By Lori Holbrook
What is a CHAT Bag? The CHAT Bag was inspired by our daughter, Hannah, who has Down Syndrome, Autism, Apraxia of Speech, and Hashimoto’s. In 2010, Hannah’s school decided to try out the Apple iPad 1 with her to see how she would do using it as a communication device. Hannah quickly took off with it and they purchased the Apple iPad 2 so we would have a camera to get photos on there more quickly. This was a very exciting time for us to have this amazing device but I never could find anything that allowed her to carry her iPad easily and functionally. Every bag out there had to be unbuttoned, unzipped, unvelcroed, etc. and this was not functional or easy for Hannah.
Soon after receiving her iPad I attended an Autism conference in St. Louis and the idea came to me of what is currently the CHAT Bag! I sketched it out on paper and my mother in law, Sally, helped bring it to life. I wanted Hannah to have a bag that allowed the screen exposed at all times, adjustable straps, and fun cool fabric! Hannah was off and running with her iPad in her CHAT Bag . Problem solved! However, people noticed Hannah’s bag and asked where she got it, and after several inquiries we noticed there was a need and a desire for others to have CHAT Bags. We began our journey behind the scenes making CHAT Bags, bringing the website to life, patenting and trademarking the CHAT bag and CHAT name, etc. CHAT Bag went online in January 2012 and has sold to several families in all of the US states and in 11 countries.
Why the name CHAT Bag? Again, it is inspired by Hannah. Hannah had her iPad to CHAT with us. At first CHAT stood for Children Have A Tool. Later in 2012, we decided to change it to a more universal logo/acronym because not just special needs individuals were using CHAT Bags. Parents, teachers, students, business owners, and therapist were also using them. Now we have our current logo and acronym-Communication Has A Tool. Whether the iPad is a being used as a AAC device, checking email, reading blog’s, enjoying Facebook & twitter, etc. we are always CHATting with others throughout our day!
CHAT Bags now offer a twill or denim solid color fabric for the body of the bag, cotton fabric for the center strip that goes between the straps, which offers a variety of choices/designs, and adjustable polypropylene straps. We now offer embroidering on CHAT Bags for an additional fee.,This will include the individuals first name or initials.
CHAT Bags online currently fit the Apple iPad 1-4, Apple iPad Air 1 or 2, or Apple iPad Mini. All CHAT Bags online will fit over an Otter Box Defender, Griffin Survivor, GumDrop , or cases similar to these sizes. This seems to be the most popular in case choices! Special Orders can be made for other computer tablets, larger/smaller protective cases, or a mini CHAT Bag for Apple iTouch/iPhone (lanyard style), and special requests/designs. For special orders please email for pricing. Check out our website for some examples of some special orders that we have done in the past.
Many school districts are also asking about the CHAT Bags. We have sold to several school districts across the USA. We currently accept Purchase Orders in the USA. All of this is done via email, firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also click on our Purchase Orders Link for more information. International orders for schools please contact me, via email, to place your orders.