This blog focuses on success stories, ideas, supports, services and many more areas in which we can empower people with different abilities in having equal access to the world. Everyone is welcome to join in this conversation. It includes research, experience and opinion. We need to talk about these areas and continue to look at ways to do things better. We have not been doing any of this long enough to be satisfied with what we have. Complacency is not an option for anyone.
The Proxtalker has been
available for a while and has originally been marked as a voice output PECS
(picture exchange communication system) system.At a recent demonstration we discussed some additional uses which are
quite valuable. Attaching tangible
symbols which are then linked voice output opens up the availability of additional
language information for students who require more concrete supports and
representations. It allows you to string together sentences, phrases and more
complex material for engagement.
ProxPad Choice Maker
allows the student to engage with tangible symbols as well, but in a simpler
format. Tangible symbols can be programmed to make choices, simple comments, as
core words/vocabulary as well as using them for other communicative functions.
Tangible symbols have been used for decades. They are often
a transition tool used to support the movement from concrete understanding to
more abstract ones. One of the struggles which can be present at times, is that
we do not have the same ways to provide immediate feedback when they are used
by the student (unless everything is one to one). Having voice output available
will now allow the teacher and student to engage in gradual distancing. Distancing
involves the communication partner gradually moving back so that the student
learns they are present but not immediately available while still supporting
the initiation of communication at any time. Having voice output facilitates engagement
at a distance and reinforces more abstract thinking about language, people,
interactions and the environment. Having a better path and options to support
language and communication is critical for student with more complex disabilities.