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Updated AAC iPad App Wheel Available Now!

by Gillian McNeill

on Wed Jun 24, 2020

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The CALL Scotland 'wheel' of Apps provides a categorised guide to iPad Apps for individuals with complex communication support needs, who may need to use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).  First published in 2014, I'm pleased to share now that it has had it's 2020 refresh and update.

The process of updating has taken a while, but this has resulted in the most significant update yet and the outcome is a resource that maintains the usability and usefulness of its previous versions.

Of the Apps included, many have been tried and tested by us or have been recommended by others. We have included a range of Apps for supporting different communication needs and included those which are more or less expensive to buy.

Other key principles in our selection process are:

  • the Apps stand out in their category in some way, due to their features, ease of use and reliability
  • there is evidence of continuing support from the developer for the App, by way of recent updated versions and a website or other web-based presence
  • user information is provided through a guide or similar resource on how to use the  App

The following changes have been made -

  • A total of 17 Apps have been added to this version 2.0

Speech Assistant AAC, Jabberwocky AAC, Sesame Talking Keyboard, SayIt!, BRIDGE Communication Pro, SymboTalk, GoVisual Experience, iSpeak Button Collection, Make a Choice - AAC Buttons, Verbal Me, Smooth Talker AAC, Yes/No, Special Stories, See Me Talk, PODD with Compass (PCS), simPODD, Pathways for Core First

  • A total of 20 Apps which appeared in the previous version 1.7,  have been removed

Word aaccess, Assistive Express, TotalTalk AAC, Tobii Dynavox Compass Connect, AAC Speak, Able AAC, image2talk, iSpeak Button Series, TapSpeak Button, Use2Talk, TapSpeak Sequence, Our Story, Speakall, PictureCanTalk, So Much 2 Say, Board Communicator, Bitsboard Preschool, MobileSign2, BSL Education, British Sign Language - Finger Spelling

  • Further indicators showing alternative access options, have been included:
    • Switch access (previously included) is now shown as a red border around the App image
    • Head Tracking (Face ID/Attention) is shown as an H, next to the App image
  • Where there is free versions of an App, there is a red * next to the App name
  • The BSL section has been removed and a PODD section added
  • Some app images and symbol sets have been updated

During the update process this year, information was collected through conducting two surveys, one focussing on text-based Apps and the other on symbol-based Apps. Comments and views were sought on App use, features and preferences. I am most grateful to all those who participated in either survey and will provide a summary of the responses in a subsequent blog.

download the wheel

Please get in touch with your feedback and any suggestions for further revisions.

Tags: aac, apps, ipad, ipados

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