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Communication Technology

Chances To Communicate Without Speech / Oral Language Skills?

The world of science and technology is a borderless world. There are variety of communication methods that may help people with complex communication needs to improve communication abilities that include the use of smartphones, tablets and computers. Failure to speak should not lead you or people you love to depression. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) may help you smile again. Language disorders such as aphasia, apraxia, and dysarthria or speech and language delay may benefit from AAC intervention. AAC technology may range from various intuitive and user-friendly hardware and software to support communication between communicative partners and helping them to actively participate in communication. Follow these five smart steps below to understand more about AAC.

5 Steps in Selecting Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Technology.

  1. Know what is augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).
  • AAC includes all forms of communication systems, interventions or approaches suitable for people to express thoughts, needs, wants and ideas.
  • AAC commonly created with user-friendly features both for its hardware and software. Several types of AAC are:
    • No- technology AAC (e.g. the manual communication board)
    • Medium technology AAC (e.g. GoTalk), and
    • High-technology AAC or known as speech generating device (e.g. Accent product from the Prentke Romich Company) and Dynavox.
  • AAC technology commonly built from sets of vocabulary usually the core vocabulary or scene based display and may be used by people of all ages to communicate.
  • On screen sentences will be read aloud and some of the device may keep user log for future analysis of data.
  1. Knowing Different AAC Product and Its Quality
  • The more advance AAC technology; there will be more extra features available on a system (but it does not mean you need everything).
  • Commonly, vocabulary can be accessed by directly select words on the touch screen.
  • Auditory scanning commonly present with on screen highlights that follows different scanning patterns.
  • High technology AAC can be accessed using multiple modalities including head and eye tracking system.
  • It is important to have a voice output system is available to enable computer to read aloud sentences on the screen.
  • Word-prediction software provides recommendations of words while user write the first letter of a word.
  • On screen reader such as “VoiceOver” on iOS system and “Narrator” on Windows can read aloud words on screen that helps people with low vision to read out narratives in any documents.
  1. What Do You Need?
  • A computer tablet using either an Android or iOS based system.
  • Select appropriate AAC application(s) that is suitable to your language capabilities.
  • Select skillful speech and language therapist to teach core vocabulary using aided language system.
  • Undergo an AAC intervention with high determination.
  • Always discuss regarding your needs in AAC intervention with your speech and language therapist and occupational therapist to maximize your device usage.
  1. Let’s Try AAC Application
  • Let your children explore the AAC application on the tablet and do not stop them from learning through a trial and error basis.
  • Let them learn multiple modalities including auditory, kinesthetic and visual experience.
  • Learning language must be fun and positive reinforcement should be maintained throughout.
  • Give ample time for a person to explore the AACapps since it is not easily learn.
  1. Start Today

    Language intervention using AAC technique should start as early as possible by a qualified speech and language therapist. Things you should know are:

    • Download apps from the Play Store or iTune. You should discuss in depth the suitability of an apps before you purchase with your speech language therapist.
    • Language intervention using AAC is a complex process. Learn and master the skills of using AAC will help you to become independent in the future.
    • Your therapist should consider your abilities to access your device such as direct pointing, head pointer, finger or toes to access the device.
    • Learning row column scanning from left to right and up to bottom systematically. It may help you in selecting vocabulary on the device.
    • Feature matching is important for any type of technology including communication technology.
      • Language apps that is suitable with your understanding and language level.
      • Your ability to manipulate devices such as hand and body parts to activate the system.
      • Your ability to create novel utterances automatically with systematic language learning.
    • To know more about AAC intervention, please contact Nadwah Onwi (nadwaho@gmail.com) or speech language therapist around you.

The use of speech generating device, Vantage Lite with Minspeak vocabulary gain interest among children with language limitation
The use of speech generating device, Vantage Lite with Minspeak vocabulary gain interest among children with language limitation.


Here are some apps that can be downloaded for free or for a cost.

  1. Free AAC Apps
    • Sono Flex Lite di sistem iOS
    • Able AAC Free
    • JabTalk
    • Talk – Text to Voice by Abast Multimedia Communciation
  2. Paid AAC Apps
    • Proloquo2Go keluaran Assistive Ware
    • LAMP: Words for Life

Notes: Author is not recommending any of the applications for a particular user. Please obtain a comprehensive assessment before you purchase the application.


  1. Retrieved from http://www.tobiidynavox.com/
  2. Prentke Romich Company Website. Retrieved from http://www.prentrom.com/
  3. aacinstitute.org
Last Reviewed : 28 August 2020
Writer / Translator : Nadwah bt. Onwi
Accreditor : Zaidi bin Ya’acob
Reviewer : Nadwah bt. Onwi