The DYnamic Therapy Associates Blog
After hearing a little buzz about Therapy Box's new AAC app, Chatable, I was excited to get a chance to try it out this month. It has some nifty features that give it a lot of potential for our AAC users.
Features I like:
All in all Chatable is an AAC app with robust options. A great place to start with AAC and, with the help of an SLP to develop a relevant vocabulary set, a system which can meet the needs of many beginning communicators.
I was given a copy of Chatable to review. We are given access to many AAC apps but only discuss ones we believe have therapeutic value for our families.
Features video from Therapy Box
The first text-2-speech app on our blog, Predictable is the Bomb! (for you Brits, that means I like it a lot:) I love the features of this app. Direct selection, scanning with switch and scanning by touchscreen. Users have a traditional keyboard with solid word prediction (hence the name, I'm guessing!) and a "dyslexia setting" that predicts words that are misspelled. What a great feature! More to come on this subject after I test it out with my favorite patient with dyslexia.
Predictable also includes additional messaging options. You can copy and paste your messages from the app. An added bonus for us social media fans: simple access to Twitter, Facebook and texting (and email if that's how you roll).. I just tweeted my first tweet from Predictable and had a "favorite" in less than 30 seconds. Clearly a good interface.
The traditional feature of this app are slick as well. Access methods include direct selection, scanning with switch and scanning by touchscreen. Messaging options include the keyboard and word prediction, of course, but also user modifiable stored phrases to increase rate of communication. There is a history feature so users can quickly access frequently constructed messages as well.
A very solid AAC app for our spelling friends!
Disclosure: DTA is a resource center for Therapy Box Apps as well as a variety of other AAC app developers and device manufacturers. We have long term loans for dedicated devices and professional AAC apps donated to our clinic for patient trials.
Compass comes with its own research based core word pages but also gives families and professionals the option of using either Gateway or WordPower for sentence building (core word strategy). The Compass Core Word set is a little harder for us to get used to, primarily because it is presented in a different format than the traditional Gateway and WordPower we've seen for many years. I did a little reading and asking around and found that there is a lot of research out there about the need for core word instruction but not so much about HOW we're supposed to do it. I am curious how the strategy in Compass works for our patients. The hardest part about this particular method of displaying core words is simply that there are no visual cues for word meaning, category or order in a sentence. Is that bad? I'm not sure, but as a therapist I depend on using visual cues to teach, so I'm struggling a bit with this format. For now, I'm defaulting back to my comfort zone with WordPower and Gateway but I'm not writing off the new Core format quite yet.
Disclosure: DTA is a high volume AAC evaluation center. As such we have long term loans for dedicated speech generating devices and professional AAC apps donated to our clinic for patient trials.
About the Author: I am a SLP who has the distinct fortune of having a job that is also my passion. I have been an AAC Specialist for almost 25 years in schools and my private clinic. I currently own Dynamic Therapy with my husband, Chuck (also of 25 years) who is my business partner and enabler. We have a wonderful staff of SLPs & AAC Specialists who work with us to help our patients. I hope you find my blog helpful as you join me in our journey with our unique and amazing friends! Vicki Clarke, MS CCC-SLP