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Low-Tech AAC Devices
Low-tech voice-output communication devices use digital technology to record speech, are easy to program, and require a power source.
Who Can Benefit from Using Low-Tech AAC Devices
- Low-tech devices can introduce a young child or early communicator to the world of augmentative communication. This is sometimes called “exposure.”
- Use of low-tech AAC devices can provide non-speaking students and unintelligible speakers with opportunities to participate in daily routines and share experiences with peers.
- Low-tech AAC devices can be used to target specific language development.
- Intervention using low-tech AAC devices can be an effective strategy for students with challenging behaviors.
- Some students may use low-tech devices in place of their high-tech systems in select situations/environments.
- High-tech device users may use a low-tech device when their primary device is out for repair.
Student/User Considerations for Low-Tech AAC Devices
- Who can benefit from low-tech devices?
- How will the device be used to improve communication or participation?
- How will use of the device be tied to the student’s IEP and/or daily activities?
- What can be done to keep the student interested and motivated?
- When and where will the device be used?
- What family/school/other supports are available? ◦Is the device age-appropriate?
- Have the student’s preferences been considered?
Keys to Successful Device Selection
- Match the needs/abilities of the student and the characteristics of the environment to the
features of the device.
- Use a team approach in decision-making.
- Provide trials with equipment whenever possible before purchase.
Low-Tech Communication Device Features
|- Single level/multiple levels
- Number of messages
-Time per message/total time
- Target size/cell size
- Type of symbols (3-d possible)
- Symbol /overlay storage
- Sequencer (single/multiple levels)
- Feedback (none, visual, tactile)
- Key guards
- Access method
|- Pressure required to activate
- Alternate access possibilities
- Volume, clarity
- Overall device size
- Shape, design of the device Weight
- Designed for tabletop use
- Ease of programming, updating
- Power system
- Cost - Tech support
Activities for getting Switch Users involved in the
classroom using a Randomizer:Randomizing Throughout the Day.pdf
Low-Tech AAC Device Manufacturers/Distributors
As of May, 2011, able data.com, an online database of assistive technology products, lists 600 different speech communication devices available on today’s market. Most of these are low-tech AAC devices. Below are some of the major manufacturers/distributors.
- Enabling Devices
- Replay for Kids