Posted on 16/05/2019
Communication aids can be classed as anything that helps people communicate more effectively with those around them and while technology has evolved far beyond alphabet charts, not all devices need to be overcomplicated to achieve this. The Sequal Trust most commonly supplies what is known as VOCAS – Voice Output Communication Aids which speak for a person using an automated voice. Although these may seem complex, not all VOCA’s are!
The simplest VOCA’s are sturdy battery-powered devices, that often utilise built-in microphones for recording bespoke messages. Despite some of these devices only having one or two buttons, they can be some of the most effective communication aids and are a good introduction to AAC for people using them for the first time. They help to teach individuals the basics of communicating, layering vocabulary so that users can get to grips with the logistics of a small device before moving up to a more sophisticated one. As these communication aids rely on pre-recorded speech, they are intended for people who may not be able to spell what they want to say.
More complex VOCAs rely on computer-generated speech and are more text or type based than simple VOCAs. Usually made up of hardware and software, this type of communication aid often has the capacity for recorded messages, saved settings and include access to email, mobile and environmental control. Most designs feature a touch screen keyboard so that users may type their own messages, or in the event of poor mobility, they can be accessed with eye gaze technology. While most complex VOCAs rely heavily on typing, there are also version available that use symbols and pictures making them accessible to a larger percentage of people.
For more information about VOCAs or any other communication aids, call us on 01691 624 222 today.