25 Jan App/Website Series: Using an app to model AAC use!
You may already be aware that Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) is the topic on our social media pages this month. There are SO MANY apps available to support AAC users, often the apps themselves are the means of communication, like proloquo2go. However, apps can also be used to help facilitate the modelling of AAC use, which seems particularly relevant given the webinar shared recently called ‘Model, Model, Model’!
A collection of FREE animated short story apps, developed by Inclusive Technology, provide lots of great opportunities to talk whilst simultaneously modelling AAC use. The stories do not include any spoken or written language making them even more accessible and providing you with the flexibility to model a range of vocabulary for each scene. Furthermore, the stories are about everyday activities meaning that the vocabulary modelled is relevant to typical daily life too, thus making AAC use easier to generalise to wider communicative contexts!
This app also helps develop a child’s understanding of cause and effect. When someone understands that their action (e.g. pressing a switch or talking), will cause something else to happen, they are demonstrating that they understand cause and effect. This is considered a core communicative skill, particularly when it comes to AAC use. The app develops this skill in an engaging context by pausing regularly, requiring the screen to be touched or a Bluetooth connected switch to be pressed in order to continue to the story. So these apps facilitate AAC use in more ways than one!
I am now going to illustrate how to do some modelling using a few screen shots from the story – ‘Underground’. I am going to use an example core board as my AAC system. Core communication boards are AAC systems made up of core vocabulary (words which are used across a great number of different situations).
‘Oh no! WHAT has happened? SHE can NOT GO through, she’s been STOPPED! SHE needs the barriers to OPEN so SHE can GO through!’
‘Eeek the train is HERE NOW! SHE can SEE THAT (pointing at the train)! SHE can SEE the train! SHE WANTS to get ON the train!’
‘Oh phew!!! SHE found THAT (pointing at the oyster card)! SHE found her oyster card! The barriers are OPEN so she can GO through and get ON the train – isn’t that GOOD?!’
The words in capitals correspond with the core vocab circled in red on the communication board. So as you verbally talk about the scene, you can exaggerate the core words and point to the component parts of the communication board as you go. You can always pause before moving onto the next scene, if you like, to let the AAC user have a go at communicating themselves too!
These apps are available on the apple app store so go and give some modelling a try today!