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Assistive Technology/AAC Archive 2009

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Betsy A. Caporale, M.S. CCC-SLP-.
Speech-Language Pathologist
AAC/AT Specialist

Betsy has been working in the field of speech-language pathology for over 18 years, specializing in autism, augmentative communication and assistive technology. She has worked in a variety of settings, including public schools, private clinics, and hospitals. She received her certification as an Assistive Technology Specialist, Communication Services, from the University of South Florida, and earned a Certificate of Competency in Communication Assistive Technology Applications from the National Association of State Directors of Special Education.

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  • The iPhone as an assistive communication device.

Question:

I’ve heard there is a new program for the iPhone that allows it to be used as a communication device. Do you know anything about it? I’m considering looking into it for my 10 year old autistic son.


Answer:

Yes, I am very familiar with this program. In April of this year, AssistiveWare came out with a robust, dynamic screen communication application called Proloquo2Go. You can download this application, which is purchased through iTunes, on either an iPhone or an iPod Touch. I have had the opportunity to conduct trials with Proloquo2Go on many different students. The platform is extremely user-friendly, and the system can be customized for a variety of users across age and ability levels. Here are some of the practical and unique features of Proloquo2Go:

  • VocaSpace: a very impressive vocabulary system: 6897 items organized into 288 categories.
  • Auto-Morphology: an automatic pluralization and conjugation feature which can be turned on or off
  • Voices: nine voices (including a child’s voice) with customizable rate and pitch
  • Appearance options: list view, grid view, message window, six button size choices, seven background and text color choices
  • Symbols: uses SymbolStix button icons, but you can add your own photos. You can also choose to use text only.
  • Editing: adding new items or editing existing items can be done quickly and easily right on the iPhone or iPod Touch.
  • Cost: the total price of the iPhone or iPod Touch with Proloquo2go is a fraction of the cost of similar hand-held aac devices.

Since I don’t know anything about your son’s skill levels, I can’t advise whether or not this would be an appropriate device for him. Be sure to consult with a speech-language pathologist and your son’s educational team to determine this. Your son will also require ongoing support from this team to assure the successful implementation of Proloquo2Go, or any other augmentative communication system.

To find out more about Proloquo2Go, you can visit their website at www.proloquo2go.com.

Betsy