Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Android Apps & Google Tools for Augmentative Communication (AAC)
Having choices in types of AAC devices and platforms is key as we continue to expand in the area of augmentative & alternative communication (AAC). We have many more access methods, sizes and functionality across various AAC devices. As we continue to expand in this critical area, we must push for even more options across other types of devices including tablets from a variety of makers. This has been very slow in developing. Apple products and Apple compatible applications have led the way in this area. Android is slowly catching up and needs to continue to improve in this area. Man of the Android devices include gorilla glass and are water resistant which support the more typical use they may see from some of our younger AAC users. They should be explored when considering AAC options. Saltillo takes Android devices and repurposes them using some of the more advanced communication software. These devices although less expensive than some; are still thousands of dollars. The high durability and tablet base are a clear strength. For a typical Android tablet (generally low in cost), there are AAC applications available although the list is somewhat limited. I have included a limited list below. It is certainly something to think about when trying to meet the needs of students and adults who could benefit from an AAC system.
Create an image dictionary through Google Chrome: Chrome Web Store - Image Dictionary . This is a wonderful tool to use and have your students create an image based dictionary they can organize and add to throughout the school year. This will benefit all students including those with disabilities and those who are second language learners. Read & Write for Google Docs is another free tool that can be sued to support vocabulary development. Take a look at the brief video below.