About OMazing Kids

Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP. 30 years experience in AAC. Retired from clinical practice. OMazing Kids AAC and app consulting.

Teachers Pay Teachers Store Launch – Freebie: 100 Great Kids Picture Books to Target Core Vocabulary for AAC Users

I just launched my OMazing Kids AAC Consulting store on Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT).

My first product is a freebie. In order to access it you’ll need to be logged in to TPT. If you don’t have an account, it’s free to sign up.


Then head over to my store: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Omazing-Kids-Aac-Consulting. Be sure to click “Follow” on my store to get notifications when new items are added and updates are made.


After that be sure to get this freebie: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/100-Great-Kids-Picture-Books-to-Target-Core-Vocabulary-for-AAC-Users-6836821


The best way to reach me with any questions is via messaging on the OMazing Kids Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/. That way AAC related messages don’t get lost among the spam in my e-mail


Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC OMazing Kids AAC Consulting

Teachers Pay Teachers Store: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Omazing-Kids-Aac-Consulting

Ko-Fi: https://ko-fi.com/omazingkidsaac

Personal Professional Facebook Page (linked to OMazing Kids): https://www.facebook.com/angela.moorad (adding “friends” who have a direct role in AAC or Assistive Technology – AAC / AT app or product developers, AAC / AT consultants, SLPs who specialize in AAC, other professionals who specialize in AAC or AT, etc.)

OMazing Kids Business Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/

AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkidsaac/

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/amoorad

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/amoorad1

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

Pepkoo iPad 8th gen case – features

I recently bought this Pepkoo case for my new iPad (8th gen) and here’s what I LOVE about it:

https://youtu.be/83R_tk-5aig

* Nice thick foam with a similar “feel” as my GripCase, deep recessed openings and comfortable shape on the back (easy to hold)

* Good quality plastic case edging around the front of the iPad that does NOT have a built in plastic screen protector. If needed, you could add a Zagg (or other high quality) tempered glass screen protector to your iPad before putting it in the case.

* Built-in stand that can rotate 360 degrees so it can accommodate AAC apps in Portrait and Landscape orientation. The stand lays flush when pushed in so the case doesn’t wobble when it’s used flat on the table / desk.

* Comes in four color combos:

– Green Blue (as seen in this video)

– Blue Mint

– Pink Purple

– Gray Black

* Affordable ($19.99 – $20.99 varies based on the color, prices may vary outside the USA and prices tend to vary over time on Amazon)

PEPKOO iPad 8th 7th Generation Case for Kids – [10.2 inch 2020/2019] Lightweight Shockproof Handle Stand Rugged Cover for Apple iPad 8th 7th Gen 10.2 Inch (Green Blue) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CKCF5FG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_JTW2PR94WYCDCP9X1BZM?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1


Shout out to Christine Baudin (one of the admins in the AAC for the SLP Facebook group) for recommending this case 😊.


The only thing missing is a carrying strap but I’ve seen her share a hack about drilling holes in the top edge of thick foam cases to add a strap. Here’s the link to her YouTube channel: https://youtube.com/user/stineaac1


Note: It’s important to consider what features are needed in a case based on that individual’s needs. I am not making recommendations for individual patients and am not liable for purchasing decisions. Just sharing info that may be helpful as you are looking for cases.


The best way to reach me with any questions is via messaging on the OMazing Kids Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/. That way AAC related messages don’t get lost among the spam in my e-mail


Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC OMazing Kids AAC Consulting


Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/omazingkidsaac


Personal Professional Facebook Page (linked to OMazing Kids): https://www.facebook.com/angela.moorad (adding“friends” who have a direct role in AAC or Assistive Technology – AAC / AT app or product developers, AAC / AT consultants, SLPs who specialize in AAC, other professionals who specialize in AAC or AT, etc.)


OMazing Kids AAC Consulting Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/


AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkidsaac/


Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/amoorad


Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/


Linktree: https://linktr.ee/amoorad1


Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

AAC Feature Matching Chart – updated 4/27/21

The Feature Matching Chart for the Top 10 iOS Symbol-Based Apps was updated today (4/27/21). Recurring monthly subscribers can see a summary of what’s new and get the updated PDF at: https://ko-fi.com/post/Updated-Feature-Matching-Chart-42721-K3K44G5KT


Info about the Feature Matching Chart: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2021/02/18/top-10-ios-symbol-based-aac-app-feature-matching-chart-compiled-by-angela-moorad-ms-ccc-slp-omazing-kids-aac-consulting/


The best way to reach me with any questions is via messaging on the OMazing Kids Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/. That way AAC related messages don’t get lost among the spam in my e-mail


Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC OMazing Kids AAC Consulting


Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/omazingkidsaac


Personal Professional Facebook Page (linked to OMazing Kids): https://www.facebook.com/angela.moorad (adding“friends” who have a direct role in AAC or Assistive Technology – AAC / AT app or product developers, AAC / AT consultants, SLPs who specialize in AAC, other professionals who specialize in AAC or AT, etc.)


OMazing Kids AAC Consulting Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/


AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkidsaac/


Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/amoorad


Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/


Linktree: https://linktr.ee/amoorad1


Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

Time Saving Tip… copy and paste info from my iOS AAC Feature Matching Chart into reports

Open the PDF in the free Xodo app on your computer, use the fabulous search feature to quickly find the info you need, copy text that you need regarding specific features and then paste that into a report. I’ve received several positive comments this week about how helpful it is to have so much info all in one document.

Of course you may need to add to or tweak the info to fit the requirements needed by a particular funding source or particular options being used in the AAC apps.

But all of the app developers reviewed the content in my chart several times so I’m confident that it’s accurate 😊

Be watching for the next update for the chart later this month.

Download links for the free Xodo app can be found on their website: https://www.xodo.com

Info about the Feature Matching Chart: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2021/02/18/top-10-ios-symbol-based-aac-app-feature-matching-chart-compiled-by-angela-moorad-ms-ccc-slp-omazing-kids-aac-consulting/


The best way to reach me with any questions is via messaging on the OMazing Kids Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/. That way AAC related messages don’t get lost among the spam in my e-mail


Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC OMazing Kids AAC Consulting

Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/omazingkidsaac

Personal Professional Facebook Page (linked to OMazing Kids): https://www.facebook.com/angela.moorad (adding“friends” who have a direct role in AAC or Assistive Technology – AAC / AT app or product developers, AAC / AT consultants, SLPs who specialize in AAC, other professionals who specialize in AAC or AT, etc.)

OMazing Kids AAC Consulting Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/

AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkidsaac/

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/amoorad

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/amoorad1

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

Most Widely Used AAC Symbols

There was a post in the AAC for SLP Facebook group today where a member asked the following question:

“Hi all! I’m not sure there is even an answer for this question, but I’m going to go for it anyway. 😉 Is there one symbol set that is most widely used? I am only familiar with SymbolStix and PCS. To be specific, I’m not looking for people’s preferences… I am truly just interested on any data/study that demonstrate(s) which is most widely used.😊


I hadn’t ever seen a list or data/study that had this exact info. To truly know which symbol set is most widely used for high tech AAC you’d need to have data regarding sales of SGDs, sales of AAC apps, sales of symbol sets via in-app purchases and data regarding their actual use. My guess is this is going to vary greatly across the world and influenced by both the language(s) needed by a particular AAC user and the opinions of SLPs / SLTs about certain apps or SGDs.

To truly know which symbol set is most widely used for paper-based AAC you’d need to have data regarding sales and subscriptions and then a way to determine actual use for AAC vs. all the other possible uses for those symbols.

See this separate post for info about Apps & Websites to Create Materials with Symbols: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2020/08/25/apps-websites-to-create-materials-with-symbols-on-an-ipad-iphone-list-compiled-by-angela-moorad-ms-ccc-slp-at-omazing-kids/

But it sparked my curiosity about what symbol sets are either included or available via in-app purchase in iOS AAC apps. So I looked through my vast AAC app collection and came up with the following list of symbol sets.


Based on the data that I collected, SymbolStix appears to be the most widely used (used in the most apps, available in 7 of the top 10 iOS symbol-based AAC apps – denoted by (*) in the lists below & available in traditional SGDs)


PCS symbols are commonly used (available in 6 of the top 10 iOS symbol-based AAC apps – denoted by (*) in the lists below). Especially if you factor in paper-based AAC systems like PODD and their use in traditional SGDs)


Widgit is more commonly used in the UK than the USA (available in 3 of the top 10 iOS symbol-based AAC apps – denoted by (*) in the lists below & traditional SGDs)


Minspeak symbols (and the closely associated symbols used in LAMP Words for Life) are only used in particular SGDs and that app but those are widely used.


More info about the Top 10 iOS Symbol-Based AAC apps: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2021/02/18/top-10-ios-symbol-based-aac-app-feature-matching-chart-compiled-by-angela-moorad-ms-ccc-slp-omazing-kids-aac-consulting/


My Data:

SymbolStix:

1. aacorn+

2. Alexicom

3. Avaz (*)

4. Bridge Communication

5. Clicker Communicator (*)

6. CoughDrop (can add-on) (*)

7. GoTalk Now / GoTalk Now Plus (*)

8. Grid 3 on SmartBox SGDs (also available on other SGDs)

9. Grid for iPad (*)

10. Grid Player

11. Proloquo2Go (*)

12. simPODD

13. So Much 2 Say

14. Sono Flex

15. Talk Tablet

16. TouchChat with WordPower (*), also available on Saltillo SGDs

PCS:

1. Chatable

2. Clicker Communicator (*)

3. CoughDrop (can add-on) (*)

4. GoTalk Now (as in-app purchase) (*)

5. Grid 3 on SmartBox SGDs (also available on other SGDs)

6. Grid for iPad (*)

7. Snap Core First (also available on Windows devices and Tobii Dynavox SGDs) (*)

8. TouchChat with WordPower (as in-app purchase) (*), also available on Saltillo SGDs

Widgit:

1. Clicker Communicator (*)

2. GoTalk Now / GoTalk Now Plus (as in-app purchase) (*)

3. Grid 3 on SmartBox SGDs (also available on other SGDs)

4. Grid for iPad (*)

Open Source Symbols (most available on this website: https://www.opensymbols.org):

1. Cboard

2. ChatterBoards

3. CommBoards

4. CoughDrop (*)

5. ElineSpeaks

6. Leeloo

7. LetMeTalk

8. MyTalk

9. PhotoVOCA

10. Posco

11. SpeakProse (emojis)

12. SymboTalk

CrickPix:

1. Clicker Communicator (*)

GoTalk Image Library:

1. GoTalk Now / GoTalk Now Plus (*)

LessonPix:

1. CoughDrop (*) (can sync with your LessonPix account).

LessonPix is also widely used to make printed AAC options.

MetaCom (used fairly frequently in Germany)

1. GoTalk Now / GoTalk Now Plus (as in-app purchase) (*)

2. MetaTalkUS

3. Snap Core First (as in-app purchase) (*)

Minspeak:

1. Unity on Accent SGDs

Multi-Meaning symbols derived from Minspeak & Unity:

1. LAMP Words for Life (*), also on Accent SGDs

Persona:

1. Talk Suite Pro

Pics for PECS:

1. PECS IV+

Pixon (also related to Minspeak/ Unity):

1. TouchChat with WordPower (as in-app purchase) (*), also available on Saltillo SGDs

Smarty Symbols:

1. ASD AAC Bestie Communicator

2. Expressive

3. Speak for Yourself (*)

4. Quick Talk AAC

Smarty Symbols are also widely used to make printed AAC options, in products on Teachers Pay Teachers and in a few non-AAC apps.

There are other AAC apps and SGDs that have their own unique symbols:

1. CardTalk

2. CoreVoice

3. EESpeech

4. Fluent AAC

5. Grace 4

6. Lingraphica (apps and their SGDs)

7. My First AAC

8. Niki Talk

9. PAROL Mini

10. PictoMaker

11. SoundingBoard

12. Talking Mats

13. Talk to Me

14. Top Taps Speaks

15. Verbal Me

16. Visuals2Go

17. Voice4u

18. Wayword


This website has a nice catalog of all (or at least most) of the various symbol sets. Most are not widely used. I think it’s interesting to read the history behind how/why symbols were developed: https://talksense.weebly.com/symbol-what.html


It’s important to keep in mind… Symbol sets are like any other feature in AAC. There isn’t any “one size fits all” and to my knowledge there isn’t any research supporting the idea that any particular symbol set is superior to another. This is especially true when considering symbols that meet specific needs, user preferences, culturally relevant, etc…


See this quote from PrAACtical AAC: “There is no empirical evidence that one type of symbol is superior to another for all AAC clients, but there may certainly be differences for a specific individual. That’s why it is a best practice to evaluate the kind of symbol to use as part of an AAC assessment rather than picking one at random or using one based on our own convenience.”

https://praacticalaac.org/praactical/using-multiple-aac-symbol-sets-and-systems-with-aac-learners-considerations-for-thoughtful-interventionists/


And this post from NWACS:

https://www.nwacs.info/blog/2019/3/aac-and-symbol-selection


The best way to reach me with any questions is via messaging on the OMazing Kids Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/. That way AAC related messages don’t get lost among the spam in my e-mail


Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC OMazing Kids AAC Consulting

Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/omazingkidsaac

Personal Professional Facebook Page (linked to OMazing Kids): https://www.facebook.com/angela.moorad (adding“friends” who have a direct role in AAC or Assistive Technology – AAC / AT app or product developers, AAC / AT consultants, SLPs who specialize in AAC, other professionals who specialize in AAC or AT, etc.)

OMazing Kids AAC Consulting Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/

AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkidsaac/

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/amoorad

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/amoorad1

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

** Updated ** Feature Matching Chart for the Top 10 iOS Symbol-Based Apps (updated 3/24/21)

** Updated ** Feature Matching Chart for the Top 10 iOS Symbol-Based Apps (updated 3/24/21). Recurring monthly subscribers can see a summary of what’s new and get the updated PDF at: https://ko-fi.com/post/AAC-Feature-Matching-Chart–updated-32421-D1D6421AD

———-

Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC OMazing Kids AAC Consulting

Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/omazingkidsaac

AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkidsaac/

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/amoorad

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/amoorad1

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

Pocket Sized AAC

I had a few older kids, teens and young adults that preferred the portability and the “look” of pocket-sized AAC. There are several iOS AAC apps that can be used on an iPhone or iPod Touch. This allows it to fit in a pocket. Some used it as an alternative to their larger device. Others used it as their primary AAC.

Here are the iOS AAC apps that can work on these smaller devices that I’ve found the most helpful. Each of these has unique features and vary in how robust they are. Some of the features may be slightly different than those seen on an iPad or iPad Mini.

Symbol-based apps for iPhone & iPod Touch:
* Avaz
* Bridge Communication
* CoreVoice
* CoughDrop
* Proloquo2go (can also be used in a limited way on an Apple Watch)
* Speak for Yourself
* Touchchat with WordPower

Text-based apps for iPhone & iPod Touch:
* ClaroCom
* Dialogue AAC
* Flip Writer AAC Pocket
* Predictable
* Proloquo4Text
* SayIt
* Speech Assistant
* Talk Assist
* Talk for Me
* Talkie
* Type and Speak
* QuickType
* Vocable

There are lots of other specialty AAC apps than can be used on an iPhone or iPod Touch. Many are designed for use in medical situations or can be helpful for very specific situations. See this post on for screenshots of how I have them organized in folders on my iPhone: https://www.facebook.com/174264525957894/posts/3917269238324052/?d=n.

Several additional apps are featured in these posts about free and affordable AAC apps: https://bit.ly/3tGLcbR (symbol-based) & https://bit.ly/3158zQg (text-based)

Looking for fundable / dedicated / managed pocket-sized AAC? It’s unlikely that you could get an iPhone funded as a SGD / DME but some funding sources may consider an iPod Touch with a robust AAC app in a durable case.

If your particular funding source won’t, then take a look at these four small dedicated SGDs that are about the same size as an iPhone. The first three allow a choice between several apps.

ProSlate 4D: https://www.forbesaac.com/proslate-4d

QuickTalker Freestyle Touch: https://quicktalkerfreestyle.com/quicktalker-freestyle-touch-product-tour/

wego 5A-D: https://www.talktometechnologies.com/pages/wego-5a-speech-generating-device

NovaChat 5: https://saltillo.com/products/print/nova-chat-5 (limited to their vocabulary options)

Resources:

Feature Matching Chart for the Top 10 iOS Symbol-Based AAC Apps: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2021/02/18/top-10-ios-symbol-based-aac-app-feature-matching-chart-compiled-by-angela-moorad-ms-ccc-slp-omazing-kids-aac-consulting/
.
Fundable iOS-Based AAC Devices: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2021/03/12/fundable-ios-based-aac-devices/. Other sizes of devices & quite a bit more funding info that you may find helpful.

Of course there are lots of other fundable larger tradional SGDs. Check with your local AAC vendor reps to discuss those options. There are also several pocket-sized or wearable mid-tech devices that could be considered.


Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC OMazing Kids AAC Consulting
Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/omazingkidsaac

OMazing Kids AAC Consulting Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/

AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkidsaac/

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/amoorad

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/amoorad1

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

Backup AAC Customized Programming

It’s critical to backup customized programming in any AAC apps. This includes making sure that you’ve backed it up in at least one way outside of the iPad. The options for doing this vary by app.

Here are links to where you can find the instructions for several AAC apps:

Resources:

Feature Matching Chart for the Top 10 iOS Symbol-Based AAC Apps: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2021/02/18/top-10-ios-symbol-based-aac-app-feature-matching-chart-compiled-by-angela-moorad-ms-ccc-slp-omazing-kids-aac-consulting/

Guided Access + toggling off the ability to delete apps, to install apps and to make in-app purchases: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2020/10/20/using-guided-access-to-prevent-exiting-an-app-updated-info-for-2020/


Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC OMazing Kids AAC Consulting

Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/omazingkidsaac

Personal Professional Facebook Page (linked to OMazing Kids): https://www.facebook.com/angela.moorad (adding“friends” who have a direct role in AAC or Assistive Technology – AAC / AT app or product developers, AAC / AT consultants, SLPs who specialize in AAC, other professionals who specialize in AAC or AT, etc.)

OMazing Kids AAC Consulting Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/

AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkidsaac/

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/amoorad

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/amoorad1

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

Sesame Street “Up Goes the Castle” – Belly Breathing

Fun Sesame Street “Up Goes the Castle” song to go along with belly breathing:

https://youtu.be/o6lgismLjeg


Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC OMazing Kids AAC Consulting

Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/omazingkidsaac

Personal Professional Facebook Page (linked to OMazing Kids): https://www.facebook.com/angela.moorad (adding“friends” who have a direct role in AAC or Assistive Technology – AAC / AT app or product developers, AAC / AT consultants, SLPs who specialize in AAC, other professionals who specialize in AAC or AT, etc.)

OMazing Kids AAC Consulting Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/

AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkidsaac/

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/amoorad

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/amoorad1

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

Fundable iOS-Based AAC Devices

Wanting to get a bundled iPad with a robust AAC app in a durable case funded as a “dedicated” SGD (speech generating device) / DME (durable medical equipment) through Medicaid or insurance?

There are several companies that offer locked/managed/dedicated iOS based devices with a variety of iOS AAC apps as an option. You’ll need to contact each company’s funding department to find out if they are in-network for the funding sources that you are considering. This varies state-by-state:

Several companies that sell traditional SGDs also offer iOS-based devices:

PRC:

Saltillo:

Those outside of the USA can check with these branches of the PRC company:

Smartbox:

Tobii Dynavox:

See this post for info about how to find your local vendor rep: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2021/02/14/how-to-find-info-about-aac-at-companies-and-local-vendor-reps/


If a particular company has a waiting list to borrow a loaner device to trial then you may want to also check with the AT Lending Program in your state.

All states in the USA are supposed to have an Assistive Technology Lending Library program where parents & professionals can borrow AAC devices, iPads with AAC apps & other AT for short-term trial. It’s a great way to try various options out before making purchasing decisions. Find the AT Lending Library in your state: https://www.at3center.net/stateprogram

Even if your state’s program isn’t loaning out equipment due to the pandemic they might have the option to do a short term loan of the software/app.


Another “bundled” option is the Talk Tablet. Based on my experience, that app is not very intuitive to program or to use but I am sharing the info here in case anyone is looking for a less expensive alternative in situations where a funding source isn’t available. Their website is geared towards private pay but be sure to compare the cost of what they offer vs. just putting together your own by buying an iPad, AAC app & case: https://gusinc.com. The iOS version of the app: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/talktablet-pro-autism-aphasia/id1436382584 (+ extra cost of adding a high quality voice via in-app purchase)



We are fortunate in Oklahoma that SoonerCare / Medicaid will consider funding an iPad with a robust AAC app in a durable case as a SGD / DME but they require us to try the full version of the app in order to do a complete feature-match, submit a video of the patient using it and extensive justification as to why that particular option us being recommended. Here in Oklahoma, we can typically only get funding once every 5 years for AAC (with very rare exceptions) so it’s very important to be able to get a good match for that individual’s needs. See details here: https://www.okabletech.org/community/soonercare-provider-for-speech-generating-devices/

{Note: This video is a couple of years old so be sure to check with Oklahoma AbleTech about the current process and requirements}

Oklahoma Able Tech: https://www.ok.gov/abletech/# & great info here: https://www.okabletech.org/at-discovery/speech-communication/

Device Loan Program: https://www.okabletech.org/guide-to-all-services/device-loan-program/

SoonerStart Early Intervention Collaboration: https://www.okabletech.org/community/soonerstart-collaboration/

PreK-12: https://www.okabletech.org/education-services/at-services-for-pk-12/

Another source that I’ve had good success with for funding an iPad with a robust AAC app in a durable case here in Oklahoma is the New Voices grant through Ability Connections Oklahoma: https://www.acok.org  (the funding comes and goes on this grant. See their Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/abilityconnectionoklahoma/).

If you are in Oklahoma, also check out the AAC Funding Guide: https://www.okabletech.org/resources/at-funding-guide/ (those outside of Oklahoma should ask the AT Lending Program in your state if they have a similar resource)

This website has good info regarding potential funding sources: http://ectacenter.org/topics/atech/funding.asp

  • It is best practice to do an AAC eval, feature matching & trial of options. It is important to try out any device and app with the potential user before making a purchasing recommendation or decision. This is also important when using any extra hardware (keyguards, switches, switch interfaces, carrying straps, stands, mounts, etc…) to support AAC use. Many funding sources require documentation regarding a certain number of options being considered and trialed. It is wise to get as much information as you can before you start the process.

 

  • The funding department for the company selling the devices should provide info regarding what’s needed. Read through the definition of “medical necessity” and all the required elements for purchase of a speech generating device (SGD) as durable medical equipment (DME) for that insurance company and/or Medicaid in your state. This will give you both verbiage to include in your report and a checklist of all the bases you need to cover.

 

  • Once you start the funding process you have to be willing to do what it takes under very short timeframes when they request additional video or ask for an addendum for additional information. If you don’t meet their very short timeframes then the request may automatically be denied and you may have to start all over. If you get a denial, find out why and submit an appeal.

 

  • There are many reasons why one would consider a traditional SGD vs. an iPad or any other tablet with an app: durability, warranty, tech support, built-in switch ports for scanning, eye gaze access, etc… But there are many folks who may not have a funding source for a traditional SGD. And there are things about having AAC on an iPad or iPhone that make it a great option for particular users.

 

  • There are situations where you may need to consider an Android tablet instead of an iPad. I recently received info about that platform having many more voice options compared to the iOS voices or voices within AAC apps on an iPad. In some instances an Android tablet may be the only option for voice output in a particular language. An example of this is Vietnamese. Which explains why the Vietnamese version of Avaz & Talk Tablet are only offered on that platform. CoughDrop can be translated into that language but only has access to a Vietnamese voice on the Android platform. See info about Android AAC apps on this post: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2020/12/01/android-aac-apps/

Resources:

Top 10 iOS Symbol-Based AAC App Feature Matching Chart: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2021/02/18/top-10-ios-symbol-based-aac-app-feature-matching-chart-compiled-by-angela-moorad-ms-ccc-slp-omazing-kids-aac-consulting/
.
AAC Funding: Jumping Through Hoops & Proving Accuracy: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2018/02/14/aac-funding-jumping-through-hoops-proving-accuracy/


Disclaimer: I assume no liability for device or app purchases and am not making patient-specific recommendations.


The best way to reach me with any questions is via messaging on the OMazing Kids Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/. That way AAC related messages don’t get lost among the spam in my e-mail


Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC, OMazing Kids AAC Consulting

Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/omazingkidsaac

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