It’s an app for literate individuals with complex communication impairment such as cerebral palsy, dyspraxia, motor neuron disease, aphasia etc.
When I first opened the app, a wizard guided me through some simple steps to name who will use the app and choose a voice. This created a User. You can create many Users so that specific settings can be saved for each User. This is particularly handy for a therapist or teacher who is trialling the app with a number of people.
The layout provides for easy use and gives you quick access to the Text Pad where you write all your messages and then 5 different Quick Blocks for phrase categories, word prediction, sentence prediction, history of messages and quick talk (for common words and phrases). You can change the Quick Blocks’ position and visibility in Options and navigate between them using the Quick Block Toggles.
It doesn’t take long to move around different menus and work out how to make customisations to suit the individual user. If you want to change the layout of the screen or the appearance of font, colour and text size – you can! If you want to edit and add your own phrases and quick talk options – you can! If you want to use speech feedback with highlighting for words or sentences – you can! If you need to use switch control due to physical impairments – you can! If you want to save all your customisations for a User, using iTunes file sharing or Dropbox – you can!
Assistiveware are leading the AAC app choices with their great range of voice options. You can choose from 15 different languages with 85 Acapela voices. Of course the Australian ones have the adult male Tyler, adult female Lisa, young boy Liam and young girl Olivia to choose from. I love those children’s voices!
Anything that you have typed can be shared via email, text message, Twitter and Facebook. You can also copy text to another app. I can see many teenagers enjoying these publishing features!
There are loads of features you can access in the Options menu. Check out the User Guide to see details of them all. However, one of my favourite features is that you can tap on a Quick Talk, Phrase or History item and it will pop it into the Text Pad. But, if you tap and hold, you will hear it speak the text without it popping up in the Text Pad. This is handy for people who are still learning to write/spell and need some speech feedback to support the writing process.
This app is available at a 50% introductory discount until 31st December (in the Australian store). It’s definitely worth checking it out!