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iPads Helping Visually Impaired Students See World In Whole New Way

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The digital world is revolutionizing how visually impaired students can learn and interact.

At one of the oldest schools for the blind in the nation, nearly 300 New York Institute for Special Education students are learning to see the world in a whole new way with iPads.

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Almost all of them are visually impaired, and some, like Jessica Karim, have no vision at all.

"Technology is changing all around us, and it's kind of great to be a part of that," said Jessica, an 11th-grader at the school.

Students have traded in old, clunky braille writers for tablets that can do much more.

"It's an opportunity to be more literate and have material at the same time as their sighted peers," said Dr. Bernadette Kappen, the school's executive director. "You can have screen enlargement, voice over for the totally blind."

Jessica navigates her iPad with ease, using a Bluetooth-enabled braille writer.

"Probably the best thing, as far as teenagers go, is that you get to do your homework on the bus," said Jessica.

Tenth-grader Kevin Figueroa is legally blind in one eye and can only see shadows and light with the other.

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His lifelong dream is to make movies, and with his tablet, his dream is quickly coming into focus.

"I love it. I try and get every opportunity I can to go outside and shoot something," said Kevin.

Teachers and students say thanks to the small gadget, the possibilities are now endless.

The school is using audio-enabled iPads to help teach reading comprehension to younger students.

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