Monday, December 9, 2013

Proxtalker & ProxPad Choice Maker

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.


ProxPad with tactile symbols Video

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