Posts Tagged ‘AAC’

FREE app + PDF with 8 pages of FREE printables to target Core Vocabulary, Articulation & Rhyming (created by Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, OMazing Kids)

FREE app + PDF with 8 pages of FREE printables to target Core Vocabulary, Articulation & Rhyming

This fun FREE app has lots of opportunities to target core words (I, me, you, not, help, that, find, little, see, look, there, do, open) and directional words (up, down, left, right) as you slide the tabs in the story. Also lots of great rhyming words (bear, square, pear, tear, chair, stair, hair, fair, flare, mare, there, everywhere) that could also be used as articulation targets for kids working on vocalic -air words.

I made 8 pages of free printables to go with the app:

  • response recording form for vocalic -air articulation
  • Core Vocabulary target pages for AAC:
    – LAMP Words for Life
    – Proloquo2go
    – Speak for Yourself
    – Talk Suite Pro
    – TouchChat HD with WordPower
    – Avaz
    – one without symbols

Each of these AAC apps has a symbol finder feature so be sure to use that to become familiar with where these words are located before using this activity.

These Core Vocabulary target pages are intended to be used as a visual reminder of words to target while using an AAC app on one device and the free “Where Is My Little Square Bear?” app on a separate device.

I made these free printables on my iPad using screenshots from free manual boards and/or that AAC app and a template and SymbolStix symbols in the iESLp app (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ieslp/id912953895, iOS 8.3 or later, $19.99 – such an amazing value with all the templates and SymbolStix symbols included. Pay once… no subscription required).

Get the FREE printables: https://omazingkidsyoga.files.wordpress.com/2020/07/22where-is-my-little-square-bear22-free-printables-created-by-angela-moorad-ms-ccc-slp-omazing-kids.pdf

Get the FREE app:

iOS: Where Is My Little Square Bear? by Eli Hooper, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/where-is-my-little-square-bear/id1200609756, iOS Universal, iOS 7.0 or later

Android: Where Is My Little Square Bear? by Eli Hooper, https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zoneoutapps.squarebearAndroid
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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
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

Making Informed AAC Purchasing Decisions

Making Informed AAC Purchasing Decisions

Thinking about getting an AAC app? Many AAC apps typically go on sale for a few days in April (or May) and October. You can see the pricing history for any app on the AppSliced website (https://appsliced.co/apps) and watch Lauren Enders’ page for her round up posts of AAC app sale dates/details (https://www.facebook.com/LaurenSEndersMaCccSlp/).

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Looking for a way to try out AAC apps before making a purchasing decision? If you are in the USA, all states are supposed to have an Assistive Technology Lending Library program where you 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. How to find the AT Lending Library in your state: https://www.at3center.net/stateprogram

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If you are a Speech-Language Pathologist, then see this post for tips on how you can get free access to AAC apps, AAC app user groups, funding options & more: 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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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC

Retired Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist with 28 years experience …. still posting occasionally about apps & AAC stuff.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

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

Free printable AAC core board with alphabet, numbers, shapes & colors

Free printable AAC core board with alphabet, numbers, shapes & colors (4 page PDF that you can print, assemble and laminate). It was recently shared in the AAC for the SLP Facebook group (original source seen on Pinterest from the Angelman Syndrome Foundation but the link is broken… appears to be no longer available on their website). I saved it to my blog:

https://omazingkidsyoga.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/150-location-core-board-with-alphabet.pdf

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I found this one on Boardmaker Share that is very similar and could be edited if you have the Boardmaker software or online subscription: https://www.boardmakeronline.com/Activity/8583743
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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC

Retired Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist with 28 years experience …. still posting occasionally about apps & AAC stuff. 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

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

Spanish AAC Apps, Devices & Resources (Hablo con CAA)

Spanish AAC Apps, Devices & Resources (Hablo con CAA)

It can be challenging to find information about and resources for AAC in languages other than English. Since Spanish is the most common language after English in my state I have compiled a list to make it easier to share with parents:
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Hablo con CAA is a great website in Spanish: https://habloconcaa.wordpress.com. They also have a Facebook page & Facebook group. Most posts are in Spanish.

https://www.facebook.com/habloconcaa/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/habloconcaa

Prompting hierarchy: https://habloconcaa.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/repensar-la-jerarquia-de-peticiones-en-la-caa-aac-prompting-hierarchy/
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Video about Aided Language Stimulation – in Spanish:

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The Communication Matrix assessment is available online in Spanish: https://communicationmatrix.org. See this post in Spanish explaining the website: https://habloconcaa.wordpress.com/2017/05/04/evaluando-la-caa-la-matriz-de-comunicacion/
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Saltillo webinars in Spanish: https://saltillo.com/videos/x/webinar/es
Saltillo Core Vocabulary handout: https://saltillo.com/downloads/chat/escogiendo-el-vocabulario-clave-el-acercamiento-de-actividad-primero-choosing-core-vocabulary-act/Escogiendo%20el%20vocabulario%20clave%20El%20acercamiento%20de%20actividad%20primero.pdf
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PRC Spanish info: https://www.prentrom.com/prc_advantage/unidad-espanol-language-system
LAMP Words for Life Quick Reference Guide in Spanish: 

http://file.prentrom.com/2097/17908v1_1-LAMP%20WFL%20SE%20Vocab%20Quick%20Reference-Español.pdf
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Assistiveware’s resources for Proloquo2Go in Spanish: http://www.assistiveware.com/es/producto/proloquo2go/recursos
Core Word Board: front: http://coreword.assistiveware.com/uploads/db6476/original/1X/1f0f35191fd7c602c2016dfec3f5f3980d4255f2.pdf, back: http://coreword.assistiveware.com/uploads/db6476/original/1X/8ffa70e175c74006c2b60b7d0a229ff1ab8f7d2d.pdf
Core Word Poster: http://download.assistiveware.com/assistiveware/files/A0-840×1189-CoreWord-Poster-es-ES.pdf
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More printable options:

* AAC Core Words to Go in Spanish Picture Communication (available for purchase on Teachers Pay Teachers: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/AAC-Core-Words-to-Go-in-Spanish-Picture-Communication-1829593)

* Spanish Communication Flip Board (FREE on Teachers Pay Teachers: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spanish-Communication-Flip-Board-2838262)

* Graduated Core Word Photo Boards with Flip Fringe Vocab & Spanish Version (FREE on TPT: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Graduated-Core-Word-Photo-Boards-with-Flip-Fringe-Vocab-Spanish-Version-3127128)

* 72 Spanish Graduated Core Board (FREE on TPT: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/72-Spanish-Graduated-Core-Board-2865788)

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More materials:

* http://aulaabierta.arasaac.org
* http://aulaabierta.arasaac.org/materiales-caa
* http://aulaabierta.arasaac.org/materiales-caa-recetas-de-cocina
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Adapted books: http://chapelhillsnippets.blogspot.com/p/spanish.html
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High Tech AAC for Spanish Speakers – in the ASHA Leader 3/18/16: http://blog.asha.org/2016/03/08/high-tech-aac-for-spanish-speakers/ (note: The AAC app world is constantly changing. Even though that article is less than 2 years old it is already outdated. LAMP Words for Life now has a bilingual Spanish/English option & Snap + Core First has been released and then updated to add a bilingual Spanish/English option).
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PrAACtical AAC: http://praacticalaac.org/?s=Spanish
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Boardmaker boards in Spanish: http://prekese.dadeschools.net/Resources/BMDSpanish.html
https://www.boardmakeronline.com/Activities/Search#?page=1&text=Spanish
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Dedicated Speech Generating Devices:

* PRC’s Accent series of devices with UNIDAD bilingual English – Spanish language system.
* Saltillo’s NovaChat series of devices. Several Spanish pageset options.
* Tobii Dynavox offers Snap + Core First in several dedicated devices. This vocabulary has a bilingual Spanish/English option.
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Robust AAC apps:

* CoughDrop by CoughDrop, Inc., https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/coughdrop/id1021384570?mt=8

How to translate a board in CoughDrop: https://coughdrop.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001290091-How-can-I-translate-a-speech-board-into-a-different-language-

* Proloquo2Go by AssistiveWare
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/proloquo2go/id308368164?mt=8, has a bilingual Spanish/English option

* Proloquo4Text by AssistiveWare, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/proloquo4text/id751646884?mt=8 (has Spanish option)

* LAMP Words For Life by Prentke Romich Company
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lamp-words-for-life/id551215116?mt=8, has a bilingual Spanish/English option

* Snap + Core First by Tobii Dynavox LLC
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/snap-core-first/id1072799231?mt=8, has a bilingual Spanish/English option

* TouchChat HD – AAC with WordPower by Silver Kite
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/touchchat-hd-aac-with-wordpower/id412351574?mt=8, has 10 different Spanish pagesets options within the app

* Avaz Español – AAC App para el autismo (Software de comunicación aumentativa Imagen para Niños con Necesidades Especiales) by Avaz, Inc.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/avaz-espa%C3%B1ol-aac-app-para-autismo-software-comunicaci%C3%B3n/id923997149?mt=8 – Spanish only

* BRIDGE Communication by Bioprism, Inc.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bridge-communication/id983660714?mt=8 (has Spanish & English options in the settings area)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVIr5fmx0b2WTA1yluY-MkQ
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Other AAC apps (not robust but can be helpful to meet specific needs):

* LetMeTalk by AppNotize UG (haftungsbeschraenkt), https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/letmetalk/id919990138?mt=8 (Android version: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.appnotize.letmetalk&hl=en)

* Verbal Me Español by fishdog.net, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/verbal-me-espa%C3%B1ol/id747621945?mt=8

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3/15/20: Check out the updated Pinterest boards by Lauren Enders. Nicely organized by sections within the board to help you find what you’re looking for: https://www.pinterest.com/lasenders/aac-caa-spanish-implementation-supports/

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5/1/20: Spanish translations of the great handouts from The AAC Coach – in this album on Facebook: 

https://www.facebook.com/pg/theaaccoach/photos/?tab=album&album_id=142370680583444&__tn__=-UC-R

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5/1/20: Spanish versions of Users Guides for GoTalk products & GoTalk apps from Attainment Company

GoTalk 4+ User Guide – Spanish Version

https://www.attainmentcompany.com/mwdownloads/download/link/id/1528/

(For this product: https://www.attainmentcompany.com/gotalk-4)

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GoTalk 9+ User Guide – Spanish Version

https://www.attainmentcompany.com/mwdownloads/download/link/id/1529/

(For this product: https://www.attainmentcompany.com/gotalk-9)

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GoTalk 20+ User Guide – Spanish Version

https://www.attainmentcompany.com/mwdownloads/download/link/id/1533/

(For this product: https://www.attainmentcompany.com/gotalk-20)

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GoTalk Express 32 User Guide – Spanish Version

https://www.attainmentcompany.com/mwdownloads/download/link/id/1530/

(For this product: https://www.attainmentcompany.com/gotalk-express-32)

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GoTalk Now AAC app Users Guide

https://www.attainmentcompany.com/mwdownloads/download/link/id/1527/?fbclid=IwAR0YdHLBZGK7JPBjaO-JD2oi4kLuGIb1SBc-9Oz0LXvP5err1kAztq6YVho

(For this app: https://www.attainmentcompany.com/gotalk-now. The same guide should be applicable to the other versions of the app. I use this version: https://www.attainmentcompany.com/gotalk-now-plus). The Users Guide is also available within the help section in the apps. The Spanish version will only appear if the iPad’s language is set to Spanish (Settings > General > iPad Language & Regions). Then, when in the app, if you go to the Help section it will display the Spanish guide. 

More info: As you adjust the language on that iPad (Settings > General > iPad Language & Regions) the buttons in the app are translated and the user guide has been translated for Chinese, Czech, English, Finnish, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Ukrainian. Then, for Danish and Greek, the app is translated into the language, but the user guide remains English. 

It is also worth noting that the app can be programmed to speak any language supported by the iPad. For instance, someone who speaks French and has a French keyboard downloaded on their iPad, when they use the text-to-speech within the app, it will speak in French.

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If you know of other good Spanish AAC resources, feel free to let me know over on Facebook messaging on my OMazing Kids page.
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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
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga (note: Facebook frequently changes the link to messaging so if this one doesn’t work head over to my page and click on the “Send Message” button)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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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.

{AAC Core Vocabulary: Not} “Natsumi!” by Susan Lendroth

{AAC Core Vocabulary: Not} “Natsumi!” by Susan Lendroth

I love using kids picture books in speech therapy and am especially excited when I get a book that has repeated opportunities for teaching core vocabulary for AAC users. This cute new picture book will be released on 3/15/18. It has the following opportunities for teaching “not”: “Not so fast”, “Not so hard”, “Not so loud”. I love the spunkiness of the main character, Natsumi, and how her grandfather found a positive outlet for energy.
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Available for pre-order on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Natsumi-Susan-Lendroth/dp/0399170901
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I was off work for a snow/ice day today so I had extra time to see which of the AAC apps already have the following words in them and located in a way that is easy to access: not, fast, hard, soft. The following AAC apps passed that test: aacorn Plus, Avaz, LAMP Words for Life, Proloquo2Go with Gateway, Snap + Core First & Speak for Yourself.
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aacorn Plus

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Avaz

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LAMP Words for Life

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Proloquo2Go with Gateway

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Snap + Core First

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Speak for Yourself

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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
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga (note: Facebook frequently changes the link to messaging so if this one doesn’t work head over to my page and click on the “Send Message” button)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
YappGuru: http://yappguru.com/user/omazing-kids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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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.

{Video} Creative uses for the GoTalk Now Plus AAC app

A quick video of some of the ways that I use the GoTalk Now Plus AAC app from Attainment Company, Inc. It has several unique features that make it a “must have” on any speechie’s iPad 😃.
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In case you are wondering how the sound is that loud… This is my 9.7″ iPad Pro. It is in an original Gripcase USA case with handles on all four sides. I made a “bumper” out of a piece of pool noodle to prevent the bottom handle from getting bent out of shape when using my iPad on my lap.

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Little Light House Therapy Team’s post about how to make LAMP Words for Life CVI friendly: http://www.thelittleanchor.org/2017/03/10/how-to-make-lamp-words-for-life-cvi-friendly/.
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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
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga (note: Facebook frequently changes the link to messaging so if this one doesn’t work head over to my page and click on the “Send Message” button)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
YappGuru: http://yappguru.com/user/omazing-kids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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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.

I have something to say…… about PODD (updated with additional resources and a review/comparison of all digital PODD apps for the iPad)

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Have you ever had a patient who you knew had something to say but you struggled to find a means of communication?

I spent almost a year trying literally EVERY possible AAC device and app and every type of access option in a quest to find a “voice” for a child who I knew had so much to say. She made it very clear that she wanted to use her hands for direct access despite having minimal use of them. She hated head pointing and eye gaze devices and any type of scanning. I would seriously lay in bed at night and ponder what else we could try. I spent hours scouring the internet looking for PODD resources and watched just about every video I could find. Thank goodness a PODD training finally came close enough and was priced affordably enough that our facility sent two SLPs to get trained. Ideally I would have gone to that PODD training but it didn’t make sense for me to take a spot being so close to retirement. But having two of our SLPs trained gave me access to a PODD book to trial with her and then was able to order a premade one for her. Ideally you would custom make and print a book but the facility where I work had not figured out the logistics of printing on special water and rip resistant paper and spiral binding. So I have customized the premade PODD book for her by using clear packing tape to add symbols. Her older sister has even hand drawn a few symbols and the family has written lists on the back of pages. It may not be perfect but it’s working for her. She is my PODD rock star. Every week I end my session by telling her to “PODD on” (rock on with PODD).

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I’m sharing links to things that were helpful during this PODD adventure and a few lessons learned….
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What does PODD stand for? Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display
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How to get started? Ideally go to a PODD training….. but the reality is they may not be offered anywhere near you and they tend to be very expensive. This was my reality so I learned as much as I could online through blog posts, workshop handouts, videos, Facebook groups, etc….

One of the biggest mind shifts for me was to let go of the need to plan contrived communication opportunities in therapy sessions and instead model initiating saying “I have something to say” through facial expression, raising my hand and vocalizing and then using PODD to share my own thoughts or ideas. I had to get comfortable with doing lots of modeling without any pressure on the child to do anything. And comfortable with writing measurable goals in a whole different way.

Examples of some of the goals that I have written for her during this process:

“__________ will show increasing interest and attention to someone using pages from the PODD aided communication system to talk to her in natural contexts throughout the day. This will be measured by an increase in: looking towards the communication symbols or the communication partner, calming during this process, looking away to the side but with a stillness as if listening, or responding the partner’s message. Will increase from ______ to at least _______ times documented during the auth period.”

“Within natural contexts throughout the day, _________ will initiate use of PODD AAC by raising her hand and/or vocalizing to indicate “I have something to say”. Will increase from _______ to at least ________ times documented during the auth period.”

“After signaling “I have something to say”, __________will express an increasing range of communicative functions such as requests, comments, and directing actions using direct selection and/or partner assisted scanning with pages from the PODD communication book and yes/no responses. Will increase from_______ to at least ________ times documented during the auth period.”

Update 7/27/20: The Angelman Syndrome Foundation has lots of nice examples of goals in the AAC section on their website (not specific to PODD but relevant): https://www.angelman.org/resources-education/iep-bank/
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Reading these 1 page PODD tip sheets helped break the concept into manageable chunks: http://interactivespeech.com.au/podd-communication-focus-handouts.php

Update 7/24/20: Those handouts are all no longer available. The website indicates they are being updated. Fortunately I had copies saved in the iBooks app on my iPad. I merged them into one PDF and uploaded that to my blog.

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This weekend I found these handouts and videos on Linda Burkhart’s website about PODD:

“Aided Language Stimulation and a Robust Language System: Autism a Case Example” – Presented by Linda J. Burkhart and Aura Baker at Closing the Gap Conference, October, 2016

 

Click to access Jax_story_CTGap_presentation_10_16_post.pdf

http://lindaburkhart.com/index.php/handout_jax_autism

“Aided Language Stimulation: Giving Kids the Gift of Language”
– presented by Linda Burkhart and Karen Owens (We Speak PODD) at AITA January 2017

 

Click to access Gift-of-Language_ATIA_Jan_17.pdf

https://bit.ly/39voWJd

 

Partner-Assisted Communication Strategies for Children Who Face Multiple Challenges Handout by Linda J. Burkhart and Gayle Porter ((Pre-conference Instructional course – ISAAC 2006): https://bit.ly/3f4DlNu

 

Partner-Assisted Communication Strategies for Children Who Face Multiple Challenges: PODD Communication Books – Gayle Porter Handout by Linda J. Burkhart and Gayle Porter (Pre-conference Instructional course – ISAAC 2006):  https://bit.ly/2BvPI7y

http://lindaburkhart.com/index.php/handouts/

Older handouts with great info:

https://bit.ly/3hHmdzb

http://lindaburkhart.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Light_Com_part_1_-5_12_handout.pdf
http://lindaburkhart.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Light_Com_part_2_PODD_50_min_5_12_handout_rev.pdf
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Update 7/26/20:

Jodi Melendez: Making Modeling Fun at Home – AAC in the Cloud 2018 (webinar by a parent who uses PODD with her daughter): https://youtu.be/J6YfJuz1ktA

Getting Started with PODD with Mary Louise Bertram webinar: https://youtu.be/s_mc6AWQOM0 (it’s part of a great series of trainings from the Angelman Syndrome Foundation: https://www.angelman.org/resources-education/communication-training-series/)

Parents as Partners Working Together to Support PODD Users handouts (March 2017): http://ncaca.info/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/NCACA-2017-PODD-Karen-Lynn-handout.pdf

Recorded presentations from the FAST educational summit 2015 (Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics):
Gayle Porter (this presentation was not specifically about PODD… but a little bit about PODD starts at 43:13): https://youtu.be/LoD32hBtyaU
Linda Burkhart (not solely about PODD but a lot about it): https://youtu.be/QZJRK0MB2ug
Handouts from their presentation: http://lburkhart.com/handout%20Which%20Way%20to%20Autonomous%20Communication%20AS%20Porter%20Burkhart.pdf

Talking with Tech podcast with guest Kelly Fonner who is a certified PODD trainer on 2/19/19 (her part starts at 20:33, Why would someone consider using PODD? starts at 29:20, Pitfalls to avoid starts at 40:33) : https://talkingwithtech.podbean.com/e/kelly-fonner-all-about-podd-pragmatic-organization-dynamic-display/

Updated PODD Overview: https://novitatech.com.au/equipment/podd-communication-books/

Lots of PODD info has been added to the PODD USA website…. I wish all of this had been there back when I was on my quest to learn about PODD: http://www.poddusa.com/links.html .

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Options for purchasing premade PODD books (you have to sign a confirmation that you own both the Boardmaker and PODD software). A big shout out to Rachael Langley & Kelly Fonner for helping me find the first two options! The third one was seen in a Facebook group:

* http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1970606/PODD-Book-Order-Form-3 (several sizes and styles to choose from. This is where we ordered this patient’s book from. The spiral binding is not very large so we had to use a wooden dowel rod to hang it on the PVC stand.)

* http://www.esc4.net/Assets/podd-books-order-formv2.pdf

* https://terraslatepaper.com/products/podd-communication-book (you have to send them PDF to print)

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How to convert PODD to PDF in Boardmaker 6

So I’ve been frustrated that I’m always fumbling through this patient’s PODD book in sessions. I wish there was a “word finder” for PODD (one of the downsides of a no tech system). I’m pretty “at home” with most AAC devices and apps since I have had lots of time to look through them and use them.  I wanted to have this same level of ease in using PODD so I decided that I needed a copy of the same style of PODD book that she is using.

Unfortunately I can’t use the Tobii Dynavox PODD pageset in the Compass app to model since it doesn’t look anything like my patient’s PODD book. Since I am only 14 weeks away from retirement it did not make sense to spend about $80 to order a premade PODD book for me.  I had seen comments online of folks saving a PODD book as a PDF so that’s what I decided to do. I saved the PDF in iBooks on my iPad. Now I have a way to look through it to get a feel for what vocabulary is in it and the pragmatic branching.

Be forewarned ….. it’s a VERY tedious & time consuming process to save a PODD book into one PDF if you are using Boardmaker 6 on a CD. It took me about 3 hours for a 123 pages of PODD. It’s not hard but time consuming.

  • Open the first page of your PODD book in Boardmaker.
  • Go to File – Print Set Up – Print Set Up – selected “Microsoft Print to PDF” – OK – Remember Board Settings for New Boards – OK
  • Go to File – Print (make sure it says “Microsoft Print to PDF” as the printer) – OK

You have to repeat the process for every single page that you want to include in the PDF of your PODD book. (I don’t have access to Boardmaker Online so I don’t know what the steps are there).

After you have all your pages saved as PDFs, then go to the Small PDF website (https://smallpdf.com/merge-pdf). This website lets you upload an unlimited number of PDFs. I uploaded all 123 of the PDF documents that I wanted included in this PODD book. After they are all uploaded then you hit “merge”. I was surprised how quickly this website handled merging 123 separate PDFs into one 123 page PDF document. I then uploaded the merged PDF from my computer into the media storage on my blog (a secured area that only I have access to). From there I was able to e-mail the link to the iPad that I use for AAC and opened the PDF in iBooks to save it on the device.

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Find a PODD Training:

http://www.poddusa.com/index.html

https://sites.google.com/site/testbkeller20/
http://lindaburkhart.com/
More info: http://lindaburkhart.com/index.php/podd-information/
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We Speak PODD:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfvD20l2wn-fS2Ar4bdTXZg
https://www.facebook.com/wespeakpodd/
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Info about the types of PODD books:
https://www.novita.org.au/equipment/podd-communication-books/

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Comparisons of PODD one page opening types of books: PODD-Comparison-for-one-page-opening-communication-books

Language: Pragmatic Functions and semantic meaning comparisons of PODD one page opening types of books: PODD-Language-Comparison-for-one-page-opening-communication-books

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More PODD tips:
http://praacticalaac.org/?s=PODD
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Mary-Louise Bertram demonstrates how to make a portable stand for a PODD book, that could also work well for other kinds of communication books.

 

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How We Speak PODD makes their carrying rods:

 

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Here are some examples of PODD book stands made out of PVC. The amazing PT tech at our facility made some of the first style ones for us:  PODD PVC stand examples
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Update 7/28/20: More stand options

Therese Willkomm (a “MacGyver of AT”) making a stand out of corrugated plastic: https://youtu.be/1EeX7bIKiEU
More details (the dimensions are for an iPad stand but could easily be adapted for a PODD book): https://www.atprogramnews.com/2012/08/make-an-ipad-stand-in-under-3-minutes.html . Also found a PDF on this website: https://iod.unh.edu/node/73.
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I’ve also seen this stand recommended: BestBookStand Actto BST-09:

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And this one: Fellowes Booklift Copyholder, Platinum (21100)

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PODD Facebook groups:
* PODD and Alternative Access: https://www.facebook.com/groups/245472458977470
* PODD Trained Discussion Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/146028998941754
* PODD Europe: https://www.facebook.com/groups/304605199684150
* PODD & Angelman Sydrome: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AngelmanPODD/

* PODD with Alternative Access and Alternative Presentation: https://www.facebook.com/groups/245472458977470/

* PODD Interest Group Australia: https://www.facebook.com/groups/poddaus/

More Facebook groups that are not specific to PODD but folks frequently post about it there:

* AAC for the SLP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1539830846285663/

* AAC Through Motivate, Model, Move Out Of The Way: https://www.facebook.com/groups/421704261346486/

* Angelman, Literacy, and Education (including Alphabet Therapy): https://www.facebook.com/groups/265187670266772/

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Gayle Porter has reportedly been working on an “alternative access” version of PODD for quite awhile but as of the time of this post it is still not available here in the USA. So I made these very simple eye gaze boards inspired by PODD to use with a couple of other older patients.

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I may add more PODD resources to this post in the future. Just so it’s clear…. I’m definitely not an expert on PODD. I’m just a speechie who was willing to jump out of my comfort zone to find a means of communication for this patient and thought it would be helpful to share resources that took countless hours to find.  If you have questions about this form of AAC I suggest going to one of the Facebook groups listed above. It’s where all the PODD gurus are 😉

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Update 7/22/20:

 

I recently discovered this unique free AAC app in the App Store. pasco by Ace Centre
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pasco/id1317265884. pasco (Phrase Auditory Scanning COmmunicator). It works on the iPad and iPhone. The auditory scanning options are very similar to those in PODD. There are no symbols. It’s totally auditory. The in app guide is in the “?” area. More info: http://acecentre.org.uk/project/pasco/

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Update 7/26/20:

Digital PODD books are available on the iPad in three ways: simPODD, Grid for iPad and PODD with Compass. This post is based on my personal experiences in trying all three options.

Prices, availability & device/iOS compatibility were all checked in the USA App Store and website links were all working at the time this post was written (11:00am CST on 7/26/20). Prices may vary outside the USA based on the exchange rate. Screenshots and descriptions are based on features available at the time of this post. AAC apps change frequently as updates are released.

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simPODD

 

1. simPODD app by AssistiveWare, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/simpodd/id1464489596, iPad only, iOS 12.1 or later. Most recent update: 6/30/20. The app is free & has a 1-month free trial (digital only, cannot print). Then you would need to subscribe ($13.99 per month for digital only, $139.99 per year for digital + printing capabilities). There is currently not an option to purchase it in full up front but they have recently added the option to purchase a multi-year license (3-year: $419.99 & 5-year: $699.99) that will be helpful to those wanting to pursue funding options that won’t or can’t purchase a subscription (ex: insurance, school districts, state run facilities, etc.). Those must be purchased directly from AssistiveWare: https://assistiveware.onfastspring.com. More info: https://www.assistiveware.com/products/simpodd, overview: https://www.assistiveware.com/support/simpodd/overview, great tips about printing PODD books: https://www.assistiveware.com/blog/tips-to-print-and-make-podd-book

Key features:
* SymbolStix symbols
* Lots of high quality voices with the ability to adjust the pitch and speech rate
* Easy to access “Controls” page where you can expand the sentence bar and then use “cursor controls” to be able to delete specific items in the sentence bar. The options vary based on the version of PODD being used. This is also where you can “share” and “copy” messages and adjust the volume to whisper, talk or shout.
* Option to share messages via e-mail, iMessaging, share messages to social media (Twitter and Facebook… must have those apps installed and be logged in), copy them to the clipboard to use in other apps, add to the Notes app, or save to Files (only the text is shared not the symbols)
* Ability to edit multiple buttons at a time
* Unfortunately there is no “Search” option like they have in Proloquo2Go. It would be very helpful for those wanting to find specific items to model on PODD.
* The PODD 15 and 15+ page sets all have the option to show symbols + text in the sentence bar plus the ability to adjust the type of font and color of font.

* Unfortunately there is not an option to show symbols + text in the sentence bar in the PODD 60 page sets. Just text but you can adjust the type of font and color of font.
* In-app “Help” area with links to help articles, AssistiveWare’s user groups on Facebook and e-mail for support (available 7 days a week).
* iCloud backup is done automatically and can also be done manually

* Update 8/2/20: The simPODD app was updated to add the option to adjust skin tones

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Includes 6 PODD book options:
PODD 15 Preschool
PODD 15+ Preschool
PODD 15 School
PODD 15+ School
PODD 60 Expanded Key Word
PODD 60 Complex Syntax

If you have a yearly subscription, it includes the ability to export and print PODD books. Different versions of PODD are available to edit and print than are available digitally. Samples can be viewed within the app:

9 Early Functions
9 Expanded Functions
12 Early Functions
12 Expanded Functions
16 Expanded Functions
20 Expanded Functions
36 Key Words
40 Key Words
48 Expanded Key Words
70 Expanded Key Words
90+ Complex Syntax
100+ Complex Syntax
Group Early Functions VEST
Group Expanded Functions
Group Expanded Functions VEST

AssistiveWare simPODD Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AssistiveWaresimPODD

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Grid for iPad

2. Grid for iPad app by Smartbox Assistive Technology, iPad only, iOS 11.0 or later. Most recent update: 7/6/20 (this is when they added the option to purchase PODD as an in-app purchase).

Key features:
* PCS / Boardmaker symbols with 6 options for symbol skin tones. Some of the symbols look a little odd when adjusting the skin tone but it’s at least a step towards diversity. Can also edit buttons to use other symbols: PCS High Contrast, SymbolStix, Widgit & Grid 3. You can use a mix of different types of symbols on a grid.
* Several languages and lots of high quality voice options
* Can add recorded speech Message Banking
* Can alter pronunciation of words
* Settings for writing (editing the dictionary for word prediction, chat history, capitalization, auto replace, toggle on/off adult symbols, edit the small words list, abbreviations)
* Has the option to include symbols + text in the sentence bar for all of the PODD grid sets
* Volume controls that are easily accessible in all grid sets. The cursor controls and lots of other controls are included in both PODD 60 grid sets.
* Has a “Search” feature that will show the path to specific items. FYI… the search must match the exact wording on the button in order to find it. Having a Search feature is especially helpful for SLPs and teachers who may be using lots of different types of AAC with students / patients and want to model PODD.
* Has the option to include symbols + text in the sentence bar for all PODD grid sets (this is not an option in the PODD 60 page sets in simPODD)
* Several formatting options for the chat writing area (sentence bar)
* Has the option to have buttons highlighted when activated (options: color cell background, color cell border or no visual highlight & lots of options for the specific color of highlighting). Used with Touch Accommodations in Accessibility Settings.
* Can easily edit the style of a grid set (theme: modern, bubble or blocky font; cell layout: label above or below the symbol; empty cells: toggle between visible/hidden; cell spacing: extra small, small, medium, large, extra large, jumbo)
* Lots of color options for the grid background
* Ability to add rows and columns to grids
* Remote editing capabilities via their free Grid 3 software for Windows computers. This is especially helpful in the midst of the COVID-19 / Coronavirus pandemic where lots of services are being provided via teletherapy or distance learning.
* DropBox backup

Has the following PODD Grid options:
PODD 15 Preschool
PODD 15+ Preschool
PODD 15 School
PODD 15+ School
PODD 60 Expanded Key Word
PODD 60 Complex Syntax

There are two versions of the app that both include PODD 15 Preview & PODD 60 Preview grid sets. There is not access to full PODD grid sets within the apps without purchasing the $79.99 in app purchase:

* Grid for iPad – AAC, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/grid-for-ipad-aac/id1064332378 (free and has 30 day free trial but the full PODD grid sets are not included, then requires a subscription for $9.99 per month but in order to have access to PODD you would need to purchase the in-app purchase $79.99 that includes all of the PODD grid sets)

* Grid for iPad – VPP, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/grid-for-ipad-vpp/id1339153708, $349.99 (up front purchase of the app, no subscription needed) + $79.99 for PODD for Grid (purchased via IAP, includes all the PODD grid sets) = $429.98

You can try out the full PODD grid sets as part of the free trial of Grid 3 on a computer running Windows 10. I initially got an error message when attempting to open them on my laptop but when I restarted my computer they all worked fine: https://thinksmartbox.com/news/new-podd-grid-sets/. (update 7/27/20: I received this helpful info from Smartbox: https://thinksmartbox.com/answer/unable-access-phonics-free-trial/)

I wish they had included the full PODD grids in the free trial in the app so we could actually trial them on the device that would be used for that patient/student. But viewing them on my laptop at least let me see what was in each grid set and in the controls area on each one. And I was able to install different voices to try.

Helpful videos on their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/SmartboxAssistiveTechnology

The PODD Manual for Grid 3 contains info explaining the differences between paper PODDs vs. high tech PODDs and lots of other helpful info: https://thinksmartbox.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/PODD-manual-v2-April-2020.pdf. Since the developer of PODD won’t allow the digital versions to be identical to paper PODD books, I found it especially helpful to have info about which digital PODD grid sets correspond best to a particular type of paper PODD book. It’s very helpful that the Grid for iPad app includes these details when looking through the grid sets as well as having it in their manual. Read the manual for in depth details about each grid set. Here’s a brief summary:

* PODD 15 Preschool & PODD 15 Preschool grid sets have a similar vocabulary and organization to the one-page opening 12
per page expanded function PODD paper communication books.

* PODD 15+ Preschool & PODD 15+ School grid sets have a similar vocabulary organization to the one-page opening 20 per
page expanded function PODD paper communication books.

* PODD 60 Expanded Key Word grid set has a similar language complexity and vocabulary organization to the two- grid opening 70 and two-grid opening with a side panel 48 expanded key word PODD paper communication books.

* PODD 60 Complex Syntax grid set has a similar language complexity and vocabulary organisation to the two- grid opening 90+ and the two-grid opening with a side panel 100+ complex syntax PODD communication books.

Their PODD – Getting Started guide is also helpful: https://thinksmartbox.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/PODD-getting-started-June-2020.pdf

Smartbox Community Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/smartboxcommunity

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3. PODD with Compass by Tobii Dynavox LLC, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/podd-with-compass/id907333758, iPad only, iOS 8.0 or later, $299.99. Last update: 12/3/18. FYI… I’m VERY hesitant to recommend this app since Tobii Dynavox has made it clear that they are focusing future development and support on their newer Snap Core First AAC app plus the Compass app without PODD has already disappeared from the App Store and they no longer have this app listed with the other apps on their website. I have even seen several posts this year from well respected SLPs, special education teachers and consultants who specialize in AAC indicating that they have had AAC users and families tell them that Tobii Dynavox sales consultants were pushing them to go with Snap Core First instead of PODD with Compass. Hopefully that issue has been dealt with since those apps are designed with very different purposes and users in mind. I saw a comment one post back in June 2019 that they were working on adding PODD as an option within Snap Core First. If that’s true that would be even more reason to not waste your money purchasing this older app. I know the lower price is tempting but the old saying “You get what you pay for” comes to mind. The only exception I can think of are those who have an older iPad that cannot be updated to the iOS needed for simPODD or Grid for iPad but then you have to consider how much longer that old of an iPad will continue to function. Here’s the PODD with Compass manual for anyone who may need it: https://www.mytobiidynavox.com/Support/Documentation. The Tobii Dynavox Community Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/tobiidynavoxcommunity/.

Introduction to PODD for DynaVox Compass, by Gayle Porter http://www.dynavoxtech.com/training/online/recorded-web-classes/details/?id=4269 or http://uk.dynavoxtech.com/training/online/recorded- web-classes/details/?id=4269 (unfortunately it appears that recorded webinar was removed from both websites). But this different presentation about PODD with Compass by another PODD trainer is out on YouTube: https://youtu.be/rw0lNEjGbh8

Update 7/27/20: A Tobii Dynavox employee indicated in a comment in their Facebook group that PODD within Snap Core First should be released in September 2020. No other details on exactly how it will be done or the costs. I’ll update this post when I know more info.

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Which is the best digital PODD option? It depends on what features you need the most. There are features that I love in both simPODD and in Grid for iPad. I wish I could take the best features out of each of them and combine them into one app….. but since that’s not possible here are a few thoughts.

Features that would lead me to choose simPODD… if I needed:
* a simple way to customize and print PODD books all from the convenience of an iPad (this is a huge plus…. especially since Mayer Johnson has indicated that they are still not going to have iPad compatibility when they launch Boardmaker 7)
* intuitive editing and use of grammar pop-ups (especially nice for those familiar with their Proloquo2Go app)
* cursor controls that are easily accessible in all page sets
* an “expand message” feature where you can expand the sentence bar and then use “cursor controls” to be able to delete specific items in the sentence bar.
* options to share messages via e-mail & iMessaging, share messages to social media (Twitter and Facebook… must have those apps installed and be logged in), copy messages to the clipboard to use in other apps, add to the Notes app, or save to Files (only the text is shared not the symbols)
* fast and automatic backup to iCloud

Features that would lead me to choose Grid for iPad with PODD added as an IAP… if I needed:
* a variety of symbol options (PCS is the default but other symbols can be used when editing: PCS High Contrast, SymbolStix, Widgit, Grid 3)
* several language options
* a “Search” feature that will show the path to specific items (FYI… The search must match the exact wording on the button in order to find it). This is especially helpful for SLPs and teachers who may be using lots of different types of AAC with students / patients and want to model PODD.
* the option to add recorded speech Message Banking
* to alter pronunciation of words
* settings for writing (editing the dictionary for word prediction, chat history, capitalization, auto replace, toggle on/off adult symbols, edit the small words list, abbreviations)
* the option to include symbols + text in the sentence bar for all PODD grid sets (this is not an option in the PODD 60 page sets in simPODD)
* the option to have buttons highlighted when activated (options: color cell background, color cell border or no visual highlight & lots of options for the specific color of highlighting). Used with Touch Accommodations in Accessibility Settings.
* free remote editing capabilities. This is especially helpful in the midst of the COVID-19 / Coronavirus pandemic where lots of services are being provided via teletherapy or distance learning.
* DropBox backup

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Comparison of the total costs over time:

1 year period:
simPODD yearly subscription: $139.99
Grid for iPad – subscription: $9.99 x 12 months = $119.88 + $79.99 for PODD IAP = $199.87
Grid for iPad – up front purchase: $349.99 + $79.99 for PODD IAP = $429.98

2 year period:
simPODD: $139.99 yearly subscription x 2 years = $279.98
Grid for iPad – subscription: $9.99 x 24 months = $239.76 + $79.99 for PODD IAP = $319.75
Grid for iPad – up front purchase: $349.99 + $79.99 for PODD IAP = $429.98

3 year period:
simPODD: $139.99 yearly subscription x 3 years = $419.97
simPODD 3-year license: $419.99 (purchased at : https://assistiveware.onfastspring.com)
Grid for iPad – subscription: $9.99 x 36 months = $359.64 + $79.99 for PODD IAP = $439.63
Grid for iPad – up front purchase: $349.99 + $79.99 for PODD IAP = $429.98

4 year period:
simPODD: $139.99 yearly subscription x 4 years = $559.96
Grid for iPad – subscription: $9.99 x 48 months = $479.52 + $79.99 for PODD IAP = $559.51
Grid for iPad – up front purchase: $349.99 + $79.99 for PODD IAP = $429.98

5 year period:
simPODD: $139.99 yearly subscription x 5 years = $699.95
simPODD 5-year license: $699.99 (purchased at : https://assistiveware.onfastspring.com)
Grid for iPad – subscription: $9.99 x 60 months = $599.40 + $79.99 for PODD IAP = $679.39
Grid for iPad – up front purchase: $349.99 + $79.99 for PODD IAP = $429.98

The prices of simPODD vs. Grid for iPad with PODD added are similar especially when you consider most individuals who use PODD for AAC have complex communication needs and would be using it for a long period of time.

Just wanting the ability to make printed paper PODD books? The current price of purchasing a Boardmaker version 6 CD ($399.00) & the PODD CD ($300.95) from Mayer Johnson totals $699.95 in order to be able to just make printed PODD books and you’ll have to do that on a computer. If you subscribe to Boardmaker Online you still have to purchase the PODD CD. It would take 5 years of using simPODD to equal that cost and simPODD can be used on the fly on an iPad plus can be used as a digital PODD in the event that you decide to do that.

So those wanting to look for a more affordable and portable way to make and edit PODD books to be printed should really consider simPODD vs. Boardmaker. I find most kids do equally as well with SymbolStix symbols as they do with PCS symbols. And if you want a very affordable way to create other materials with SymbolStix symbols, take a look at the iESLp app (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ieslp/id912953895iESLP, iPad only) a bargain for a one time purchase of $19.99 (no subscription needed) and it includes a large library of SymbolStix and lots of templates. A similar app that can be used to create items with PCS symbols is the Tools2Talk+ app (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/tools2talk-create-your-own-communication-aids-and-chat/id1074982035, iPad only) for a one time purchase of $47.99.

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Want to suggest PODD resources or info to be added to this list? 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.

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Update 7/26/20: I’m retired but am still actively posting about AAC and apps and using AAC in volunteer work.

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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
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

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
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga (note: Facebook frequently changes the link to messaging so if this one doesn’t work head over to my page and click on the “Send Message” button)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
YappGuru: http://yappguru.com/user/omazing-kids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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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.

{New App} Looking for an easy way to make choice boards? Check out the brand new Make A Choice AAC app by pkclSoft

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{New App} Looking for an easy way to make choice boards? Check out the brand new Make A Choice AAC app by pkclSoft

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The app was developed to meet a need expressed by a parent of a child with special needs to be able to quickly create choice boards on the go. I enjoyed helping with beta testing and used it today to quickly prep for a cookie decorating activity we have on Monday. Unique features include the “Pick a Choice Board” area where you can tap on a pic to open that board, the ability to copy/paste pics into the app and the ability to reuse buttons in new boards. I like that it has a plain black background and that there is a lot of space between the buttons. Busy SLPs and parents will appreciate the value of this inexpensive and user friendly app. It would make a great stocking stuffer this Christmas 🎄
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Purchase it on the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/make-a-choice-aac-buttons/id1295966224?mt=8, $4.99 in the USA App Store (prices vary elsewhere based on the exchange rate)
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See examples and “how to” videos on their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/AppMakeAChoice
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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
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga (note: Facebook frequently changes the link to messaging so if this one doesn’t work head over to my page and click on the “Send Message” button)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
YappGuru: http://yappguru.com/user/omazing-kids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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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.

{App Review} Communication Adventure – An app for communication training for caregivers of children with complex communication needs by Avaz, Inc.

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{App Review} Communication Adventure – An app for communication training for caregivers of children with complex communication needs by Avaz, Inc.

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This app from Avaz provides several scenarios to practice opportunities for encouraging and expanding communication. The tips are pretty universal and could apply to any robust AAC system or even general language development. There were a couple of items that I might have coached a parent a little differently in but overall the app has good info and would be a fun and very affordable way to train parents, teachers, aides or other caregivers on ways to encourage & expand communication. After you complete all the modules you then have access to an area with additional tips / ideas.
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[FYI… if you have the  Avaz Pro – AAC App (https://appsto.re/us/19nrH.i) then you have similar scenarios in the “dashboard” area but they take longer to unlock there since that is contingent upon practicing sentences]
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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 

Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad 

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

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1 

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

YappGuru: http://yappguru.com/user/omazing-kids/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad 

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

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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 over 27 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. 

 

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