Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Communication App Breakdown

by Rachel Anderson, Program Coordinator

There are many different reasons and ways for people to use AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) devices.  There are high-tech and low-tech communication devices utilizing graphics, text or a combination of both. With all of the new and ever-advancing digital communication options, choices and cost can be overwhelming.

Are you looking to try out  a free or low-cost AAC App?  Here is a great list put together by the Accessible Technology Coalition

After trying a few of free communication apps on an iPad, I found each to have their own unique design. I would encourage anyone shopping around for an app to try out the free or lite versions of several communication apps first to see what aspects of them you like or don’t like. 

For me, an AAC and iPad novice, I found the app Verbally to be most user-friendly.  I especially liked the text prediction aspect of it and found it to be a very intuitive communication device.  Having never really used an iPad, I was able to pick it up and start communicating right away. Furthermore, Verbally is free and does not require a Wi-Fi or 3G connection to run, which makes it really handy in case you find yourself with no internet service. 

Verbally has no graphics; this is a device for those that can read and type text but have the inability to speak effectively. There are built-in phrases built into this free app that I found very helpful – such as “I use this iPad for Speech.” and “Could you please help me?".   

You can choose a man’s or woman’s voice, and, although a couple of the words I typed came out a bit mispronounced, overall, everything that I said with the iPad was understood.  You will have to turn the volume all the way up for this one, and in a busy and noisy area you will most likely face problems with people being able to hear what you are saying. There is a louder and upgraded version for $100 if you decide that this is the communication app for you.

Have you used Verbally? What communication apps have you tried or found to be useful? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

2 comments:

  1. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
    Portable Wheelchairs

    Keep Posting:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
    Light Wheelchairs

    Keep Posting:)

    ReplyDelete