Members of the Tap and Talk Aphasia iPad Group held a celebration exhibition event at the University of Dundee.
Participants of the group are learning to use iPads as an assistive communication tool. The Tap and Talk aphasia iPad group was set up in 2013 to support people with aphasia to use iPads as part of their rehabilitation process.
Aphasia is a complex language and communication disorder resulting from damage to the language centres of the brain and can lead to word finding and reading difficulties. This damage may be caused by a stroke, a head injury, a brain tumour or another neurological illness.
The iPad Photography programme gave the Tap and Talk group a new way of working with their iPads. Images and pictures are hugely valuable when words are hard to find and this programme gave the group the opportunity to learn how to use the built in iPad camera equipment and accessible apps to create their own images. The eight-week programme has given the participants time to build their knowledge and confidence.
Photographer and lead Artist David P Scott worked with the group to develop a number of photographic opportunities. From simple selfies to formal portraits, landscapes to closely observed nature as well as images of personal interest. Using accessible editing apps, David encouraged the group to transform their images to make them more effective in their communication.
Project coordinator for THAT Chris Kelly said, “The intention was to get the group to use their iPads in a new and creative way. We are great believers in the value of enjoyment and fun as part of the learning process and everyone was keen to learn to make better use of the camera element of their equipment. David and volunteer artist Pamela Scott have opened up new possibilities for the group.”
David P Scott said, “The group is very enthusiastic about using the camera so we have had hundreds of images to choose from. By exploring photography and the iPad camera alongside experimenting with apps, lighting, shutter buttons and tripods we have been able to take pictures with confidence and achieve great results. A field trip to the Botanic Gardens was a particular success and inspired some of the fantastic work on show today.”
Researcher and Tap and Talk group co-ordinator Rolf Black said, “This has definitely moved the group forward in their interaction with their use of the iPad. We know the importance of good pictures to support communication. We’ve improved the group’s confidence and ability to create those fantastic images.”
As well as the photographic display, the group will be sharing their work in an online gallery as part of the Tap and Talk webpage.
The programme has been run in partnership with Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust’s ST/ART Project and the Tap and Talk aphasia iPad group, based at the University of Dundee. The group is supported by NHS Tayside’s Speech and Language Therapy service and the University of Dundee’s computing department. The ST/ART project has been in place since 2004 and provides creative engagement opportunities using participatory arts as part of their rehabilitation and recovery.