Sunday, November 7, 2010

More AAC Apps Coming to iPad

The world of AAC is opening up even more.  A number of new iPhone/iTouch/iPad apps are being added to the broad field of AAC apps in the iTunes App Store.

First TouchChat by Satillo offers the advantages of a well known and widely used AAC system that has been around for over a decade since the original ChatPC on the iDevices.  Four vocabulary page sets come with the TouchChat - VocabPC, MultiChat15, Spelling and Primary.  A number of other vocabulary page sets can be purchased if more suitable such as Inman Innovations Word Power and PRC's iEssence for literate users.  The TouchChat uses SymbolStix symbols with over 8,000 available.  TouchChat offers something unique to complete iDevice AAC systems - a sharing site where page sets can be posted and used by others.  The TouchChat app is $149 with additional costs for more vocabulary page sets and $59 for six months access to iShare.  A Windows based desktop editor is also available for $59, it must be used with a subscription to iShare.  This allows off-device programming.  The device also offers a choice of five synthesized voices.

Conley Solutions is adding a full AAC app to its Tap Speak Button and TapSpeak Sequence apps.  Tap Speak Choices uses Mayer-Johnson Pictures Symbols, allows 1-56 buttons per page, has drag 'n' drop editing and is one or two switch accessible using RJ Cooper's Bluetooth Switch Interace ($99).  No price has been listed for Tap Speak Choices nor is the type of speech listed - recorded or synthesized.

Smarty Ears is also offering an AAC app now, although much less compelling than either of those above or the original Proloquo2Go.  Smarty Ears AAC app is called Expressive.  It uses non-standardized clip art images, many of which are confusing (i.e. verbs is two clasped hands).  There are male or female voice options.  Expressive is $34.99.

It should be noted that some smaller, innovative health insurance companies, such as Fallon in the Northeast, are now funding iDevice based AAC. 

Finally RJ Cooper mentions on his site that ALL of the AAC Apps will be adding switch access.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for all of your posts about AAC on new devices. I am a special education teacher from the states working in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia teaching local students.

    I have a question for you. Do you have any recommendation for a speech device that is not so sensitive, like the i-pad is. I have a student with CP and he drags his hand and uses the grid as a guide to use his GoTalk,but the GoTalk is definitely not the best device for his level. I would like him to be able to use a device with multiple pages with one press of a button. For example, he chooses to listen to music and it opens the music application. The problem with the i-pad now, is that it is too sensitive. When he drags his hand or accidentally presses another button it opens up other things. A device with a time delay would be best. Are they doing that with i-pads to decrease the sensitivity?

    Thanks so much!

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  2. Great info!!! Do you by any chance know if any of this has other languages, such as spanish?

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  3. roreyandcody I recommend working with a speech therapist to find the right device. Your very brief description makes me think a Dynavox Maestro might be s good choice. The keyguard on it is excellent. Another option is to find someone local to build a keyguard for the iPad. I am working on that here.

    Good luck.

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