Affordable AAC: Amazon Fire vs. Android vs. iPad

In addition to creating communication boards, flip books and true object based icons for non-tech AAC, I look at using whatever tech an individual has and finding a good affordable option to put on that so they have something to use immediately.

These can be helpful to use until an AAC eval can be completed, until a more robust option can be purchased, to meet a short term need or as a secondary tool to offer features that might not be available in their main AAC device, etc.

Or this may be what they use long term. Unfortunately not everyone has access to getting an AAC eval or options for funding more robust AAC so there are individuals who may rely on these affordable devices and apps as their only option.

It is also a reality that not everyone can afford an iPad so that’s why this blog post covers the three main app stores.

This is intended to give you a *general* idea of the overall cost of purchasing AAC for use on Amazon Fire vs. Android vs. iPad.


Total cost of a good model of tablet + good case with a rotating stand + a robust symbol-based AAC app:

• Amazon Fire: $310.00

• Android: $480.00

• iPad: $520.00

Prices would be $100 less if purchasing the app during a 50% off sale (typically in April and October). Additional savings if purchasing a tablet or iPad during a sale. These prices don’t include any extras like in-app purchases for premium symbols, premium voices, extra pagesets / vocab files, Apple Care, a screen protector or a extremely protective case, etc…


If the cost of purchasing a robust AAC app is too high even during a sale, consider a robust app that offers a monthly subscription or check out the “Basic Feature Chart for Affordable and Free AAC apps & AAC-Related Apps (iOS, Android Google Play, Amazon Fire, Windows + a few Web-Based options)” (everything featured in that resource is priced under $10.00 and many are free)


How I came up with these numbers …

This is a cost comparison based on prices of devices and cases that I purchased and is just a general comparison. Avaz and CoughDrop are used in this comparison since they are the most robust symbol-based AAC apps available across all three platforms. Prices will vary based on the AAC app and whether or not you wait to purchase during sales.

Amazon Fire Tablet:

Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet (2020 release): https://a.co/d/j0doVDO, $89.99 ($44.99 during Amazon Prime Days Sale)

Pepkoo Case: https://a.co/d/gyG3ZY9, $18.99

Total: $108.98 ($63.98 during Amazon Prime Days Sale)

Robust symbol-based AAC app options:

• Avaz (Free app, 2 week free trial, then subscription ($9.99/mo or $99.99/yr) or a one time $199.99 purchase), side loaded from Google Play App Store

• CoughDrop (Free app, 2 month free trial, then subscription ($6/mo) or one-time purchase ($200). More info about their other subscription options: https://bit.ly/3h8aEC1)

• CoreVoice: $49.99

Total cost of tablet + case + robust symbol-based AAC app:

~ $158.97 – $308.98 (or as low as $113.97 – $163.98 if you get the tablet on sale and get Avaz or CoughDrop when they are 50% off – typically in April & in October)


Android Tablet:

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 10.4″, 64GB: https://a.co/d/07JEMhI, $249.99 (the price has gone down since I purchased mine for $299)

Case with rotating stand (similar to the Pepkoo). I ended up purchasing one on eBay (https://www.ebay.com/itm/374088538546. Sadly that case is out of stock. I contacted the seller on eBay and they won’t be getting any more). It’s difficult to find cases with this type of rotating stand for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 10.4” Android tablet. I found this one but haven’t seen it in person: https://www.ebay.com/itm/114920453285, $28.99

Total: ~ $278.98

Robust symbol-based AAC app options:

• Avaz (Free app, 2 week free trial, then subscription ($9.99/mo or $99.99/yr) or a one time $199.99 purchase)

• CoughDrop (Free app, 2 month free trial, then subscription ($6/mo) or one-time purchase ($200). More info about their other subscription options: https://bit.ly/3h8aEC1)

• CoreVoice: $49.99

Total cost of tablet + case + robust symbol-based AAC app:

~ $328.97 – $478.98 (or $378.98 if you get Avaz or CoughDrop when they are 50% off – typically in April & in October)


iPad:

iPad 9th gen, 64GB: https://a.co/d/3VSOLY7, $299

Pepkoo case: https://a.co/d/curQA4K, $20.99

OR

If you also need a shoulder carrying strap look at the Pepkoo Triple Shockproof Case: https://a.co/d/0RyWDMz, $26.99

Total: ~ $319.99 – $325.99

Robust symbol-based AAC app options:

• Avaz: Free app, 2 week free trial, then $9.99/mo or $99.99/yr subscription or $199.99 one time purchase

• Clicker Communicator: $199.99

• CoreVoice: $49.99

• CoughDrop: Free app, 2 month free trial, then $6/mo subscription or $200 one time purchase. More info about their other subscription options: https://bit.ly/3h8aEC1

• GoTalk Now / GoTalk Now Plus: $99.99 / $169.99

• Grid for iPad: free version with 30 day free trial, then $10.99/mo subscription or $399.99 one time purchase

• LAMP Words for Life: $299.99

• Niki Talk 2 Pro: $89.99

• Proloquo + Proloquo Coach: free app, 30 day free trial, then $9.99/mo or $99.99/yr subscription

• Proloquo2Go: $249.99

• Speak for Yourself: free version with 30 day free trial, then $299.99 one time purchase

• Talk Suite Pro: $199.99

• TD Snap: free version with 60 day free trial, then $49.99 one time purchase

• TouchChat with WordPower: free version with 30 day free trial, then $299.99 one time purchase

Total cost of iPad + case + robust symbol-based AAC app:

~ $369.98 – $725.98 (varies depending on the app, some of these apps are ~50% off twice a year. As a comparison to the Amazon & Android versions, the total if you got Avaz or CoughDrop for 50% off = ~ $419.99

If you are looking for a cost comparison of digital PODD options see this post: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2021/01/09/review-comparison-of-features-in-digital-podd-ipad-apps-in-2021-simpodd-grid-for-ipad-snap-core-first-and-podd-with-compass/


Windows: The cost would vary greatly depending on the type of tablet or laptop purchased. The Windows tablet that I purchased would not be durable enough for primary use for AAC.


This post is not implying that price should be the sole factor when choosing AAC but it is acknowledging that in real life many folks have to purchase this on their own and price is a factor.


How to Install the Google Play Store on an Amazon Fire Tablet: https://www.howtogeek.com/232726/how-to-install-the-google-play-store-on-your-amazon-fire-tablet/ (I like that he keeps that post updated. Pay close attention to the instructions for your exact model of tablet & follow the precise instructions)

Tips: If you are using an Android tablet & an Amazon Fire Tablet with the Google Play App Store side loaded, be sure to toggle on Family Sharing before making app purchases & make the purchases from the Google Play App Store on your Amazon Fire Tablet. Those have been recognized by Google Play on my Android tablet. The reverse was hit and miss (likely due to the side loading).


In-depth post about the Pepkoo cases: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2021/04/30/pepkoo-ipad-8th-gen-case-features/


A series of three videos comparing AAC options across four platforms: Apple iOS, Android Google Play, Amazon Fire & Windows:


* Comparison of voice loudness and quality for AAC: iPad, Samsung Android, Amazon Fire & Windows (4:20):

* Considerations for AAC on Different Platforms: iPad, Android, Amazon Fire & Windows (6:17):

* A look at AAC options across platforms: Windows, Amazon Fire, Android Google Play, Apple (12:55):


Those who have access to a funding source and want in-depth info about the features in AAC apps should read: Five Feature Matching Resources for AAC Apps (comparing features in AAC apps) + several videos comparing AAC apps across platforms (iPad, Android, Amazon Fire, Windows), https://omazingkidsllc.com/2022/08/10/five-feature-matching-resources-for-aac-apps-comparing-features-in-aac-apps-several-videos-comparing-aac-apps-across-platforms-ipad-android-amazon-fire-windows/


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 & GoVisual Visual Scene Apps – 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

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelamooradomazingkidsaac

• Blog: https://omazingkidsllc.com

Five Feature Matching Resources for AAC Apps (comparing features in AAC apps) + several videos comparing AAC apps across platforms (iPad, Android, Amazon Fire, Windows)

Looking for info to compare AAC apps? Check out these five feature matching resources:

• Basic Feature Chart for Affordable and Free AAC apps & AAC-Related Apps (iOS, Android Google Play, Amazon Fire, Windows + a few Web-Based options): https://bit.ly/BasicAffordableAACchart. More info: https://bit.ly/BasicAffordableAACblogpost

Robust Android AAC (Android Google Play & Amazon Fire): https://bit.ly/RobustAndroidAACappChart. More info: https://bit.ly/RobustAndroidAACblogpost

iOS Symbol-Based: https://bit.ly/SymbolBasedAACapps. More info: https://bit.ly/SymbolBasedAACblogpost

iOS Text-Based: https://bit.ly/TextBasedAACapps. More info: https://bit.ly/TextBasedAACblogpost

iOS Visual Scenes & Video Visual Scenes: https://bit.ly/AACvsd. More info: https://bit.ly/VSDaacBlogPost


TPT Preview Videos & Reviews:

iOS Symbol-Based

.

Thanks SO much to Lauren S. Enders for this shout out for my AAC Feature Matching Chart in her presentation on 6/24/21 at AAC in the Cloud! See the whole presentation and get her handouts for “Personalizing AAC – A Deep Dive into Vocabulary Customization”: https://presenters.aacconference.com/videos/UVRRd1FUSXg=?. Be sure to also check out her Waklet with links to resources: https://wke.lt/w/s/7ldtJE.


Thanks Vicki Clarke / Dynamic Therapy Associates Inc (aacchicks)! The shoutout for the AAC feature matching chart in your IG Stories on 7/20/21 made my day 🥰


See the awesome reviews for it on TPT. Thanks to everyone who has written a review and helped spread the word about this resource 😊


iOS Text-Based


iOS Visual Scenes & Video Visual Scenes:


Each chart includes info about features that are being explored as potentially being helpful for Gestalt Language Processors. The easiest way to find that info is to open each PDF in the free Xodo PDF reader and enter “gestalt” into the Search. See this blog post for more info about Xodo: https://bit.ly/XodoApp.


The symbol-based feature matching resource includes a supplemental handout “Unique Features in Symbol-Based AAC Apps to Support Gestalt Language Processors”. That handout includes info related to all 12 apps + additional info about features in 8 free and affordable symbol-based AAC apps (mainly iOS, some Android and a couple of Window) priced $2.99 or less. This supplemental handout is exclusive content that is only available as part of this resource.

See a preview of the new supplemental handout: Unique Features in Symbol-Based AAC Apps to Support Gestalt Language Processors


Want more info about Gestalt Language Processing & AAC? See this FREE handout: https://bit.ly/GLPandAAC


Looking for resources to compare features in a wide variety of AAC apps? I added a bundle on TPT includes all three of my iOS AAC feature matching resources at a discounted price compared to purchasing them individually (saves about 10%). If you are looking to purchase resources for several staff / team members, take a look at the Multiple Licenses discount (saves 20%): https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/AAC-Feature-Matching-Resource-Bundle-7849416

Please read the full description, the reviews and watch the TPT preview on each individual resource prior to purchasing the bundle


I’ve also set the Multiple Licenses discount on the individual resources to 20% off since I’ve been receiving some inquiries about discounts for bulk purchasing.


Robust Android:


Affordable and Free AAC apps & AAC-Related Apps (iOS, Android Google Play, Amazon Fire, Windows + a few Web-Based options) – all priced $9.99 or less:


A series of three videos comparing AAC options across four platforms: Apple iOS, Android Google Play, Amazon Fire & Windows:


* Comparison of voice loudness and quality for AAC: iPad, Samsung Android, Amazon Fire & Windows (4:20):

* Considerations for AAC on Different Platforms: iPad, Android, Amazon Fire & Windows (6:17):

* A look at AAC options across platforms: Windows, Amazon Fire, Android Google Play, Apple (12:55):


Affordable AAC: Amazon Fire vs. Android vs. iPad: https://bit.ly/AffordableAAC-AmazonFire-Android-iPad (the blog post includes all of the details about how I came up with the costs & other considerations)


How to Install the Google Play Store on an Amazon Fire Tablet: https://www.howtogeek.com/232726/how-to-install-the-google-play-store-on-your-amazon-fire-tablet/ (I like that he keeps that post updated. Pay close attention to the instructions for your exact model of tablet & follow the precise instructions)

Tips: If you are using an Android tablet & an Amazon Fire Tablet with the Google Play App Store side loaded, be sure to toggle on Family Sharing before making app purchases & make the purchases from the Google Play App Store on your Amazon Fire Tablet. Those have been recognized by Google Play on my Android tablet. The reverse was hit and miss (likely due to the side loading).


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


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

New Resource: Feature Matching Chart for Robust Android AAC Apps (Google Play & Amazon Fire)

New Resource: Feature Matching Chart for Robust Android AAC Apps (Google Play & Amazon Fire).



This resource includes an in-depth comparison of features & support resources across 5 robust Android AAC apps:

• Avaz AAC

• CoreVoice

• CoughDrop

• Predictable

• Speech Assistant AAC

(** Note: The info about Predictable is currently basic. In-depth info about features in that app will be added to this resource in a free update after the anticipated update for the Android version is released in the Google Play App Store **)


Available on TPT: https://bit.ly/RobustAndroidAACappChart

Ko-fi subscribers can access the download link on this post: https://ko-fi.com/post/Feature-Matching-Chart-for-Robust-Android-AAC-Apps-K3K7EAIM4 or the pinned post: https://ko-fi.com/Post/Links-to-posts-about-most-current-feature-matching-F1F5C9DMD


There are lots of simple affordable and free AAC apps available for Android and Amazon Fire tablets. See this resource for basic info about those apps: https://bit.ly/BasicAffordableAACchart


Looking for info about other AAC apps? Check out these resources:

iOS Symbol-Based: https://bit.ly/SymbolBasedAACapps

iOS Text-Based: https://bit.ly/TextBasedAACapps

Visual Scenes & Video Visual Scenes: https://bit.ly/AACvsd

AAC Feature Matching Resource Bundle (includes all three, save 10%): https://bit.ly/aacFeatureMatchingBundle

If you are looking to purchase resources for several staff / team members, take a look at the Multiple Licenses discount (saves 20%)


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 & GoVisual Visual Scene Apps – 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

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelamooradomazingkidsaac

• Blog: https://omazingkidsllc.com

Resource Update Alert – 7/27/22 Updated : Feature Matching Chart for Visual Scene and Video Visual Scene Display AAC Apps

🎉 Resource Update Alert 🎉 7/27/22 Updated : Feature Matching Chart for Visual Scene and Video Visual Scene Display AAC Apps

Those who have previously purchased this resource can download the latest version for no additional cost on TPT: https://bit.ly/AACvsd. Current Ko-fi subscribers can access the latest update on today’s post: https://ko-fi.com/post/72722-Updated-Visual-Scene-Display-AAC-feature-m-K3K2E2B9Y or on the pinned post: https://ko-fi.com/Post/Links-to-posts-about-most-current-feature-matching-F1F5C9DMD


Info about all three Feature Matching Resources for AAC Apps (comparing features in AAC apps) + TPT bundle and multiple license discounts: https://bit.ly/3aacFeatureMatchingResources


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 & GoVisual Visual Scene Apps – 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

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelamooradomazingkidsaac

• Blog: https://omazingkidsllc.com

Resource Update Alert – 7/26/22 Updated Feature Matching Chart for the Top 13 iOS Text-Based AAC Apps

🎉 Resource Update Alert 🎉 7/26/22 Updated Feature Matching Chart for the Top 13 iOS Text-Based AAC Apps:

Those who have previously purchased this resource can download the latest version for no additional cost on TPT: https://bit.ly/TextBasedAACapps. Current Ko-fi subscribers can access the latest update on today’s post: https://ko-fi.com/post/72622-Updated-Text-Based-AAC-app-chart-P5P5E1BVJ or on the pinned post: https://ko-fi.com/Post/Links-to-posts-about-most-current-feature-matching-F1F5C9DMD


Info about all three Feature Matching Resources for AAC Apps (comparing features in AAC apps) + TPT bundle and multiple license discounts: https://bit.ly/3aacFeatureMatchingResources


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 & GoVisual Visual Scene Apps – 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

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelamooradomazingkidsaac

• Blog: https://omazingkidsllc.com

Resource Update Alert – 7/25/22 Updated Feature Matching Chart for the Top 12 Robust iOS Symbol-Based AAC Apps

🎉 Resource Update Alert 🎉 7/25/22 Updated Feature Matching Chart for the Top 12 Robust iOS Symbol-Based AAC Apps

Those who have previously purchased this resource can download the latest version for no additional cost on TPT: https://bit.ly/SymbolBasedAACapps.

Current Ko-fi subscribers can access the latest update on today’s post: https://ko-fi.com/post/72522-Updated-Symbol-Based-AAC-Feature-Matching-N4N7E0NR4 or on the pinned post: https://ko-fi.com/Post/Links-to-posts-about-most-current-feature-matching-F1F5C9DMD

Info about all three Feature Matching Resources for AAC Apps (comparing features in AAC apps) + TPT bundle and multiple license discounts: https://bit.ly/3aacFeatureMatchingResources


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 & GoVisual Visual Scene Apps – 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

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelamooradomazingkidsaac

• Blog: https://omazingkidsllc.com

AAC Test Drive: Device and App Comparison Worksheet

Use this new resource as a way to document options being considered during your “AAC Test Drive. It’s a 10 page worksheet with 150 features and things to consider when comparing AAC options (high tech, mid tech and non tech): https://bit.ly/AACtestdriveWorksheet


Want in-depth up to date info about the features in these apps? Check out “Three Feature Matching Resources for AAC Apps (comparing features in AAC apps)”: https://bit.ly/3aacFeatureMatchingResources. The chart for symbol-based AAC apps includes a free supplemental handout “Unique Features in Symbol-Based AAC Apps to Support Gestalt Language Processors”.


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 & GoVisual Visual Scene Apps – 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

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelamooradomazingkidsaac

• Blog: https://omazingkidsllc.com

AAC Test Drive & Getting Access to Robust AAC Apps

There is no “one size fits all” to anything about AAC and many individuals will need to use a variety of options (non tech, mid tech, high tech (SGDs, apps on an iPad or iPhone or other tablet or phone), sign language, gestures, facial expressions, vocalizations, segments of videos for gestalts, handwriting, etc…) as part of a multimodal system to support communication across environments and situations.

An AAC app is often part of a successful multimodal AAC system. While there isn’t any “perfect” AAC app there are features in these apps that might make some a better “fit” over other options.

It’s similar to taking a test drive to find a form of transportation that you like and meets your needs at that point in your life. All cars have an engine, tires and seats. Your first car may have been very basic transportation. But think about your dream vehicle. What features would it have? Why would you choose it over a different option? Older individuals might prioritize safety features. A teen or single young adult might prioritize the “look” / how “cool” it is. A family with young children might prioritize how many car seats can fit and storage. Others might prioritize fuel efficiency and eco-friendliness. You might ride a bike, subway, train, take an Uber ride, take a ferry, paddle in a canoe, etc. None of these is necessarily “better” than another or the “best” form of transportation. The “best” option is the one that meets the needs of that individual in that situation.


In order to take AAC on a “test drive”, you need access. If you are an SLP or SLT and have an iPad, you can get access to several robust iOS AAC apps to try out with patients / students / clients.

Here are three FREE handouts with the details on how to get access:

* Symbol-Based AAC Apps: https://bit.ly/SLPsSLTsAccessToAACapps

* Text-Based AAC Apps: https://bit.ly/3Bqtnmn

* Visual Scene AAC Apps: https://bit.ly/3wTGBI4


Important Considerations:

* When available, please try the free version/free trial to take a look at an app before requesting an app code. App codes are limited and are intended for SLPs who do AAC evals frequently and need quick ongoing access during evaluations, feature matching & trial of options.

* The official process for requesting a code was verified for inclusion in each of these handouts and the feature matching charts.

* These app codes are typically NOT compatible with a mobile device management also known as a MDM-managed device. They require a standard non-managed Apple ID.

* Most app developers will ask for info regarding your role in AAC evals, how many you do in a year, where you are located, type of setting you work in, etc. to substantiate the need. It is likely that those working in a non-profit setting or school or specific geographic areas may be prioritized. App developers receive a very limited number of codes per app release or update so there will likely be waiting lists.

* Codes do expire so please make sure to redeem it immediately so it’s not wasted.

* When needing switch scanning as a method of access, be sure to also consider traditional SGDs that have built in switch ports that will likely provide a more reliable means of access. When exploring switch access on an iPad, it is important to try out any options (switches, switch interface, iOS Accessibility) being considered to insure that they will work for that particular user and within that particular AAC app. Seating, positioning and identification of the best type of switches and optimal switch sites are crucial for AAC users to be successful with this method of access. Please collaborate with that user’s PT, OT and/or AT specialist.

For those who only have an occasional need, please consider alternative means of trying that app:

* Some companies offer iOS-based SGDs that could be borrowed by contacting your local vendor rep for that company.

* Other companies that sell fundable iOS-based devices may also offer a short term loaner.

* Another option in the USA is to contact your state’s AT Lending Program. They will likely have iPads with AAC apps available for short term loan.


Want in-depth up to date info about the features in these apps? Check out “Three Feature Matching Resources for AAC Apps (comparing features in AAC apps)”: https://bit.ly/3aacFeatureMatchingResources. The chart for symbol-based AAC apps includes a free supplemental handout “Unique Features in Symbol-Based AAC Apps to Support Gestalt Language Processors”.


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 & GoVisual Visual Scene Apps – 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

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelamooradomazingkidsaac

• Blog: https://omazingkidsllc.com

AAC Customization for Gestalt Language Processors

A gestalt language processing style should be considered during an AAC eval, when customizing AAC & during implementation. The power of truly embracing and incorporating individual interests into an AAC system and AAC implementation plus customizing for unique needs cannot be overstated. It is a neurodiversity affirming practice that builds connections, fosters AAC ownership, resonates with them and allows for authentic communication…


Read this post by a parent on the Neuromess Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/101795887897310/posts/pfbid02d4EL2x9CQ4iivQu1BCzM6wKiWoPEhpom49eeMvwhZmpmDHcFD2EirioDKBJgsBrrl/?d=n


AAC Customization “Do”:

  • Involve the AAC user in the customization process
  • Only add things that are meaningful to that individual
  • Consider the function of the gestalts, the contexts in which they are used & the organization/design of that app when adding content
  • Consider the opportunity to embrace the interests of that individual in customizing an AAC system that resonates with them. Some things might be added for self-regulation and the pure joy that they bring. Individuals with some speech may script for these reasons. AAC users deserve the opportunity to do this via AAC
  • Be open to using more than one AAC option to meet the needs. We all use “multimodal communication”

AAC Customization “Don’t”:

  • Don’t alter the inherent structure or features of an AAC app unless it’s to meet specific sensory or access needs
  • Don’t replace Core Words or other items on the Home Screen with gestalts
  • Don’t add things just because you saw someone post about adding a particular phrase or video. There is no “standard set” of gestalts
  • Don’t delete a gestalt/button once that gestalt has been mitigated
  • Don’t switch to a different AAC system unless an AAC eval with feature matching and trial of options has been completed and there is a specific reason to change. There is no one “best” AAC option for anyone regardless of whether they are a Gestalt or Analytic Language Processor

Want to learn more about AAC feature matching (comparing features and matching them to an individual’s needs)? Check out the three feature matching resources: https://bit.ly/3aacFeatureMatchingResources. The feature matching resource for the symbol-based AAC apps includes a free supplemental handout “Unique Features in Symbol-Based AAC Apps to Support Gestalt Language Processors”. It has info related to all 12 apps + additional info about features in 8 free and affordable symbol-based AAC apps (mainly iOS, some Android and a couple of Windows) priced $2.99 or less.


Free handout: Resource Roundup: Gestalt Language Processing & AAC, https://bit.ly/GLPandAAC


The 2022 AAC in the Cloud free online conference has two sessions related to GLP & AAC:

https://presenters.aacconference.com/videos/UWpRNVFUSXk=

https://presenters.aacconference.com/videos/UVRVMFFUSXk=


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 & GoVisual Visual Scene Apps – 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

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelamooradomazingkidsaac

• Blog: https://omazingkidsllc.com


Clipart Credit: Drawn to AAC: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/AAC-Teachers-and-Learners-7475352

Updated Feature Matching Chart for the Top 12 Robust iOS Symbol-Based AAC Apps (6-13-22)

🎉 Resource Update Alert 🎉 6/13/22 Updated Feature Matching Chart for the Top 12 Robust iOS Symbol-Based AAC Apps

Those who have previously purchased this resource can download the latest version for no additional cost on TPT: https://bit.ly/SymbolBasedAACapps. Current Ko-fi subscribers can access the latest update on today’s post: https://ko-fi.com/post/Updated-Symbol-Based-AAC-Feature-Matching-Chart-6-Z8Z5D968O

Info about all three Feature Matching Resources for AAC Apps (comparing features in AAC apps) + TPT bundle and multiple license discounts: https://bit.ly/3aacFeatureMatchingResources


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