AACAugmentative and Alternative Communication is the term that encompasses the tools and methodology used to support or replace communication for individuals that have speech or communication impairments.
Technology has always played a huge role in assisting individuals with communication needs allowing for tremendous advancements and growth of those individuals that without AAC technology would not otherwise be able to communicate their thoughts.
With the invention of the iPad the cost for AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) devices and programs has dropped tremendously making it more and more affordable for individuals with communication impairments and communication disabilities.
As a parent of a non-verbal autistic child we have personally used and viewed a wide range of traditional devices that range from $3,000-$15,000 and in the last few years more cost effective iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad apps that while we still have to pay for that device the total cost is less ranging $300-$1,000 depending on the device and app and can be just as or more effective depending on your individual communication needs.
Below we have listed 10 great iPad Apps that can be used for AAC supporting non-verbal communication or assist individuals with limited communication. Each app has varying features and functions depending on your specific needs and range from $50-$300.
Apple Description: LAMP Words For Life™ is a full vocabulary augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) language app that combines the power of the PRC Unity® language system with Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP™) principles and strategies. LAMP™ is a therapeutic approach based on neurological and motor learning principles as well as clinical experiences that address the language development and communication needs of children with autism. It provides a consistent motor pattern for words and a systematic way to develop communication skills allowing for unlimited language growth opportunities. More than 10,000 parents, caregivers, teachers, and clinicians have been trained on LAMP™ worldwide and significant gains in communication ability have been witnessed and documented.
Price as of 9/2012: $299.99
Apple Description: TouchChat for iPod and iPhone is a full-featured communication solution for individuals who have difficulty using their natural voice. TouchChat is designed for individuals with Autism, Down Syndrome, ALS, apraxia, stroke, or other conditions that affect a person’s ability to use natural speech.
Price as of 9/2012: $149.99
Apple Description: Tobii Sono Flex is an easy to use AAC vocabulary app that turns symbols into clear speech. It offers language to nonverbal users who are not yet in full control of literacy. Sono Flex combines the benefits of structure and flexibility, providing a framework for language development, quickly matching individual and situational communication needs. Tobii Sono Flex has been designed to be easy to operate and easy for SLPs, teachers, parents, caregivers or other communication partners to setup and customize.
Price as of 9/2012: $99.99
Apple Description: urTalker Pro is a fully featured communication app providing affordable augmentative and alternative communication. This assistive technology app comes with fully customizable grid or “board” style views for categories and words allowing the user to grow with the app. You can start with simple 1 or 2 word communication views and move all the way up to 16 grid displays for advanced communication needs.
urTalker allow you to leverage the camera and audio on the iPad to add your own picture and sounds so individuals can fully personalize the app with their home, food, therapy or related items that help them communicate.
App Price as of 5/2013: $24.99
Apple Description: Get Talking™ is a powerful Augmented Alternative Communication (AAC) text-to-speech (TTS) App that provides a user friendly and cool assisted communication solution for people who have difficulty speaking. Developed for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, it uses natural sounding male and female voices, an expandable default word library, and is a fraction of the cost of traditional AAC devices.
App price as of 9/2012: $209.99
Apple Description: Proloquo2Go is a full-featured augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solution for people who have difficulty speaking. Proloquo2Go provides natural sounding text-to-speech voices (CURRENTLY ENGLISH ONLY), a high resolution library of over 14,000 symbols, powerful automatic conjugations, two researched-based vocabulary organizations, advanced word prediction, multiuser support, and the ability to fully customize vocabularies for users along a broad continuum of abilities, from beginning symbolic communication to full literacy.
App Price as of 9/2012: $189.99
Apple Description: Voice4u is an simple application that consists numerous of fun and memorable images that can help assist and improve language. There could be countless reasons of why individuals may be struggling with impeding communication; ie. could be due to autism, stroke, language barrier, traumatic brain injury, etc. It can be a frustrating process for both the struggling individual, and the ones around him/her. But with Voice4U, you can easily bridge the communication gap and have a more better and accurate understanding of the individual’s wants and needs. Voice4U is easy to use, light weight(use it anywhere/anytime), and comes with an affordable price tag of $49.99.
App Price as of 9/2012: $49.99
Apple Description: iCommunicate lets you design visual schedules, storyboards, communication boards, routines, flash cards, choice boards, speech cards, and more. It is customizable to your needs.
App price as of 9/2012: $49.99
App Name: MyTalkTools Mobile
Apple Description: MyTalkTools Mobile for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad enables people with communication difficulties to express their needs and desires to those around them. Your purchase provides permanent access to MyTalk Mobile (totally stand alone software)and a 30 day trial of optional MyTalk Workspace. Together, they represent a major breakthrough in augmentative, alternative communications (AAC) by making it easy to customize how you communicate through a variety of images, pictures, symbols, video and audio files including human voice. In 5 minutes, you can create your very own content and communicate in a way that YOU choose. You also won’t have to worry about losing or breaking your device as all information is backed up on MyTalk Workspace. MyTalk offers ease of use and time-savings in a portable, effective, and cool communication tool. MyTalk helps people communicate in a whole new way.
App Price as of 9/2012: $49.99
Apple Description: The communication and learning platform designed specifically for autism. For many visual learners, AutisMate’s scene-based approach to delivering therapy can be more effective and easier to understand than traditional grid-based augmentative communication (AAC). Hierarchal grid-based AAC was developed for a wide variety of communication disabilities and requires generalization, categorization and complex navigation that can be very difficult for many learners on the spectrum.
App Price as of 9/2012: $51.99