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

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

Changing Symbol Skin Tones in AAC apps – short video and handout added to the OMazing Kids AAC Ko-fi page (exclusive subscriber content)

Did you know that you can change the symbol skin tones system wide in three robust AAC apps without the need for any add-on purchases or doing button by button programming?

Yup…. Grid for iPad by Smartbox Assistive Technology, Proloquo2Go by AssistiveWare & TouchChat with WordPower by Saltillo all currently offer this feature and several other app developers have it under development for release in 2021. Such a cool feature to support diversity in AAC 🙌🏾. Knowing that this feature exists is my free Tuesday Tip.

If you want to know more…. a short “how to” video and 1-page handout are available as exclusive content to monthly subscribers on my new Ko-fi page: https://ko-fi.com/omazingkidsaac

My Ko-fi page has a specific focus on providing information and tools for feature matching, short videos highlighting features in apps, ways to incorporate books and toys to keep AAC fun, etc… with a very small $4 per month subscription to cover tech expenses and time to keep resources up to date/sustainable.

Thanks to everyone for your support 😊

Feel free to send me private message on my OMazing Kids AAC Facebook page if you have any questions. https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/


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 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

Updated PDF for the The iPad & the SLP in 2020 and Beyond resource list

The PDF in the “The iPad & the SLP in 2020 and Beyond: Interactive PDF Resource List of iOS apps, Boom Cards, Teachers Pay Teachers materials, Teletherapy Resources and Online Resources – organized by goal areas, themes and topics” blog post was updated today (1/14/21).

What’s New:

• Updated link to the various grid sizes of printable Snap Core First communication boards (in AAC section)

• The Bookish AAC’s YouTube channel & Mr. Clay’s YouTube channel (added in AAC section with COREaoke links)

• AAC Parent Coaching YouTube channel (in the Parent Activities section)

• Tools for Clear Speech video modeling for placement (in Articulation section)

• Body Parts – No Print Interactive PDF (in the Basic Concepts section),

• LiveWorksheet website (in the Create Own Materials section)

• Wordless Short Videos for Language Therapy & AAC LAMP Vocabulary Teletherapy EdPuzzle: Wordless Animation (in the Inferences section)

• Scattergories and Cognishine (in the Online Games section)

• WH-Question Paragraph Stories with Who, What, Where, When Questions (in WH questions section)

• Updated social media links for OMazing Kids

The original PDF was deleted and the new one uploaded.

So anyone who had saved the PDF to their iPad or computer will need to delete the old one and save the new one to have the most current info.

https://omazingkidsllc.com/2020/11/29/the-ipad-the-slp-in-2020-and-beyond-interactive-pdf-resource-list-of-ios-apps-boom-cards-teachers-pay-teachers-materials-teletherapy-resources-and-online-resources-organized-by-goa/


The best way to reach me is via a private message on my OMazing Kids Facebook page


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 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

New URL links for OMazing Kids on Facebook & Instagram

New URL link for OMazing Kids Facebook page
New URL link for OMazing Kids on Instagram

I am in the process of updating my OMazing Kids social media sites.

The new URL link for the OMazing Kids Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/

The new URL link for OMazing Kids on Instagram is https://www.instagram.com/omazingkidsaac/

Be watching for a big new AAC post coming soon 😊


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

Facebook: 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/

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

Review & Comparison of Features in Digital PODD iPad apps in 2021 (simPODD, Grid for iPad, Snap Core First and PODD with Compass)

 

Review & Comparison of Features in Digital PODD iPad apps in 2021 (simPODD, Grid for iPad, Snap Core First and PODD with Compass)

I just updated my comprehensive blog post about PODD AAC to add Snap Core First with PODD to my in-depth review and comparison of features in all of the digital PODD iPad apps currently available in the USA App Store: simPODD, Grid for iPad, Snap Core First and PODD with Compass. Rather than doing it in a separate post I decided to add it to that post to keep everything PODD related in one spot.

Updated info is highlighted throughout that post and I tested all links and updated those. Scroll down towards the bottom of the post until you see the same pic that is on this post to find the app reviews and comparisons of features:

https://omazingkidsllc.com/2018/01/10/i-have-something-to-say-about-podd/


.
Want to suggest PODD resources or info to be added to that post? The best way to reach me is via Facebook messaging over on my OMazing Kids page. If you are an app developer and would like to have me review a new digital PODD app for the iPad or PODD that was added to an existing app via IAP, please send the link from the USA App Store so I can look at the info before you send a promo code. I want to make sure that one of my iPads is compatible in order to try it out.

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

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

Facebook: 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
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

 

Android AAC apps

Android AAC apps

There are far fewer AAC app options on the Android platforms compared to what is available for the iPad and iPhone.

Why? The problem with the Android platform is there are hundreds of variations among devices which makes it difficult to insure any app will run as expected. Even the app developers who offer options across platforms advise that the iPad is the most reliable choice and have info about the minimum and recommended specs for Android devices on their website.

Good Android Tablets are Not Cheap: I have considered getting an Android tablet but every time I researched what specs would be needed to reliably support AAC and therapeutic apps the cost was not much less than a basic model of iPad. So I don’t have one and therefore I can’t answer any detailed questions about how to program apps or troubleshooting on that platform. But I can share what I know based on the research that I’ve done.

Please steer clear of the cheapest Android tablets or the cheapest models of an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet. The saying “You get what you pay for” comes to mind. Based on what I’ve read from app developers, some of those cheapest devices don’t have good voices for speech output and the processor may not support reliable use of AAC apps (may have significant lag or crash).

Android AAC Options:

That being said…. I know the reality is I get asked very frequently about Android AAC app options. I’ve shared them in a few different posts but decided to do this round-up post to make the info easier to share. AAC apps in this post fall into two categories: Symbol-Based & Text-Based.

 


 

Symbol-Based Android AAC:

Robust Options: Coughdrop & Avaz are the two most robust AAC options available for Android. I have the iOS version of both of these apps and they are both awesome! But how well they will work on Android depends greatly on the model and type of device being used. Both offer a free trial and then a subscription. So you have an easy way to try them out before purchasing or recommending.

Android app: CoughDrop AAC, https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mycoughdrop.coughdrop

Amazon Kindle Fire app: CoughDrop AAC, https://www.amazon.com/CoughDrop-Inc-AAC/dp/B01BU8RUEY/

Windows: You can install CoughDrop as a Windows desktop app on your computer or Windows device. CoughDrop on Windows has some eye-tracking integrations that will help it work better with more devices. Please make sure to download the right version for your operating system. https://www.mycoughdrop.com/download

Web Browser: CoughDrop is a web-first application, and should work with many modern web browsers.

English Android app:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.avazapp.international.lite (they have other languages available in separate apps. Vietnamese: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.avazapp.autism.vi_vi.avaz.lite. Several languages in India: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.avazapp.autism.en_in.avaz. Bengali: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.avazapp.autism.bn_bd.avaz.lite)

* Talk Tablet: It isn’t as robust as Coughdrop or Avaz and I haven’t found it as intuitive to program or use. But sharing it as a less expensive option: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gusinc.talktableta (also a Vietnamese version: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gusinc.talktabletvi). They also offer a Windows app: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/talktablet-aac-speech/9nblggh337bk?activetab=pivot:overviewtab. More info: https://talktablet.com

Free and Affordable Options: I included Android versions on this post. Scroll down to that section: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2020/07/13/free-and-affordable-symbol-based-aac-apps-for-ios-ipad-and-iphone-android-google-play-and-amazon-windows-web-browsers-plus-how-to-find-open-source-symbols-list-compiled-by-angela-moorad-ms/.

 


 

Text-Based Android AAC:

Robust Options:

Predictable is a robust option for TTS AAC. I have the iOS version and it is awesome! The reviews for the Android version are mixed so I suggest contacting your state’s AT lending program to see if they have it available for short term loan or for SLPs to ask the app developer for a free copy to be able to try it out with the patient before recommending it since it’s more expensive. My guess is the mixed reviews on the Google Play App Store are likely due to folks trying to use the app on a device that is too cheap or old to support reliable use.

English Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tbox.predictable_4 (they have other languages available in separate apps)

Free and Affordable Options: I included Android ones on this post: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2020/06/11/top-10-free-and-affordable-ios-text-to-speech-aac-apps-list-compiled-by-angela-moorad-ms-ccc-slp-omazing-kids/.


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 (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.avazapp.autism.vi_vi.avaz.lite) & the Vietnamese version of Talk Tablet (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gusinc.talktabletvi) 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.

——–

How to find the AT Lending Library in your state: https://www.at3center.net/stateprogram. Some have Android tablets with AAC apps on them available for short term loan to help with the eval process. But you’ll need to check to see if yours is open and still loaning equipment out during the pandemic.


Want to suggest an app be added to this list? Found a broken link or info that needs to be updated? The best way to reach me is via Facebook messaging over on my OMazing Kids page.


Looking for info about iOS AAC apps?

How to Get Access to the Top 10 iOS Symbol-Based AAC Apps:

https://omazingkidsllc.com/2021/02/16/how-to-get-access-to-the-top-10-ios-symbol-based-aac-apps-2-16-21-compiled-by-angela-moorad-ms-ccc-slp-omazing-kids-aac-consulting-part-of-a-larger-feature-matching-chart/

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/

Looking for therapeutic Android apps? I included a few in this post: “The iPad & the SLP in 2020 and Beyond: Interactive PDF Resource List of iOS apps, Boom Cards, Teachers Pay Teachers materials, Teletherapy Resources and Online Resources – organized by goal areas, themes and topics”: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2020/11/29/the-ipad-the-slp-in-2020-and-beyond-interactive-pdf-resource-list-of-ios-apps-boom-cards-teachers-pay-teachers-materials-teletherapy-resources-and-online-resources-organized-by-goa/


It took time to write this post so please mention OMazing Kids when sharing it on social media and do not copy/paste the info onto other blogs or documents or upload it to servers. I have it available here on my blog and plan on keeping my blog up for the foreseeable future.

Thanks,

Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC
Facebook: 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
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

(Ignore any ads that may appear below…. this is a free blog and I don’t have any control over ads nor do I profit from them)

The iPad & the SLP in 2020 and Beyond: Interactive PDF Resource List of iOS apps, Boom Cards, Teachers Pay Teachers materials, Teletherapy Resources and Online Resources – organized by goal areas, themes and topics (updated 1-14-21)

 

The iPad and the SLP in 2020 and Beyond - a new free interactive resource from OMazing Kids

Happy Cyber Monday! We are all using technology now more than ever in 2020. There has been a significant increase in Speech Language Pathologists and parents asking for app recommendations in the midst of this pandemic since so many are doing distance learning and teletherapy.

 

So I spent the past 8 months creating this FREE resource to help fellow SLPs and parents. 

A big shift has taken place in the iOS App Store kids and therapeutic app market since I posted my original big app list on 12/31/16 (https://bit.ly/3js1CA7). Many of those apps are no longer available for purchase and some have totally disappeared. I chose to leave that post up as a time capsule of the apps that existed then plus it’s helpful to have the names for older apps when you want to find an app in your “Purchased” area in the App Store. 

This is a fresh resource list with items that were all verified as being available and links verified as working at the time they were added over the past 8 months.

 

An iPad is only as good as the apps that you load on it. Think of the iPad as being the toolbox & the apps within it as tools. Many high quality apps specifically designed by SLPs for SLPs allow you to do in-app data collection, look at data over time, e-mail reports, and swipe through stimulus cards rapidly which allows you to get in more reps. Plus many kids are highly motivated by anything presented on an iPad. Having most of the major robust AAC apps at my fingertips to try at any moment was life changing for many of my patients.

Don’t have an iPad? No worries…. there are tons of things besides apps included on this resource list: Boom Cards, Teachers Pay Teachers materials, online games, green screen resources, tips for screen mirroring, document cameras, etc… In the Articulation section I included info about Android versions of apps. If you are a pediatric SLP or a parent of a child with special needs, I promise you’ll find something on this list that you’ll love!  I provided services for kids, teens and young adults (birth – 21 years of age) for 28 years so I have a vast and varied collection of apps and other materials and resources targeting almost every goal and theme you can think of. 

This is a “vetted” list with a mix of paid and free items. With very rare exceptions, I only share info about apps and resources that I have actually downloaded and tried and only post about those that I see as being either helpful in therapy, classroom or to parents of kids with special needs. There are thousands of apps in the App Store and thousands of other resources so it can be difficult to find ones to best meet our needs as SLPs.

The interactive PDF is not intended to be printed due the number of pages (currently 253 pages), number of links and since it will be periodically updated. It will be most useful to save the PDF in the Books/iBooks app on your iPad and iPhone where you can tap on links to apps and resources and hyperlinks within the Table of Contents to jump to that section, zoom in and scroll. It should work in the same way on Google PDF Viewer for those wanting to view it on an Android tablet or phone. It can also be viewed and used in Adobe Acrobat or other PDF Reader software on a computer.

Other Important Info: None of the links in this document are “affiliate” links and nobody “paid” to have their apps, resources or products included. I am providing this as a FREE unbiased resource from OMazing Kids. That integrity is more important to me than any potential money I might have been able to make by selling this as a resource on Teachers Pay Teachers or on my blog. I may venture into creating Boom Cards and TPT materials in the future but at this point everything that I have created remains free on my blog.

 

Want to suggest an app or resource to be added to this list? The best way to reach me is via Facebook messaging over on my OMazing Kids page.

  • If it’s a free iOS app, please send the link from the USA App Store so I can try it out.
  • If it’s a paid iOS app and you are the app developer, please send the link from the USA App Store so I can look at the info before you send a promo code. I want to make sure that one of my iPads or iPhone is compatible in order to try it out.
  • If it’s another type of resource that’s free, please send the link so I can try it out.
  • If it’s another type of paid resource, please send the link so I can take a look at the info before sending me a free copy.

Found a broken link or an app or resources that is no longer available? I anticipate that there may be apps and resources that have disappeared over the 8 month timeframe that I worked on this document so please let me know if that happened or if you notice that any have disappeared in the future. The best way to reach me is via Facebook messaging over on my OMazing Kids page.

 

I plan on periodically updating the this list so it’s best to “bookmark” and share the link to this blog post since the link to the PDF will change when it’s updated. I will update the date on a revised PDF and will indicate the date it was updated in the blog post. You’ll then need to delete the old copy from the Books/iBooks app on your iPad and save the newest version.

Video Demo of this Interactive PDF:

Click here to get the PDF (UPDATED: 1/14/21, deleted original PDF and uploaded new one):

 

The linked Table of Contents is on Page 4. Tap on a link to jump directly to any of the 192 sections. The document is also searchable.

Click to access the-ipad-the-slp-in-2020-and-beyond-list-of-ios-apps-boom-cards-teachers-pay-teachers-materials-teletherapy-resources-and-online-resources-e28093-organized-by-goal-areas-themes-and-topic.pdf

.

Want to find out when I do new posts about high quality apps and resources that are are either free or a great deal that day and highlights on more expensive apps that are particularly helpful and well worth the price?

I invite you to join me on my OMazing Kids social media sites. I post the most frequently on my Facebook page and in the AppPeeps group. For particularly great finds, I cross post on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest to help spread the word. Be sure to “like”, “follow” and “join” and adjust your notification settings. I can’t pay to promote posts since I don’t generate any revenue off of the sites.

Ignore any ads that you may see on my blog. It’s a free blog site so I don’t have any control over the ads nor do I profit from them. You can also subscribe to my blog to receive e-mail notifications when I do new blog posts. I don’t send out newsletters or sell contact info so no worries about getting spam. 

.

I hope you find this resource helpful in your work as an SLP or as a parent of a child with special needs. Working on compiling it was a labor of love and was something positive for me to focus on in the midst of the COVID-19 / coronavirus pandemic and other craziness of 2020. I’m SO incredibly grateful to be retired and have the time to help others through the sharing of resources, prayers, helping elderly relatives get groceries/supplies, etc… I have all my fellow SLPs in my prayers for God’s safety and provision. I also have all the families of kids with special needs in my prayers that God would give you the wisdom and peace needed to help you help your child/children during this incredibly stressful time 🙏🏼

 

.

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

Ko-Fi: https://ko-fi.com/omazingkidsaac
Facebook: 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
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

 

Terms of Use: You may not copy any part of this document (including the content, layout, format, ideas or design) and reproduce it or distribute it as your own work. Please do not copy/paste this info onto other blogs or save this PDF in any online groups or files. Please do not share the direct link to the PDF (that link will not work when I do updates, delete the old file and upload a new one). I spent the past 8 months working on this document so I appreciate you sharing the blog post or a post that I’ve done on social media. This original document was the sole idea and creation of Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP at OMazing Kids, LLC, all rights reserved. © 2021 and beyond

 

Saving Videos vs. Linking to YouTube Videos for use in GoTalk Now… plus how to save YouTube videos

Why I prefer to save videos to the iPad vs. linking to YouTube when using the GoTalk Now app:

  • I had too many patients’ highly preferred videos disappear from YouTube. That typically triggered a meltdown or they lost interest as I attempted to find a different version of it on YouTube.
  • Saved videos play immediately (no delay = immediate reinforcement of that request). I had several patients who had been seen multiple times by various SLPs over the years at the facility where I worked and they never appeared to understand cause/effect or be motivated to communicate when in fact the issue was the reinforcement wasn’t immediate enough for them to form that connection.

See a side by side comparison in this video.

I used the Screen Recording feature in the iPhone Control Center to take a screencast video while I was playing the YouTube video to save it. Then I edited the video to crop off a little at the beginning and end. My iPad Pro running iOS 10.3.3 doesn’t have a Screen Recording option in the Control Center. My iPad Mini 2 running iOS 12.4.8 could record but didn’t have sound. I was able to do this via my iPhone 11 running iOS 13.5.1 and then used AirDrop to send it to my iPad Pro to use in the GoTalk Now Plus app. My guess is an iPad running at least iOS 13 would have sound in the screen recording but have no way to know for sure 🤷🏼‍♀️

Update 12/15/20: It is also possible to play saved and play linked YouTube videos within the TouchChat AAC app.

Here’s some differences between playing a “linked” YouTube video in GoTalk Now vs. playing a “linked” YouTube video in TouchChat:

In GoTalk Now, a button programmed to link to a YouTube video exits the app and takes you to YouTube on Safari (that would be blocked if using Guided Access or on a managed dedicated iOS based device). It would be difficult for most AAC users to get back to the GoTalk Now app (have to tap a tiny thing in top left corner of screen and if they play other videos that might disappear).

In TouchChat, a button programmed to link to a YouTube video opens it on a screen within the TouchChat app. It’s easy to tap “done” to return to the previous TouchChat screen. The linked YouTube video will play within TouchChat even when Guided Access is active. But you’d still have issues if YouTube is down or that linked video disappears from YouTube. I’ve used “linked” videos in both of those apps if it’s something I wanted to program on the fly in the middle of a session. If it turned out to be a highly preferred video then I went through the process of saving it to the camera roll and then programming to open it that way 😊

When using either app for this purpose I consider this to fall under the category of “Assistive Technology for Adapted Leisure”. So this is giving them an adapted means of accessing videos. I also use it as an adapted means of accessing music.

There are several other way to do this that don’t involve using AAC apps. I have sections devoted to them on this very recent blog post. The Table of Contents is on page 4. Then tap on to jump directly to that section. https://omazingkidsllc.com/2020/11/29/the-ipad-the-slp-in-2020-and-beyond-interactive-pdf-resource-list-of-ios-apps-boom-cards-teachers-pay-teachers-materials-teletherapy-resources-and-online-resources-organized-by-goa/

Info about the Control Center: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210981

An alternative to using Screen Recording is to download free software onto your laptop that will allow you to download and save videos from YouTube and several other sources. I just tried out the YouTube ByClick software and it worked very well. The resulting video was a little larger on the screen than the one made via screen recording. But it involves having to use your laptop to download the video, e-mailing the video to your iPad and then saving that video to the Camera Roll. https://www.youtubebyclick.com.

Update 11/5/20: Here’s another option that worked directly on my iPhone: https://qdownloader.io

I can see using YouTube ByClick when I want to save several videos ahead of time to prep for a session. But the Screen Recording method would be my “go to” for the convenience.

In a pinch you could even just use the iPad to video a YouTube video being played on a computer or TV. I’ve done that before. The quality isn’t nearly as good but the patient still enjoyed watching it.

Reminder: GoTalk Now & GoTalk Now Plus are both on sale through the end of October 2020. Extremely rare sale so if you’ve been wanting either of these apps NOW is the time to get it.

See this post for sale info and more ways that I use this app: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2020/10/17/rare-sale-on-gotalk-now-gotalk-now-plus-aac-apps/
.

Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC
Facebook: https://bit.ly/2Si6k7Y
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amoorad1/
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/amoorad
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

Visual Supports with Voice Output for the “Win”! – Incredible 5 Point Scale and the GoTalk Now app

Visual supports with voice output for the “win”! I attended a presentation by Kari Dunn Buron, coauthor of The Incredible 5 Point Scale, at the Oklahoma Autism Conference offered by the Oklahoma Autism Network in 2017 and was inspired to make this for a patient who had been having a particularly difficult time and exhibiting a significant increase in aggressive behaviors. I watched for very subtle signs of increased agitation and modeled use of this to both talk about emotional states and offered choices to help calm before he got beyond a “Level 3”. He showed understanding of it the very first day and smiled when I acknowledged that he was struggling. He chose “go for a walk outside” and “go back to the house and rest”. The next day he spontaneously tapped “go for a walk outside” before he got beyond a “Level 2” and a huge smile washed over his face as we exited the sensory overload inside the building into the brisk air and total peace outside. I was often totally overstimulated by all the “Christmassy” stuff at our facility too so we ended up taking lots of walks outside 😉.

A video showing several boards including this one:

Thanks again Attainment Company, Inc. for making such a versatile app and giving me access to the most full featured version as well as several extras within it to help the patients at the nonprofit facility where I worked for the last half of my career. I was able to show this to his mother and she was very impressed with how easy this app is to program and to use for AAC and visual supports.

This app is definitely in the top 5 most used apps on my iPad. I saved this to the Online Gallery. Those who have either the GoTalk Now or GoTalk Now Plus versions of the app should be able to find everything that I have uploaded to the public Online Gallery by searching by my last name (Moorad) or a word in the title. See page 23 in the in-app Users Guide for info on how to find it.

There are several versions of the app with varying levels of features:

GoTalk NOW PLUS by Attainment Company, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gotalk-now-plus/id742150885?mt=8 (most full featured, includes SymbolStix, offers PCS symbols (High Contrast, original and thinline) as in-app purchases, etc…)

GoTalk Now by Attainment Company, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gotalk-now/id454176457?mt=8

GoTalk NOW LITE by Attainment Company, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gotalk-now-lite/id953164338?mt=8 (FREE lite version, limited to 1 book with up to 5 pages, cannot backup, share or access the Online Gallery)

See this post about the current sale on their apps from 10/16 – 10/31/20: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2020/10/17/rare-sale-on-gotalk-now-gotalk-now-plus-aac-apps/

(Note: Most of the content in this post originally appeared on my Facebook page on 12/12/17.

I updated some info from that to create this blog post.

—- 

Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC
Facebook: https://bit.ly/2Si6k7Y
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amoorad1/
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/amoorad
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

(Please ignore any ads that may pop up. This is a free blog and I don’t have any control over ads nor do I profit from them)