Faye Gonzalez, TVI & COMS, 3-4-2013
It is more and more common for students to receive an iPad as their personal Communication Device. The most common Communication apps are designed to provide a large vocabulary to non-verbal students. However, these apps are often challenging for kids who are Visually Impaired and have Multiple Disabilities (VI/MD) to access. The visual-motor integration and visual discrimination skills are often too challenging for kids who are VI/MD typically to be successful. While these communication apps are great for many and may be the right ones for some kids who have visual and multiple disabilities, be cautious. This includes apps such as Proloque2Go http://www.assistiveware.com/ and TouchChat HD http://touchchatapp.com/. There are many apps out there for the iPad that support communication needs and are more commonly applicable to students who are VI/MD – and are more affordable for a teacher to purchase.
http://tapspeak.com/drupal/Sequence - This app turns your iPad into a sequenced message device (aka Step-by-Step). The app will play back a series of recorded messages in order. You can customize the image displayed for each message. The default background is black; the display is visually very simple.
Yes No HD
http://www.simplifiedtouch.com/SimplifiedTouch/YesNoHD.html - This app allows you to record speech for two button pairs. It has a great black background with the ability to change the button colors and use photos or other images. It is very straightforward and easy to use.
http://www.ablenetinc.com/Assistive-Technology/Communication/SoundingBoard - This app allows you to create communication boards in a variety of layouts, from 1 to 9 buttons. Users can direct select or use a Bluetooth switch scanning interface. Programming boards include the ability to record messages and use the photo library included, or use your own photos. This software does allow linking between multiple boards. Unfortunately the background color, which is a light tan, cannot be changed. However, it IS a FREE app, with wide-reaching capabilities thanks to the linking and switch scanning features.
Now, let’s get our kids talking!