How to Video: Creating a Visual Scene page in GoTalk Now

How to Video: Creating a Visual Scene page in GoTalk Now, https://youtu.be/hGPMNVLJo0c


Want more info about ways to use Visual Scene Displays or Video Visual Scene Displays? This recorded webinar from ISAAC has several case studies / examples: https://isaac-online.org/english/webinars/archived-webinars/bridging-research-to-practice-with-visual-scene-displays/


Join the GoTalk Now AAC App – Ideas and Sharing Facebook group: https://bit.ly/GoTalkNowAACappGroup

(I’m not affiliated with the app developer… just sharing tips on how to use this fabulous app 😊)


Have a question? The best way to reach me is via Facebook messaging over on my OMazing Kids page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/


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

YouTube: https://youtube.com/user/amoorad1

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/

GoTalk Now AAC App – Ideas and Sharing Facebook Group: https://bit.ly/GoTalkNowAACappGroup

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

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

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

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/amoorad1

Using the GoTalk Now App as Adapted Access to Play Songs

One of my favorite uses for the GoTalk Now app by Attainment Company, Inc. is to create boards to use as an adapted means of access to play music.

This video shows how to create a music player board (play/pause, next song, previous song), how to create a song board with buttons to play specific songs, and using the Expanded Quick Buttons as a means to comment or request and as a means to go between the two boards (instead of swiping or using paging buttons)


Join the GoTalk Now AAC App – Ideas and Sharing Facebook group: https://bit.ly/GoTalkNowAACappGroup


Want the link to find the app and info about the $10 sale on 10/10/21? See this blog post: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2021/10/08/reminder-gotalk-now-10-app-sale-on-10-10-21/

(I’m not affiliated with the app developer… just a huge fan of this app 😊)


Have a question? The best way to reach me is via Facebook messaging over on my OMazing Kids page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/


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

YouTube: https://youtube.com/user/amoorad1

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/

GoTalk Now AAC App – Ideas and Sharing Facebook Group: https://bit.ly/GoTalkNowAACappGroup

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

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

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

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/amoorad1

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:

Logan Tech: Might be an option depending on your state & funding source: https://logantech.com/pages/funding-2019


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

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

How to Get Access to the Top 10 iOS Symbol-Based AAC Apps (updated 5/13/21) – compiled by Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, OMazing Kids AAC Consulting (part of a larger feature matching chart)

*** See this new post for the most current info & a major update: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2021/07/20/feature-matching-chart-for-the-top-11-robust-ios-symbol-based-aac-apps/ ***

https://youtu.be/OFecdvc7A4Y

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/How-to-Get-Access-to-the-Top-11-iOS-Symbol-Based-AAC-Apps-TPT-Freebie-6869004

How to Get Access to the Top 10 iOS Symbol-Based AAC Apps (updated 5/13/21)

  • This chart contains information that was confirmed with each app developer to insure accuracy.
  • It is part of a much larger feature matching chart.

The feature matching chart is available on my Teachers Pay Teachers store: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Feature-Matching-Chart-for-the-Top-10-iOS-Symbol-Based-AAC-Apps-6867853

  • Inclusion in the “Top 10” was based on features, long term availability in the App Store, good history of being updated, having patients who benefited from using the app, gathering data from app recommendations from SLPs who have expertise in AAC, etc. The list was purposefully limited to the top 10 in order to keep it manageable for updates as apps continue to add features in the future. I plan on maintaining and updating the chart for the foreseeable future to help meet the need for current and comprehensive info to be used in feature matching. Inclusion of particular apps is subject to change based on features and an ongoing track record of support and updates. The purpose of this chart isn’t to name a “best” app since the “best” AAC for that individual is the combination of options (variety of apps, SGDs, no-tech, etc.) that meets their needs at that moment in time. This chart is not intended to imply that any app not on this list is not well designed or serve a very important function.

Get the free 1-page PDF: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/How-to-Get-Access-to-the-Top-10-iOS-Symbol-Based-AAC-Apps-TPT-Freebie-6869004 (this is a permanent freebie on my TPT Store)


Looking for info about how to get access to digital PODD options? Head over to this post and scroll down to that section: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2018/01/10/i-have-something-to-say-about-podd/

The best way to reach me with any questions is via messaging on the OMazing Kids Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/

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. Instead, feel free to share the post from my blog or social media sites or the link to my TPT store.

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

This document was the sole idea and creation of Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, OMazing Kids AAC Consulting, OMazing Kids, LLC, all rights reserved. © 2021 and beyond.
————————

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 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

How to Find Info About AAC & AT Companies (and local vendor reps)

The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) has a nice directory of AAC & AT Companies. It’s quite helpful when you are searching for info but may not know the name of a particular company: https://www.atia.org/about-atia/membership-directory/. I browse through there frequently to see what’s new.

It’s important to connect with the local vendor reps / consultants for your area. They can provide free training, help you access devices for short term loan, help connect you with their funding department for questions about how to navigate through that process, etc.

Once you navigate to a particular company’s website it can take a little digging to find your local vendor rep / local consultant. So here are links to where you can find that info for companies selling AAC speech generating devices:


There will be separate post with contact info for AAC app developers & a separate post with info about AT Lending Programs in the USA. Your state’s AT Lending Program can be a good option for borrowing equipment for short term loan (especially when you need to try items from a company that doesn’t have a loaner program or what you need isn’t currently available)


Feel free to send me private message on my OMazing Kids AAC Facebook page if you have any questions, find a broken link or know of info that needs to be added. 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 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

Are you a parent who wants to try out AAC options for your child?

Are you a parent who wants to try out AAC options for your child? I highly recommend that you pursue an AAC eval (including feature matching and trial of options) with an SLP who has expertise in this area.

This is not meant to put up a roadblock or to “gate keep”. I like to compare it to decisions made regarding wheelchairs. Could you just go pick one out and buy it? If you had the money, sure. But it may not be the best “fit” for that person.

But don’t feel that you HAVE TO wait.

Unfortunately it’s still common to see comments from parents who have been told “no”, “only after we try _____”, or “only after they demonstrate ________ skills”, etc.

Another reality is not every parent will have access to this type of evaluation. This may be even more challenging in the midst of the pandemic despite the best efforts of SLPs to provide these services remotely.

It may just be a little trickier to determine what the best AAC option will be for your child since many parents don’t have unlimited resources to buy several AAC apps to try.

Here are some resources that can help you make informed AAC purchasing decisions:

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.

The AT Program in your state may also know of SLPs who do AAC evals and funding resources (including grants) specific to your area.

You can search for AT Reuse programs: http://www.passitoncenter.org/reuse_locations.php


You can learn about AAC apps by joining the various AAC user groups on Facebook and watching free webinars on the company’s website or YouTube channel.

And there are several parents that share info about their child using AAC:

Hold My Words:

https://www.facebook.com/HoldMyWords/

https://instagram.com/holdmywords

.

Lotsacomptons:

https://www.facebook.com/Lotsacomptons/

https://instagram.com/lotsacomptons

.

A Star in Her Eye

https://www.facebook.com/Star-in-Her-Eye-143803449128445/

.

Uncommon Sense Blog:

https://www.facebook.com/Uncommon-Sense-Blog-123130417730793/

https://instagram.com/uncommonsenseblog

A great recorded webinar that Dana did “Getting Started with Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) for Your Child”: https://www.ctdinstitute.org/library/2015-12-15/getting-started-alternative-and-augmentative-communication-aac-your-child

.

We Speak PODD:

https://www.facebook.com/wespeakpodd

https://instagram.com/theowensfamilylife


You can see the pricing history for any iOS app on the App Sliced website (gives you an idea of the pattern of when it goes on sale): https://appsliced.co. Many AAC apps tend to go on sale in the USA in April (Autism Awareness / Acceptance Month) and in October (AAC Awareness Month).


Feel free to send me a private message on my OMazing Kids AAC Consulting Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/).

I have 30 years of experience in AAC, have used almost every iOS AAC app in the USA iTunes (Apple) App Store, am glad to share what I know about the features in these apps and refer you on to where you can get good / accurate additional info.


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

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

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

9/21/21: An expanded version of this resource that also includes app demo videos is available on my TPT store. Ultimate App and Digital Resource Guide for SLPs: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ultimate-App-and-Digital-Resource-Guide-for-SLPs-7267356

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

Important Warning: Do NOT install iOS 14 yet

 

⚠️ Important Warning: iOS 14 was released today. It is NEVER a good idea to install a new iOS when it first comes out. 🛑 There are always glitches…. sometimes big ones that cause devices to “brick” or ones that cause glitches in apps where they either crash or don’t work as expected. The developers of AAC and therapy apps need time to release updates.

Please wait until the developers of those apps announce that it’s safe to download iOS 14. Depending on how complex an app is that may take a few weeks to a few months.

  • I always keep automatic installation of iOS updates and automatic installation of app updates both toggled OFF.
  • Make sure your devices are backing up to iCloud and for AAC apps to make sure you back up any programming before installing any updates to those apps or to the iOS.
  • Be sure to toggle off the setting that automatically offloads apps to free up space. There is a trend in app developers switching to a subscription model and removing older apps.
  • I know most of us have to rotate apps on/off our devices due to storage issues. Before deciding to delete an app, it’s wise to check to make sure it is still available in the App Store and to read through the descriptions on recent updates to make sure nothing significant has changed (like it switching to a subscription based app). If an app hasn’t been updated in quite awhile that’s a red flag that it may no longer work when a new iOS is rolled out and if you have several apps like that you may want to consider purposefully keeping a device running an older iOS in order not to lose apps. I’m very glad I did that several years ago and still have an iPad running iOS 10.3.3.

Also posted this on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter to spread the word. Please share with anyone you know using an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch for AAC, therapy or learning.

See my previous post back in July warning that this was coming:

Thanks!
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

iOS apps for Early Exploration of Typing & Specialized Keyboards – compiled by Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids

iOS apps for Early Exploration of Typing & Specialized Keyboards

Here is a list of over 50 iOS apps for early exploration of typing and specialized keyboards. For kids who are just beginning to show an interest and are easily frustrated it’s important to keep it as motivating and as fun as possible. An iPad full of well designed apps can be an amazing tool in your educational & therapeutic toolbox.

In this post I am sharing a mix of paid and free apps that I have used and found helpful.

  • Free: 23 apps
  • Affordable ($.99 – $4.99 – what you might pay for an item from the Target Dollar Spot, a latte from Starbucks, an item on Teachers Pay Teachers or a Boom Card deck): 22 apps
  • Mid-priced ($5.99 -$15.99 – what you might pay for a new toy, game or picture book): 7 apps
  • Expensive ($16.99 – $24.99 – what you might pay for therapy materials or bundles of items on TPT, both are specifically designed for individuals with special needs): 2 apps
  • Very expensive (over $24.99 – is specifically designed for individuals with special needs and has lots of customization features): 1 app

Of course every app that I share will not be a good fit for every child so it’s up to you to determine the ones to use with your child or patient.

I had several patients over my career whose interest in typing and AAC was initially sparked by their high interest in letters and the predictable order of the alphabet (similar to kids with a high interest in numbers, dates, etc…). Typing can also become an important part of writing and access to the curriculum.

You can save the PDF of this post in the iBooks app on your iPad and then tap on each link to go to that app in the App Store (it’s a 5-page PDF).

App prices & availability was verified in the USA App Store at the time of this post at 3:00pm CST on 5/17/20. Prices may vary in other countries based on the exchange rate. I only have access to the USA App Store so be sure to check prices before downloading in other countries.

General App Tips:

  • Some apps have IAPs (in-app purchases) to add extra features or have unsecured links so make sure the iPad is in “airplane mode” and toggle off the ability to download IAPs in the Settings area BEFORE opening the app. Even apps with “secured links” could be hacked by some kids so it’s always wise to go ahead do these two things before using apps with kids. I avoid apps with ads (some can be blocked via “airplane mode” but others cannot). It’s also wise to use Guided Access to prevent exiting the app you are using.
  • If you like a “lite” version of an app, it is always a good idea to see if there is a full paid version of the app to purchase vs. using an IAP to upgrade within a free lite app. I’ve had enough problems with IAPs and trying to restore IAPs to avoid them as much as possible. Also most schools & public agencies have purchasing regulations that make it difficult or impossible to purchase items via IAP but can purchase a full paid app. This is the same reason that I typically avoid apps that require a subscription.
  • If you are looking for Android apps, the quickest way to see if an app has an Android version is to copy the name of an app and then paste into the search area on the Google Play app store or Amazon app store. If the app is available it may not be free on those platforms and/or may contain ads so look closely at each app description. Also look at reviews to see how well apps function since Android versions of apps may not be updated as frequently as iOS apps.

Apps that use their own in-app keyboard (instead of the iOS iPad keyboard):

  1. Tapkins by Island Pte Ltd, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/tapkins/id1317210444, FREE (The errorless learning style in this app would be a really good match for most kids with Autism.)
  2. Baby Keyboard by Ruiyi Chen, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/baby-keyboard/id1448361670, FREE (Ignore the word “baby” in the app name. It’s a fun free app, has color cue for the correct key and several categories of typing cards to choose from in the settings.)
  3. Interactive Alphabet ABC’s by Piikea St. LLC, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/interactive-alphabet-abcs/id383967580, $2.99 (The typing activity within this app is fun and there is a subtle cue for the correct letter keys.)
  4. The Writing Machine by Hump Software, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/the-writing-machine/id438108325, $.99 (Explore and tap to match initial letter in a word. Has options for switches and scanning is needed.)
  5. i Can Type – Sight Words by Michael Harvey, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/i-can-type-sight-words/id1292509602 $.99 (Nice cueing for correct keys and easy sight words presented in context of color photo and word narrated in a simple sentence.)
  6. Clever Keyboard: ABC Learning Game For Kids by Absolutist Ltd, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clever-keyboard-abc-learning-game-for-kids/id576724288, $.99
  7. Verbal Me Sampler by fishdog, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/verbal-me-sampler/id504978876, FREE (has a typing page with voice output)
  8. Lexi’s World by Pop Pop Pop LLC
    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/lexis-world/id1434971401, $2.99 (errorless typing with cues, can use upper or lowercase QWERTY keyboard, what you type is added to the screen then tap on animals to see what they want you to add)
  9. VideoTyper – Typing video by Yvz Digital Lab
    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/videotyper-typing-video/id1372070930, FREE with IAPs for additional features (lots of customization options and can make a video of the typing)

Apps that use the iOS iPad keyboard (this means you can combine it with one of the keyboard extension apps. How to install a Keyboard after you download that keyboard extension app: https://support.apple.com/guide/ipad/add-or-change-keyboards-ipad1aa5a19a/ipados):

  1. Type Letters by Tin Whistle, LLC, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/type-letters/id1498328032, iOS 13.2 or later, FREE (no frills, just types big letters on white background, nice to use for a no distraction exploring typing background)
  2. Audivision by ATeamer, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/audivision/id1141299943, iOS 8.0 or later, FREE (no frills, just types big letters on white background, can slide to adjust font size in the iPad Settings area for this app, nice to use for a no distraction exploring typing background)
  3. Statement – visual communication and large text by Todd Anderson, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/statement-visual-communication-and-large-text/id1018664801, FREE (no frills, just types big letters on dark background, nice to use for a no distraction exploring typing background)
  4. Keyboard Explore by Susan Hossack, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/keyboard-explore/id608928363, FREE (may not work for iOS 11 or beyond, has option for external Bluetooth keyboard)
  5. Type and Learn HD-S by Jetmobile, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/type-and-learn-hd-s/id846561699, $.99 (uses iOS iPad keyboard but keyboard extension apps only work in the open ended typing area, has open ended typing with text to speech, option to toggle on red outline around keys as hint in the spelling activity)
  6. Dic-Dic. Multilingual dictation to practice spelling, writing and sound-letter matching by Perception Technologies, S.L., https://apps.apple.com/us/app/dic-dic-multilingual-dictation-to-practise-spelling/id643656920, FREE
  7. Animal Typing – Lite by Corentin Faucher, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/animal-typing-lite/id925341131, FREE lite app. (Has options for external Bluetooth keyboards. I don’t have the full paid version so don’t know if it’s worth $14.99 or not.)
  8. SnapType by SnapType, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/snaptype/id1124115982 , FREE with IAP to upgrade to the Pro version (a “must have” app that allows you to import any worksheet to type onto it; if you want more features look at the full paid version of the app: SnapType Pro by SnapType, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/snaptype-pro/id1124123246, $4.99.)
  9. Adobe Scan Digital PDF Scanner by Adobe Inc., https://apps.apple.com/us/app/adobe-scan-digital-pdf-scanner/id1199564834, FREE with IAPs
  10. Adobe Acrobat Reader for PDF by Adobe Inc., https://apps.apple.com/us/app/adobe-acrobat-reader-for-pdf/id469337564, FREE with IAPs (these two Adobe apps can be used together to scan a worksheet to turn it into a PDF and then annotate it with typing text. I find SnapType a much easier to use but sharing this as another option.)
  11. ClaroPDF – Image to PDF Reader by Claro Software Limited, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/claropdf-image-to-pdf-reader/id666770153, FREE with IAPs (can also be used to import a picture of a worksheet and then annotate it with typing text. I find SnapType a much easier to use but sharing this as another option.)

Keyboard Extension Apps: It may be helpful to consider using a keyboard extension app that would make the iOS iPad Keyboard easier to use with features that are kid and special needs friendly.

  1. Keedogo by AssistiveWare, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/keedogo/id915829477, $.99 (My favorite keyboard extension app with lots of customization options. Good for beginning typists since it doesn’t have word prediction or auto correction. If you want additional features the look at
  2. Keedogo Plus by AssistiveWare, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/keedogo-plus/id918496636, $2.99 (has more features)
  3. Keeble by AssistiveWare, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/keeble/id918497054, $24.99 quite a bit more expensive due to all of the customization and accessibility features)
  4. Big Keys Low Vision Keyboard by N Thorn, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/big-keys-low-vision-keyboard/id1139220959, $2.99 (specifically designed for unique needs)
  5. IssieBoard by Beit Issie Shapiro, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/issieboard/id1074352181, FREE (several customization options for color (background, keys & font), ability to color specific sections or rows of keys, define “special” keys, etc.)
  6. My First Keyboard by aacorn, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/my-first-keyboard/id924324310, $1.99 (I like the blocks keyboard with dark background, word prediction can be toggled on/off)
  7. Big Keys Keyboard by Hassan Hattab, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/big-keys-keyboard/id1187555128, $3.99 (several color and font size customization options)
  8. SuperKeys Accessible Keyboard by Crick Software, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/superkeys-accessible-keyboard/id917216287, $12.99 (A very unique keyboard that enlarges quadrants and then you select a large key within it. Nice for those with vision or fine motor needs but can also be helpful for those overwhelmed by looking through the entire field of keys. The SuperKeys keyboard is built in as an option in all of the Clicker Communicator AAC apps.
  9. Phonics Keyboard by Therapy Box Limited, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/phonics-keyboard/id1031514501, $2.99 (There are also some fun activities within the app)
  10. Type Suite by Ellenson Integration Enterprises, Inc.
    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/type-suite/id1498609903, $3.99

Other unique keyboard extension apps (not necessarily for kids or beginning typists…. but sharing just so folks will be inspired to think outside the box and search the App Store. Apps are often updated with new features and new apps are released frequently:

  1. AlphaBoard – Simple Keyboard by QZero Labs, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/alphaboard-simple-keyboard/id1199298996, FREE (super simple scrollable alphabetic keyboard, keys are very small)
  2. HERO One-handed Keyboard by Corey Stone LLC, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/hero-one-handed-keyboard/id921879642, FREE with IAPs
  3. Fleksy- GIF, Web & Yelp Search by Fleksy, Inc., https://apps.apple.com/us/app/fleksy-gif-web-yelp-search/id520337246, FREE with IAPs
  4. Pro Keyboard with PC Layout by Raul Monterroso Cabello, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pro-keyboard-with-pc-layout/id1106280090, $5.99 (for more advanced typists who want a full PC style keyboard with the ability to customize the color for sensory needs)
  5. Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard by SwiftKey, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/swiftkey-keyboard/id911813648, FREE (for more advanced typists who want a full PC style keyboard with the ability to customize the color for sensory needs, customization options, ability to swipe to type, has a nice “real keyboard” feel, the description shows IAPs for additional keyboard styles but as far as I can tell everything is included now. I’m currently using the “Nickel Classic Dark” theme as a nice alternative to the iOS iPad keyboard.)
  6. WordBoard – Phrase Keyboard by Bytesize, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/wordboard-phrase-keyboard/id960167417, FREE with IAPs (would use as a secondary keyboard, allows you to make and use customized phrase buttons)

FYI… There are a few AAC apps that use the iOS iPad Keyboard and therefore would allow for a keyboard extension app to be used. Examples include: Speak for Yourself, Proloquo2Go, Mighty AAC, ChatAble, Proloquo4Text, Predictable, Voice4u TTS, QuickType, Flip Writer, HandySpeech and several other text-to-speech (TTS) AAC apps. Exploring alternative keyboards can be a game changer for making typing as a means of AAC accessible. You may also want to explore accessibility features in the iPad settings (https://support.apple.com/guide/ipad/get-started-with-accessibility-features-ipad9a2465f9/ipados), styluses, adapted styluses, keyguards, external Bluetooth keyboards, etc. Take a look at Lauren S. Enders’ well organized Pinterest boards for ideas: https://pin.it/TWn9w6P (styluses: https://pin.it/t4cy8XV; keyboards & keyboard cases: https://pin.it/NydPTE8). I highly encourage you to collaborate with an Occupational Therapist and/or Assistive Technology Specialist when exploring AT options for the iPad. Some of that equipment is pricey so you want to make good decisions that fit that individual child’s needs. You may want to try things out in order to make those decisions. How to find the AT Lending Library in your state: https://www.at3center.net/stateprogram. Many have iPads, specialized apps and AT equipment available for short term loan to try out before making purchasing recommendations.

Other specialized apps to consider:

  1. Ghost Type – a typing tutor to master your iPad typing skills by demografix pty ltd, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ghost-type-a-typing-tutor-to-master-your-ipad-typing-skills/id495081717, $4.99
  2. inku – tool for dyslexia by Therapy Box Limited, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/inku-tool-for-dyslexia/id1042258087, $14.99
  3. Abilipad by Cheryl Bregman, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/abilipad/id435865000, $9.99
  4. Clicker Sentences by Crick Software, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clicker-sentences/id575603433, $64.99 (I love the Clicker apps but the description in the App Store mentions they are being replaced by the Clicker Writer system. See their website for information: https://www.cricksoft.com/us/clicker/apps)
  5. Pictello by AssistiveWare, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pictello/id397858008, $18.99 (uses the iOS iPad keyboard, many kids are motivated to type as they create their own books)
  6. Easy Dyslexia Aid: Dyslexic & Dysgraphia Support by Nuapp Productions Pty Ltd, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/easy-dyslexia-aid-dyslexic-dysgraphia-support/id1088194043, $2.99
  7. Word Wizard for Kids School Ed by L’Escapadou, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/word-wizard-for-kids-school-ed/id447312716, $7.99 (Not a “typing” app but a really fun way to introduce kids to letter exploration and putting together letters to make words.). Their letter tracing app is also great: Writing Wizard for Kids by L’Escapadou, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/writing-wizard-for-kids/id631446426, $4.99
  8. Endless Alphabet by Originator Inc., https://apps.apple.com/us/app/endless-alphabet/id591626572, $8.99 (Not a “typing” app but a really fun way to introduce kids to letter sounds as you drag letters back in place to make words to match funny illustrated animations.)

Double the fun: If you have access to two iPads it is fun to have these apps on one iPad and then have the keyboard based apps (or AAC app with a keyboard) on a separate iPad. After the child types the letter they get to complete the activity for that letter on the other iPad as a reward/reinforcer for typing. And of course all of these apps are fun for early literacy play & exploration.

  1. Alpha Fun by KrakenEight LLC, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/alpha-fun/id1071728452, FREE
  2. Avokiddo ABC Ride by AVOKIDDO, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/avokiddo-abc-ride/id827657068, $2.99
  3. Seuss’s ABC – Read & Learn by Oceanhouse Media, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/dr-seusss-abc-read-learn/id1011479119, $5.99 (It’s so much more than just the book. This app is full of lots of fun letter activities.)
  4. Elastic Alphabets® for kids : Educator recommended learning game for preschoolers by VYAAP TECHNOLOGIES PRIVATE LIMITED, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/elastic-alphabets-for-kids-educator-recommended-learning/id977077498, $3.99
  5. Goodnight ABC by Quasar Alliance, Inc, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/goodnight-abc/id539568451, $1.99 (includes a fun interactive scene for each letter and a swipe to add color area)
  6. My ABC Train HD by LoeschWare, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/my-abc-train-hd/id707630889, $1.99 (can be customized with your own pics, labels & voice recordings so it can be adapted to specific high interest areas)
  7. Starfall ABCs by Starfall Education, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/starfall-abcs/id395623983, FREE
  8. Khan Academy Kids by Khan Academy, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/khan-academy-kids/id1378467217, FREE (lots of great activities organized by type of activity and age/grade)
  9. ABC Actions by Peapod Labs LLC, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/abc-actions/id715396289, $2.99
  10. abc WOW! Alphabet Letters Full by Bologna Games, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/abc-wow-alphabet-letters-full/id533054130, FREE

Want to suggest an iOS iPad app to be added to this list? The best way to reach me is via Facebook messaging over on my OMazing Kids page. I’m pretty picky so they need to be well designed apps and be transparent/honest about any IAPs or subscriptions. If it’s a free app, please send the link from the USA App Store so I can download and try it out. If it’s a paid 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 is compatible in order to try it out. I only post about apps that I own and have tried out.


It took me quite a bit of time to compile this list so please “tag” OMazing Kids when sharing it on social media and do not copy/paste it 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

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Top 10 AAC App Updates in 2017

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It’s amazing to see how much the field of AAC has changed over the course of my 28 year career as a SLP. Long gone are the old days of it taking years to see any major changes or improvements in AAC options. We are living in an era of rapid advancement thanks largely to social media that provides the opportunity for AAC users, therapists, teachers & parents to provide direct input to app and technology developers regarding what features we need. Most good AAC apps are now updated several times a year. Here is my list of top 10 updates that occurred for AAC apps in 2017:

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#1: Proloquo2Go – in March 2017 version 5.0 added an amazing Search feature & Progressive Language. If you haven’t checked out this AAC app in awhile, I invite you to take a look at it again. These new features are a game changer. It also now includes English, Spanish, French & Dutch languages.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/proloquo2go/id308368164?mt=8

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#2: Speak For Yourself – in January 2017 version 2.6 made this a Universal iOS app that can be used on an iPhone, iPod Touch & iPad. It also includes room for up to 40 different users (a great feature for SLPs trialing AAC with several different patients). Other updates this year added options to share vocabulary via AirDrop, more buttons became editable, the sentence bar background color can be changed & a “Manual Whisper Mode” was added to allow users to create a whole sentence prior to speaking.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/speak-for-yourself/id482508198?mt=8

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#3: LAMP Words for Life – in July 2017 version 1.6.0 added a bilingual Spanish/English pageset, Word Finder updated to show and take you through the path to a word and added the option to backup to DropBox.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lamp-words-for-life/id551215116?mt=8

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#4: TouchChat with WordPower HD – several updates added new pageset options, Arabic language added through an in-app purchase, Canadian French vocabulary files available as free upgrade and vocabulary files can now be backed up to DropBox and can be shared via E-mail and iMessaging.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/touchchat-hd-aac-w-wordpower/id412351574?mt=8

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#5: GoTalk Now Plus – in March 2017 version 4.11.6 added PCS Thinline symbols as an option through in-app purchase. In September 2017 version 4.11.11 added the option for Hybrid Scene pages (visual scene + up to 4 buttons) & the option to share messages from the Express Bar to Facebook, e-mail and text messaging.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gotalk-now-plus/id742150885?mt=8

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#6: Snap + Core First – this new app was just released in June 2017 and in December 2017 already had a major update to add a bilingual Spanish/English pageset option & Spanish voices. At the end of October 2017 they added access to voice output in the free version of this app for ASHA certified SLPs as part of your MyTobiiDynavox account.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/snap-core-first/id1072799231?mt=8

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#7: Avaz Pro – in May 2017 version 4.2.6 added the option of having up to 77 buttons per screen. In September 2017 version 4.3 added the option to share via AirDrop and the Search now takes you through the path to a word.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/avaz-pro-aac-app-for-autism/id558161781?mt=8

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#8: ChatAble & Predictable apps by TherapyBox both had major overhauls in 2017.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/chatable-symbol-based-app/id803004748?mt=8

& https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/predictable/id404445007?mt=8

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#9: BRIDGE Communication – in January 2017 version 1.17 added the option to add video clips to buttons. The price was lowered to 99 cents.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bridge-communication/id983660714?mt=8

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#10: Custom Boards Premium by Smarty Ears had a major overhaul. New templates and updated Smarty Symbols were added. A great affordable option for making printable choice boards and visual supports.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/custom-boards-premium/id463344117?mt=8
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See this updated post for info about how SLPs can get free access to several AAC apps, funding tips & links to AAC user Facebook groups: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/06/11/aac-tips-how-slps-can-get-free-access-to-aac-apps-aac-app-user-groups-funding-options-more/.
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2017 was a years of ups & downs in the world of AAC apps. It was exciting to see so many great improvements in apps and a couple of new apps released but at the same time very sad to see a few AAC apps either disappear or no longer function properly after the release of iOS 11. I’ve received numerous messages on my OMazing Kids page from parents and therapists with very heartbreaking stories of AAC users losing their voice when iOS 11 came out. Several small AAC app developers had not updated those apps in almost 5 years. It’s one thing to lose a favorite game or therapy app but a whole different thing to lose an AAC app. It’s a cautionary tale to anyone who has thoughts of developing a new AAC app. Beyond the initial costs of developing the app, it is imperative that you also have a very well thought out long term plan and finances for supporting and keeping an AAC app updated.
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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with 28 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.