My latest app review is a slightly different format where I’m making a direct comparison between 6 apps for roughly the same purpose. All of these allow the user to touch symbols on the screen, producing audio from the iPad, as a method of communication. I’ve noted some of my concerns around using AACs, which were originally developed for people with a physical barrier to speech (e.g. cerebral palsy) on this previous blog post. Following chats with people over the issue at a recent conference, I’m conitnue to be genuinely torn. One issue which was raised by a mother of a child with cerebral palsy who uses a dedicated AAC machine (the Liberator) is that once someone has become accustomed to using a device to communicate, it is then impossible to withdraw that device as it is like forcing someone to be mute. This makes the decision of whether to start to use an AAC app even more weighty. On the other hand, a highly resepected speech and language therapist suggested that the risk of using AAC is minimised by the fact that it is always easier and quicker just to speak – so someone who can speak will always use that option preferentially.
Anyhow, app review below, followed by screen shots from each of the communicators I reviewed, which were: Proloquo2Go, Speak4Yourself, TASUC, iMyVoice, TouchChatHD, and WordsonWheels. In case it isn’t clear, if you’re looking to purchase an AAC app I would say Proloquo2Go is certainly the best but to test the concept out more cheaply first you could experiment with iMyVoice for anyone with minimal technological skills, or WordsOnWheels for more able people.