Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sounding Board: easy access AAC

Lately, I have been turning to SoundingBoard (TM) by AbleNet more and more when I am in need of a customized AAC voice output device on the fly. It is a free app, but it is one of the most valuable ones that I have. 

You can choose any where from 1 - 9 customizable buttons to be on one screen. Each button is quick to program. The icon choices available are not always perfect, but I use the camera to take pictures of objects or of other icons I have used with my students.  It offers voice recording for the voice output, and each recording takes less than one second to make. I can easily set up a new page even while working with the busiest of students.  In my practice, SoundingBoard (TM) comes in handy as an AAC supplement when working with kids with imperfect voice output devices. 

There are times I have used it as a schedule as well. I set up each square as an activity to complete. The visual plan usually helps organize and motivate my students with autism. Then, during the session when I ask my student, "What's next?" he is able to answer using a customized voice output device.

One of my favorite new ways to use it is during my introductory "hello" song. The visual and audio feedback help engage and focus my students. In addition to providing a voice for my non verbal students, the pictures help visually prompt my verbal students to use speech. I find the auditory feedback from hitting the "button" also helps my verbal students vocalize. 

NOTE: This app is actually an iPhone app, so you will have to search iPhone apps to find it in the iTunes store. 

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