AAC apps list updated

AAC apps list updated

I’m very pleased to say that I have just updated the AAC apps list again! This time 106 of the existing apps have been updated and there are 23 new apps.  You can see a list of all the Additions and Updates by clicking here. There are a few trends that I noticed as I was updating the list this time that I thought were worth mentioning. Firstly, lots of the apps are now using the iOS embedded voices –  most of the apps that previously had poor quality or internet based voices are now using this option instead which…

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Switch Accessible Apps List: Updated!

Switch Accessible Apps List: Updated!

It has been quite some time since we updated our switch accessible apps list  – nearly 18 months in fact!  During this time we have been focusing on the Switch Control built into iOS and learning the range of options it now provides.  However we definitely recognise that there is still a place for those apps that have simpler switch options for individuals who are learning to use a switch and so we decided it was time for a long overdue update! Since the last (long ago) update, we have found 47 new apps with inbuilt switch options separate from…

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Keedogo & Keedogo Plus: Custom Keyboards for the iPad

Keedogo & Keedogo Plus: Custom Keyboards for the iPad

Recently Apple released iOS8 – and once again there were a number of accessibility features added with this update. For a round up of accessibility changes and additions check out the excellent summary from AbleNet – iOS8 Accessibility. One of the new features is the ability for developers to create their own onscreen keyboards for the iPad and iPhone.  There are several alternative keyboards already available – and AssistiveWare was very quick to release their own options, called Keedogo and Keedogo Plus. Keedogo and Keedogo Plus are large font, simple keyboards available in both QWERTY and ABC arrangements. They work…

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Using the AAC apps list

Using the AAC apps list

It’s October, so it’s International AAC Awareness Month. As a result I thought it was time to blog about one of the most accessed resources on this website – the AAC apps list. Earlier this year we needed to do some changes to the AAC apps list because it was getting too big for the previous format. Recent comments on the QIAT listserve made me realise that I hadn’t explained those changes – so this blog post will serve as the explanation. There is now a central page for the AAC apps list which can be accessed from the AAC…

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Picture Books for Older Readers Update

Picture Books for Older Readers Update

It’s the end of the Book Week here in Australia – so I thought I’d do a quick book based post. Early in August I wrote a post about Picture Books for Older Readers which is linked to a Pinterest Board of the same name.  I’ve had several people ask me for a text based version of the Pinterest Board – so I’ve created this and you can now download it here. Thanks to all the people who’ve suggested extra books for the list – please keep the suggestions coming!  And I hope you’ve enjoyed reading lots of books for…

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ISAAC 2014 Handouts

ISAAC 2014 Handouts

The ISAAC 2014 Conference in Lisbon was fabulous! Big congratulations to the Conference Co-Chairs, Luis Azevedo, Margarida Nunes da Ponte, Pedro Encarnação and Isabel Amaral. Also a big thanks and congratulations to ISAAC, the organisers and everyone involved, including the amazing volunteers who were such good hosts. For those of you who attended my sessions at ISAAC, I’ve finally written this very short post to provide links to handouts from all the sessions I presented and co-presented.  Thanks for the email reminders from people! Pre-Conference Workshops Speaking APPropriately: AAC & Apps (Jane Farrall) (click to download text handout)   “There…

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Picture Books for Older Readers

Picture Books for Older Readers

I often get asked for suggestions of picture books for older readers.  Books, written at a simple level, that have content to appeal to teenagers or adults. Tar Heel Reader is the best source I’ve found for books like this – but there are also many commercially available books that meet this need. The fabulous Sally Clendon says that her criteria for a picture book for older readers is one that makes her laugh. I couldn’t agree more – if the book can get an adult (or group of adults) laughing then it’s a great one to use with early…

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Brain Computer Interface at ISAAC 2014

Brain Computer Interface at ISAAC 2014

Last week I was very fortunate to attend the ISAAC Conference in Portugal.  One of the highlights for me was learning more about Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) and even getting to try one. Dr Melanie Fried-Oken, who is a really fabulous and practical researcher in the area of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) presented about the work they are doing with BCIs at Oregon Health & Science University. While she made it very clear that this technology is still in development stage, with researchers rather than users driving the direction at the moment, she also said that the technology is…

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AGOSCI Big Mouth Literacy Camp

AGOSCI Big Mouth Literacy Camp

This is a belated post about the 2014 Big Mouth Literacy Camp – but I headed off to the ISAAC Conference straight after camp and didn’t get a chance to write this until today. Big Mouth Camp was a different event this year as it had a literacy AND AAC theme for the first time. 25 AAC users and 20 adults attended the camp, which was held at Glenallen School in Melbourne over the July school holidays. The whole group The theme was “Prank Patrol” and lots of writing instructions on how to do pranks and writing about pranks after…

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AAC: Systemic Change for Individual Success

AAC: Systemic Change for Individual Success

The attitudes, beliefs and knowledge of communication partners are pivotal in the success story of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). The people around every individual with complex communication needs must believe that everyone has a right to communicate.  We must provide them with a communication system that enables that right. We must believe in their ability to use language and give them a system that enables them to use language. The people around them must believe in their ability to learn language – and we need to implement aided language input and other forms of language/communication teaching and learning to…

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