I’ve been on the road quite a bit this week and last, so not much time for posts. I did run across a set of speakers for the iPhone or iPod touch however that I think will work great with the Proloquo2Go software I highlighted last week.
The speakers pictured to the left are from iMainGo. They fit snugly around your iPhone or iPod touch, which not only looks nice, but gives your device some extra protection as well.
I havent’ personally used the speakers, but the reviews I’ve seen are excellent. This will give your device the extra volume it needs to become a very legitimate communication device.
I’m sure there are more options out there, so be sure to send me an email or comment if you have recommendations.
If you haven’t already heard, there is an App in the apple application store for iPhone and iPod Touches that can turn your iPod into an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device. If you’re not familiar with AAC devices, they help people who are unable to speak communicate with others… they give you a voice. The app is called Proloquo2Go and is priced at $199, but can currently be purchased for $149. This may sound expensive for an application, but considering the alternative is a $1,200 – $8,000 device, I consider the price very reasonable.
In addition to the low price, there are a few other things I like:
- Unlike some software, it comes with some standard vocabulary that makes it usable as soon as it is downloaded.
- You can add new messages at any time. This includes symbols, or just snap a picture with your iPhone or iPod touch and make a custom button
- You can type a message at any time and have it read aloud
- There is a button that allows you to re-read something you said 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, or longer ago instead of having to re-type the message.
- You can put beginner to advanced vocabulary sets and change the size of the symbols (which of course will cause less symbols to be displayed on the screen).
The only thing I am not to excited about is the volume. This has nothing to do with the software itself, but if you are in a crowded area there’s not much of a chance that your communication partner will hear you (you could always show them what you are saying I suppose). I know there are external speakers you can buy for the iPhone, but not sure if there are any that are portable enough to stay connected to the iPhone with a power source for long period of time. If they do not exist yet, I imagine someone will be coming out with them soon.
A final thing I would like to note is that this could be the tool to end much of the abandonment of AAC devices we see all to often. There aren’t too many non-verbal students that get excited about carrying around an AAC device everywhere they go. Even if it is a smaller device, it is still different. This changes everything however. I can pick up an iPod touch for under $200 on ebay ($229 new for the 8GB version from Apple) and be using the same device to communicate that others are using for a variety of purposes.