!  Another Steve Jobs “That’s why we do what we do” moments.