Chat 'n' chew (or not)

Today I am going out with my new purse...

Yep, that's right. I have finally after 18 months found a bag that makes iPad truly mobile. 
Mobile as opposed to just portable.

You see, your average kitchen chair is portable, you can move it from place to place but I don't think you want to wear it down the street. An iPhone or iPod touch in a cover with a lanyard is mobile. It can go everywhere you go (except swimming) so the Communication App you are using to get what you want can go everywhere too. This means that the people around you are going to consistently prompt you to use that App and that consistency promotes independence.

But an iPad? To date I have been unconvinced. Even less convinced when people talk about introducing it as a table top communication device, which gets taken away from the user when that session is over "to keep it safe" !!??!!
How does that person then generalise their new communication skills spontaneously if their device is locked up in a cupboard, or worse; being shared??!!

But this iPad I am wearing in the picture is protected in the new Otterbox Defender III cover which has a hard shell case with integral hard screen cover and a rubbery silicone sleeve. The Chat Bag fits over the top of that. You can also stretch the bag over a Griffin Survivor cover which has all the above, but a slightly thicker rubber sleeve. (believe me, I tried it and it fits)

The chat bag is like a fitted mattress protector with 3 layers of fabric including a quilted inner layer. They have elastic all around the sides that you stretch out to fit over the iPad and cover, which pulls tightly around the corners and sides; just like a fitted sheet. The shoulder strap has an adjuster thingie, which I knew Liam would open so I stitched that up. And my goodness it is HANDY!

It comes in about a gazillion different fabric choices (I may be exaggerating but I stopped counting after the first 100 patterns) which David and Lori have helpfully grouped into age/size groupings and you have the option of substituting the ribbon handles for tougher polypropelene.

Oh and David and Lori by the way, are fellow Special Needs Entrepreneur Parents. They came up with the idea for the bag for their special daughter (as all the best ideas are) and have created an online business. The bags run to US$ 30 plus postage but they have a sale on at the moment where you can get many patterns for just US$24.

Just go to to order or visit their Facebook Page for a chat.

And it makes the iPad look cool!

I have a real issue with making special kids stand out as weird with clunky devices or accessories. They have the same right to good haircuts, fashionable clothes, shoes and good design.

In the Chat bag, the iPad is accessible as a communication device if needed or discreetly safe when it is not. I brought it to the ITASD conference in Valencia where I was constantly flipping it in and out of my hand-bag to demonstrate Grace App and got a lot of compliments.

It was also very useful when travelling. These days you practically have to undress and unpack your bag to get through airport security and I just stood in the queue playing with the iPad in the chat bag, popped it on to the belt when it was my turn and then picked it up on the other side after I had been beeped and searched. I always get beeped and searched.

And I genuinely let my 11 stone giant autistic and very active son run around the house with this thing. Well, I try and slow him down when I see him carrying the iPad but you know how it is.

With the Otterbox and the Chat Bag I have finally outsmarted Mr Chewboy. Liam has a terrible habit of picking at the home button protector and has actually damaged 3 of the previous Otterboxes by tearing the silicone cover.

This was one of my many attempts to protect those covers:

 Ugly and not very practical as he couldn't use the home button let alone twist it.

So the Chatbag is a winner. BTW: Liam actually likes pink so don't get hung up on that choice.

I'm looking forward to the Mini-chat bag that is coming soon. David and Lori are actually making those to order to suit the different iPod Touch/iPhone Covers.  That one will be genuinely used by Gracie as her iPhone is her primary communication device. Watch out for a review soon.


Please note: I have adapted the bag to allow a headphone jack. Liam actually listens to Youtube clips repeatedly and this saves my sanity. I cut a little hole then hand stitched it all the way around to stop it tearing. You do not need to do this for an iPad that is used for a communication device. I did the same for the charger cord as I do not want Liam pulling the chat bag back to charge it. I want it fitted tight all the time. Again you do not need to do this if you are using the iPad as a communication device and supervise it for charging etc. Liam uses his as an entertainment toy and charges it himself.


jazzygal said…
A very fashionable and practical item. Love it!

xx Jazzy
Andra said…
I have to get one of these, love the colour!
If God knows everything and can see all, then God must know the End of Forever… ?? If I don’t know everything and you certainly don’t, why don’t you follow us Home to Heaven where we’ll know as much as possible? --- I put that icon as my ’nom de plume’ precisely because I’m not part of this world; I’m part of the Great Beyond, I'm part of the Lynard Skinard's 'FreeBird'. God bless you. -1 Corinthians 11:1