What is AAC?

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) provides a means of communication for people who lack the ability to speak or read. Link to an article about AAC.
Most dedicated AAC devices cost in the $6,000 to $11,500 range and just the mounting bracket on the back to attach the device to a post costs almost as much as a new iPad mini. The entire hardware to attach an ipad to a wheelchair costs under $100.

I hope every parent of a non-verbal child will watch this 10 minute video
Maya finds her voice, and read her parents’ site from which the video was taken. Remember that the “experts” are not always right. If you let people persuade you to have low expectations of what you child will be able to do, you cheat your child and yourself out of a richer life.

I came across a website which lists many iphone/ipad apps for children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) http://itaalk.org
To check their top 30 lists. Click on the resources tab to find the lists. There are two lists: one for pre-refers and one for readers. You’re sure to find some useful apps here.

In the three years since the iPad was introduced, Apple has made many innovations to their operating system which enhance the iPad/ iphone’s use for people with disabilities. It is now possible to “lock a person from going to another app” by accident when using the device for verbal communications Read the full article

Two great pieces of AAC software :

TalkTablet HD uses the symbol stix library and is priced at $79 for the version which has a choice of three voices. I’ve tried dozens of apps for speech, but TalkTablet is my favorite. It is so easy and fast to program a new page or button, and the website has many easy to understand tutorial videos. While it’s not quite as full featured as Proloquo2go, TalkTablet seems to meet the AAC needs of most people.
Assistive Chat is a predictive word processor app for people who can read but not speak. Price $24.99

Here is a list of the AAC software I’ve chosen to put on our loaner iPads:
TalkTablet, Assistive Chat, Proloquo2go, iMean, EZSpeech, OneVoice, AAC Flip Writer, Spell Better, Speak It, Verbally, MyTalkTools, TapToTalk, ComApp, Pictello, Voice4U, First Then, and Expressive. If you live in the middle TN area, you may borrow a device to try the software before you buy.

Video from New York Times: After watching the video you will begin to understand how the iPad has opened so many possibilities for people with special needs.
Scroll down the page to see the Tap to Talk video.

Another way

A really low cost alternative for you to have an AAC device in your pocket for $150 is to use a Nintendo DS (any version will do); I’m using a Nintendo DS lite as a demo for clients. The software is TapToTalk and you can use it on iPad, iphone/touch, Android devices, and Nintendo DS. It took me a while to discover how to make the web interface work, and to transfer the files to the Nintendo, but now that I’ve learn, I can teach you. If you don’t want to do it yourself, I’ll do it for you for a reasonable fee. Use the contact me link, include your phone number, and I’ll contact you to discuss your needs. Check the AAC software page to read about my experiences with the various options.