Communication

Selecting iPad/iPhone/iTouch AAC Software with Advanced Features

This article lists several augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) apps that have advanced features such as word prediction and the ability to store and recall phrases.

AAC Apps with Word Prediction

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Alphabetic List of iPad/iPhone/iTouch AAC Apps

This article is a list of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) apps for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch). Some of them are specifically designed for AAC use; others are serendipitously useful. As new apps are released, this list will be updated.

Notes on the descriptions below:

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Selecting iPad/iPhone/iTouch AAC Software for People with Visual or Physical Disabilities or Language Barriers

While many augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) apps are available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, only a few meet the needs of people who have significant visual or dexterity disabilities, or who need to use languages other than English. This article summarizes these apps.

AAC Apps with an Audio-Only Option

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Use of Grids to Organize Augmentative Communication Choices

Grids consisting of two or more cells containing pictures, text, or both, are a near-universal structure for presenting choices in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). A recent study of AAC design provided some evidence that children with disabilities seem to prefer using grids over other layouts. This article covers considerations in selecting or designing a grid to meet the needs of an individual user.

Number of Options

Some people with cognitive disabilities may quickly become overwhelmed if presented with too many choices. On the other hand, AAC users with and without cognitive disabilities may become frustrated if too few choices are presented. Some trial and error may be necessary to determine the appropriate number of options to present at a given time.

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Communicating with People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Not all deaf and hard of hearing people use sign language; even if they do, they will likely encounter many people on a daily basis who do not. Speechreading (also known as lipreading) is another non-universal communication strategy, and leaves much room for error. Low-tech strategies such as pencil-and-paper writing can be a slow means of communicating. This article covers various higher technologies that can be used to improve communication among deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing individuals.

Speechreading

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Technology for People who Stutter

Individuals who stutter may or may not wish to have assistance with modifying their speech. For those who do, a variety of technologies are available. This article summarizes some of the latest options.

Therapeutic Devices

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What to Expect in an AAC Assessment

A formal evaluation by a speech-language pathologist may be necessary before an appropriate augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is acquired; e.g., if Medicare funding is necessary to cover the cost of the device. Assessments for AAC strategies are somewhat different for children and for adults. This article covers what to expect and look for in evaluations for either audience.

AAC Evaluations for Children

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Dedicated AAC Devices

Although today mainstream products can often be used for alternative and augmentative communication (AAC), there are still some devices that only perform AAC functions. In many cases, insurance companies prefer to fund these dedicated devices instead of mainstream products, in the belief that recipients are less likely to resell them instead of using them. The devices may also have unique features that make them more appropriate for some users. This article is a list of currently available dedicated devices and their features. 

Dynavox

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Using Software to Create Customized Communication Boards

Software programs are available specifically for making custom communication boards that can either be printed out or used onscreen. However, it is also possible to create boards using mainstream software such as Microsoft Word. This article looks at both strategies.

Using Mainstream Programs

The basic principle of creating boards is to create a grid and then type in words and/or add pictures. This can easily be accomplished using mainstream programs, for example:

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Facilitated Communication for AAC Users

Facilitated communication (FC) is a controversial strategy for helping individuals with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Some claim that it gives people a voice for the first time, while others claim that the facilitator, not the AAC user, is actually doing the communicating. This article describes FC and presents arguments from both sides of the controversy.

What is Facilitated Communication (FC)?

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