7 Assistive Communication Apps in the iPad App Store

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Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Augmentative communication (AAC for short) is an alternative way to help students and adults with language disorders use expressive language or receptive language. Augmentative communication can be accomplished through assistive technology devices such as computers or hand held devices.

Twenty years ago if your child was non-verbal your resources where very limited. Advanced communication was limited to low technology such as picture communication systems and sign language.

Fast forward to 2011 and the iPad has revolutionized the assistive communication world. At an affordable price, the easy to use iPad has become the most recommended  device when an assistive communication device is needed.  In the iPad app store there are numerous applications available for individuals with special needs.

Here are seven assistive communication apps for the iPad that you may find useful:

Proloquo2Go

Company: AssistiveWare
Price: $189
Rating: 4 ½ Starts (284 Ratings)
Proloque2Go is the most well known of of all the assistive communications apps on the iPad. It is also one of the priciest. Still the $689 you spend ($500 for iPad and $189 for Proloque2go) is far cheaper than dedicated AAC devices. Proloque2Go is a full-featured augmentative and alternative communication solution for autistic children who have difficulty speaking. Easy to set up and use it provides natural sounding text-to-speech voices, high resolution up-to-date symbols, powerful automatic conjugations, a default vocabulary of over 7,000 items and is fully expandable. The app is very easy for individuals with special needs to navigate through the menus. It has a  beautiful graphic display and great voice quality. Proloque2Go is definitely a better bet on an iPad than an iPhone or iPad.Proloquo2Go - AssistiveWare

iCommunicate for iPad

Company: Grembe Inc.
Price: $49.99
Rating: 4½  Stars (22)
iCommunicate for iPad allows you to create pictures, flashcards, storyboards, routines, visual schedules and record custom audio in any language.  Aside from beeing an AAC device iCommunicate also includes task completion and audio visual prompting. iCommunicate comes preloaded with 10,000 symblstix pictures. You also have the ability to insert Google images and the story boards are printable. One negative is that this app is for the iPad only. The feature set is definitley not as robust as Proloque2Go, but you get what you pay for.iCommunicate. - Grembe Inc.

iComm

Company: Bappz
Price: Free Upgrade: $7.99
Rating: 3½ Stars (81)
Looking to get your feet wet with an AAC app without forking over big bucks? iComm may be for you. iComm lets you load picture and audio and record your own voices. Ideal for children with autism, cerebral palsy, apraxia and down syndrome. A heads up, although this app is free a lot of the features are only available with a $7.99 upgrade so be prepared to layout something. Another downer is that iComm only works with the iPad and iPhone and not the iPod Touch.iComm - Bappz

 

 

My Talk Tools Mobile

Company: 2nd Half Enterprises LLC
Price: $39.99
Rating: 4 Stars (18)
My Talk Tools Mobile for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad enables people with communication difficulties to express their needs and desires to those around them. My Talk Mobile represents a major breakthrough in augmentative, alternative communications (AAC) by making it easy to customize how you communicate through a variety of images, pictures, symbols and audio files including human voice. In 5 minutes, you can create your very own content and communicate in a way that YOU choose. My Talk offers a robust feature set for the price. The app can also be shown on an external display making it great for school.MyTalkTools Mobile - 2nd Half Enterprises LLC

Look2Learn – AAC

Company: MDR
Ratings: 3½ Stars (22)
Price: $14.99
Look2Learn (L2L), a revolutionary AAC software application for the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad allows individuals to work at their communicative level using photographs to express wants and needs. The easy to use system integrates preloaded vocal output so that individuals can use their “voice”. In addition, users are able to record their own personalized audio and pair it with photos! This is a good app for beginners not willing to shell out more money. One thing to concerned about is that the app can only hold 140 pictures.Look2Learn - AAC - MDR

Voice4U

Company: Spectrum Visions
Price: $29.99
Rating: 4 Stars (22)
Voice4u, is a revolutionary AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) application that helps individuals to express their feeling, thought, actions and things they need. It is a perfect solution for learning and communication for autistic individuals and people around them. With it, you will never have to guess at an individuals’ wants and needs and will break down the barriers of communication for individuals with special needs. Two complaints about Voice4U are that the illustrations are not the best and that you are limited to 9 categories.Voice4u - Spectrum Visions

iConverse

Company: Xcellent Creations
Price: $9.99
Rating: 3 Stars (49)
iConverse is an educational tool designed for young children, autistic individuals, and individuals with other communicative disabilities, and also toddler-aged children who have yet to master language. iConverse is an Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) application for the iPhone and iPod Touch that replaces bulky and expensive communication devices used in the past. iConverse comes with only 6 preloaded image buttons so you will need to do some button making work before you can use it. It also does not come with a scheduler to help with transitions. iConverse - Assisted Communication - Xcellent Creations, Inc.

The Special Needs iPad & App Series

This post is part two of the Special Needs iPad & App Series. In only one year the Apple iPad has revolutionized the tech industry. 15 Million iPads have been sold and estimates are that within the next 3 years over 115 million tablets will be shipped. Dozens if not hundreds of applications have been created that enhance the quality of life for individuals with all types of disabilities.

To try and make sense of all of this we have put together a nine part series on the iPad and useful applications. The Series contains:

  1. The Special Needs iPad & App Series: Welcome
  2. 7 Assistive communication (AAC) apps for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch
  3. 7 Scheduling and Behavioral Apps to help with transitions and more
  4. 11 Social Skills & Life Skills Apps in iPad App Store
  5. 10 Websites to Find Special Needs Apps for the iPad & iPhone
  6. 7 Special Needs Apps in the Google Android Market
  7. On a tight budget? 7 ways to get an ipad for your child with special needs
  8. 6 steps to get the iPad into your child’s special education classroom
  9. 4 Special Needs iPad/iPhone Apps for the Future

More Special Needs Apps

Looking for more special needs apps? Check out the Special Needs App Review!

With over a thousand apps now available to help individuals with special needs it has become increasingly difficult to find and choose the right special needs app. The Friendship Circle App Review gives you the ability to find the perfect special needs app for your child.

Special Needs App Review

Tzvi
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  • Ron

    Thanks for the great information about AAC Ipad Apps!  Very useful information.

  • Tzvi

    Ron, you are very welcome. If there are any topics you would like us cover feel free to let us know.

  • http://www.graceapp.com lisadom

    Hi Tzvi, My app is a non-voca which ensures the social interaction of the user and helps to develop their speech. It is called Grace App for Autism and is named after my severely autistic daughter Gracie who I developed it for.
    Maybe you would like to check it out? email me (via the blog) for a code if you would like to review it.
    I have tried out iComm with a severely disabled girl with limited mobility and she was able to manipulate it with a clenched hand and select a slice of cake the first time we showed her. I highly recommend it for C.P and mobility impaired pupils.
    Best Wishes, Lisa Dom
    xx

  • TammyS

    My daughter has Cri Du Chat Syndrome and she uses the Proloquo2go app.  She loves being able to tell us things she wants and actually communicate with us.  The plus side of it being on the iPad is that the iPad is cool so it draws other kids to her.  She uses it at school.  I think it’s great that the iPad has so many apps to help those with special needs.

  • http://www.tboxapps.com Rebecca

    Hi Tzvi
    I am a speech therapist in the UK and have developed Predictable. Predictsble is the brand new, revolutionary solution provides feature rich AAC functionality  and – importantly – socially acceptable and relevant social media funcitons. In this way, Predictable sets a new benchmark. By including Word Prediction as well as Switch Access this solution meets the requirements of a range of AAC users including those with dysarthria and language impairments.

    http://www.tboxapps.com

     
    Thanks,
    Rebecca

  • http://www.alexicomtech.com Staci

    Alexicom Tech, an on-line AAC system as well as apple and android app, was crated for Alex.  He is a young man with Autism who wanted to be heard.  His parents as well as a friend and speech-language pathologists created this affordable and accessible system.  Everyone gets a 45 day free trial!  Check it out at http://www.alexicomtech.com

  • joe

    thank you for infomations provided. My autistic son will definitly will benefit these apps. looking forward to learning about the other available apps. 

  • caroline curran

    thankyou for sharing such fantastic info i just bought my daughter the i pad 2 it is amazing,and with your help am finding all the apps i need

  • Tessa Williams

    I am looking for a device that would help my husband understand what people are saying.  Is there an application or a device that would help him read when someone is talking to him.

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  • Erwin van den hout

    Hi,
    I would like to draw attention to our new app, called iPicto: for iPhone, iPod Touch

    and iPad.
    This app is designed to guide people with a (mental) disability, with or without
    dementia/alzheimer, asperger, autism and / or a disorder in communication.

    This new app iPicto is also a very good tool in learning a way of communication,

    for example speech difficulties.

    I refer you for further information, visit the App Store.

    See for it: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ipicto/id423225072?mt=8&ls=1

    Thank you for attention,

    Sincerely,

    Erwin van den Hout
    The Netherlands

  • http://www.assistiveapps.com/ lew

    Hi,

    I come across this apps that may be helpful to the AAC patients. Here is the web link to the itunes apps store

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/assistive-chat/id379891874?mt=8
    Assistive Apps presents Assistive Chat, an affordable Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) App, catered to people with difficulty in speech. The biggest challenge for such users when using AAC devices is the number of key strokes or hits required to construct any sentences, which can take up a significant amount of time to have a decent conversation with anyone. To overcome this challenge, Assistive Chat is designed to be simple and efficient, allowing users to communicate at the fastest rate possible, with natural sounding voices.
    Features:

    Landscape and Portrait Modes to cater to different needs
    Word Prediction to minimize the keystrokes required
    Adaptive learning of new vocabulary into the word prediction list
    Adaptive learning of “next word” prediction makes sentence typing faster
    Favorites list for users to save commonly used sentences
    3 voices included for user to pick
    Adjustable volume and speed for voices
    Large font and buttons for easy access
    Recent list for quick access to previously spoken sentences

    Best Regards
    lew

  • jean

    so have you looked at TouchChat from Saltillo?

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  • http://facebook calvin lawrence

    IM a Laryngectomee with the need to text to speech voice would like an Ipad with the software .

  • http://www.alexicomtech.com Staci

    For Calvin:  Alexicom Tech just published its latest version of the Apple app which includes text to speech and the next version in 2 weeks will have word prediction.  Text to Speech and Word prediction are Free in the Free App!  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/alexicom-aac/id395122088?mt=8

  • http://www.digitalscribbler.com Willie

    Hi,
    Please try this Android app that we created.  It helps facilitate communication with non-verbal persons.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adVzQ8KaqPQ&feature=player_embedded
    It’s called Quick Talk and it’s available now in the Android Market.

  • http://touch-voice.com Michael McAnally

    Number 8!  Very nice article.  Please contact me if you would like to include my AAC Assistive Technology Speaking device in your article list.
    My business “Touch Voice” just released to market a AAC Medical App for the iPad and iPad 2 which speaks.  This “Speaking App” gives those who can’t speak or may have trouble speaking a understandable computer male or female voice and has a very easy and large interface for those who have movement or coordination challenges because of their medical condition.  It is also very affordable for those who already have access to an iPad.  Stay tuned we are working on an Android Tablet version as well…  Check it out here  ==>
    Apple App Store Link  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/touch-voice/id463214871?mt=8
    Website Link   http://touch-voice.com/

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  • Lillibeth

    Hello!
    I am just wondering if this different apps works worlwide or just in the USA?  

  • http://touch-voice.com Michael McAnally

    Hi Lillibeth,
    If I understand you question correctly, yes Touch Voice “works” world-wide since it doesn’t require Internet connectivity after the app is downloaded, however at the moment it only speaks the English language.  We have intentions to include other languages very soon.
    More information can be found on our Touch Voice website and the Apple App Store.  See my links above.
     
     
     

  • http://www.alexicomtech.com Staci

    Alexicom Tech also works worldwide with 7 languages through AT&T voices.  We currently have Spanish page sets and are working on German.  If you like the English page sets, simply change the vocabulary to the needed language.  Our product is internet-based but not dependent.  Once you load/publish your pages from the “cloud” you no longer need the internet, not even for in app editing or text to speech.  Visit http://www.alexicomaac.com.

  • http://touch-voice.com Michael McAnally

    correction: you question=your question

  • http://speech-concepts.com Orlando Smart

    Good morning,
    I saw caught sight of your website through Linked-In and have been checking it out.  I saw that you have listed a few scheduling apps and I thought I would introduce ours from Speech-concepts.com.  It is called Time This!  It is a visual schedule-timer app for Ipad.  Frankly, (and absolutely no disrespect to other apps), it is truly the best scheduling app out there (and by far more affordable @ $5.99)

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    itunes.apple.com/us/app/time-this!/id472752315?mt=8
    promo code: XEX6F4KNX7XT
    1.  Create one user or multiple users, and give each multiple schedules (I have 30 users so far on mine that I see weekly); perfect for classrooms or teachers/therapists on a budget.

    2.  Each picture (You can upload your own and put in the schedule in seconds) has its own timer (clock, digital or hourglass).  There is also a big timer (hourglass, digital, clock) that you can run simultaneously with the schedule timer.
    3. Line your schedule up vertically/horizontally . . . change the order of them by moving them with a touch of a finger or add to them in seconds.
    4.  It is so easy to use, even my two-year old clients create their own schedule – I know that sounds like a line, but those are the exact words of three of the parents I work with when they saw their child creating their own schedule with my program.
    I am absolutely confident that Time This! is the best schedule app of any price, though ours is the most affordable (and does more than the others) at $5.99.
    Respectfully,
    Orlando Smart – Speech-Language Pathologist/App designer for Speech Concepts, LLC


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  • http://aacspeech.com Don McCarty

    e love the AACSPeechBuddy app – No other AAC app gives you the ability to share your created, customized, personalized
    speech sets with others.

    Not only does the AACSpeechBuddy give you the ability to share your created, customized, personalized speech sets with others, it also gives you the ability to load the speech set that specifically pertains to a certain individual or situation – by simply selecting a speech set or entering a profile id which changes the entire content loaded onto your APP in one easy action!

    A Speech Set consists of selected images with corresponding words/sentences. Essentially custom digital PECS icons with text and audible speech.

    Now including over 2000+ images from the Mulberry Symbols collection by Paxtoncrafts Charitable Trust.

  • http://speechappsstore.com Orlando Smart

    AAC Scroll & Speak is a next generation, patent pending app for the iPad – created, designed, tested and used by our educational and clinical Speech-Language Pathologists.  Speechappsstore.com
    AAC Scroll & Speak uses TODAY’S technology, not YESTERDAY’S confusing format and design that other AAC apps and devices still use.
    The goal of any AAC app is promote communication.  Other AAC apps and devices make you spend more time trying to figure them out than actually using them to communicate.  If you have to go to classes, watch webinars or spend therapy and educational time trying to figure out and make your AAC app work – Do you really believe that your student or child is going to figure it out?  Or are you wasting valuable learning time, and time that can be used having the person communicate?
    AAC Scroll & Speak solves all of those issues with its patent pending design.  It is ready to be used right away.  Whether you are technology savvy or not, AAC Scroll and Speak is so easy to use – our students and Adult & child clients (ones as young as 2 & 3)  are communicating within minutes of it being put in their hands.
    AAC Scroll & Speak also utilizes “TEXT TO SPEECH”
    AAC Scroll & Speak lets you upload pictures from the internet (see speechappsstore.com where we have detailed how to do it step-by-step for you).  This way, you now have access to thousands upon thousands of high quality pictures without having to buy them like other AAC apps require you to.
    For a fraction of the price of other AAC apps and devices,  AAC Scroll & Speak gives you unparalleled quality & ease of use for only $49.99.
    Finally, there is an AAC app that is designed by Speech-Language Pathologists who have extensive knowledge of AAC needs to serve those with Autism, Apraxia, Cognitive Impairments, Aphasia, to name just a few of the areas we specialize in.
    Speechappsstore.com
     

  • http://iPicto E vd Hout

    Hi,
    I would like to draw attention to our new app, called iPicto, for iPhone, iPod Touch

    and iPad.
    This app is designed to guide people with a (mental) disability, with or without
    dementia/alzheimer, asperger, autism and / or a disorder in communication.

    This new app iPicto is also a very good tool in learning a way of communication,

    for example speech difficulties.

    I refer you for further information, visit the App Store.

    See for it: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ipicto/id423225072?mt=8&ls=1
    and
    http://ipicto.applereports.com/iPicto/Welkom.html

    Thank you for attention,

    Sincerely,

    Erwin van den Hout
    The Netherlands

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  • Dean Junk

    You really need to checkout the Gabby application written by enabledsoftware. The link to the site is http://www.enabledsoftware.net.

  • http://www.specialneedstravelmom.com Karin

    Thanks for this great info!  My daughter got an iPad for Christmas and is so excited, but I’m struggling to find apps for her.  She’s blind and non-verbal.  Suggestions for communication apps and fun apps she can play?  Thank you so much!

  • Nasir Uddin

    awesome blogs i like it very much ::)

  • http://speechappsstore.com Nathan Powell

    I wanted to introduce two great apps for children and adults with Autism.  Time This! is a one-of-a-kind, visual schedule/timer app for iPad.  You can use it for one client or for many, and give each one multiple visual schedules using your own pictures.  AAC Scroll & Speak is a patent-pending AAC app for iPad.  As practicing educational and clinical speech-language pathologists, we were very specific in what we needed in apps for our clients with Autism and that’s how these two apps came into being.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
     
    Speechappsstore.com

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  • leila

    hello zvi, 
     is there an app that allows me to record vocabulary in a different language? (i need french & hebrew).
    thanks for your time,
    leila 

  • Lum

    Hello!  I’m an SLP looking for any apps that would help a child with apraxia.  Are you aware of any at this time?

  • Nicole Bostwick

    This is so very exciting!  I am a newy certified SLP and specialize in Autism.  My students have been using other ACC devices for years, and now some are in the vey beginning stages of using ipad for communication.  I do not have one yet, but tomorrow am probably getting one.  I am very interested in your information here and am thankful for your site. Thank you.

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  • Pmlaroche

    Working with a very experienced AAC expert we developed an ipad app for our son that is in the spectrum and is non verbal. The app is really easy to use, and we are very proud of it. You can take photos directly with the ipad and in a couple of steps place them in the program and record sounds so that you can use the image right away. You can have different sized icons, so that you can adjust the number that are visible at any given time, you can move these icons, you can record sound (but it does not have automatic robo-sounds), you can change background colors, we even did a simple schedule……..many features, all of the stuff that we wanted to have for our son. He uses it at home and at school, approved and supported by his speech therapists and we think that it is an alternative to kids like him that cannot yet read or type. You can see how it works at http://www.use2talk.com/

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  • http://twitter.com/CommGreenhouse Comm Greenhouse

    Thanks for this great resource! SLPs who would like to use AAC apps in their evaluations might be interested in this list of 49 free/lite AAC apps: http://bit.ly/HUUeJn .

  • Chay1828

    Hi,
    I’m a special ed teacher and one of my students with angelman syndrome just got an iPad. I am looking for a good communication app – something that can import pictures of things she uses or needs on a daily basis. I see some of the apps are extremely expensive, so was trying to find something on the cheaper side so I can try this with her and see if it’s something that will be helpful down the line. She does not have any verbal communication, but her comprehension is pretty high. I have started to use PEC’s with her to choose activities which is working very well. If anyone knows a good communication app to start off with (that I can import pics & simple to use) – would appreciate any guidance. Thanks!

    • Kim

      SPEAKall is new and free.  Just heard about it but am going to try it with my son.  He is 21 and has been using PECs since he was 5.  Check it out it was developed at Purdue.  

  • José Fernández

    There the alternative augmentative communication with the eyes and System Mac Os X my e-mail josefdezmoreno@gmail.com

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  • David

    Hi,

    I just came out with an app for my cousin who has cerebral palsy. Its called PicWords, and you can check it out here http://www.regionappsllc.com/products/

    Its used for communication, and is set up to be used as a PECS/AAC
    tool. It works well for him because all the buttons are customizable so
    you can take actual pictures and record custom audio. Also, we made all
    the buttons large and across the bottom to make it easier to navigate
    than a screen filled with many smaller buttons. If anyone tries it and
    wants to suggest other app ideas or suggest improvements for PicWords
    let us know.

  • http://twitter.com/nonrecipe CookingOutsideTheBox

    Thanks for putting this together. I’m thinking about getting a tablet for my 2.5 year non-communicative daughter (global delays, CP, autism, etc. from congenital CMV) as well as to teach my 1st and 2nd graders to read English. I’m just trying to decide if I’m jumping the gun, getting this device before she can make the most of it. If I just want a toy for my kids, I could get the LeapPad.

    • http://www.facebook.com/carol.radtke.33 Carol Radtke

      So did you try a tablet for your daughter? I’m curious as I have a 26 year old non communicative daughter with several problems brought on by congenital CMV. We are also looking at a tablet to help her.

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