Although not typically a communication device, iPads can be loaded with assistive software such as ‘Proloquo2go’ in order to help those with communication difficulties get their voices heard. We know that most people are aware of the capabilities of an iPad, so rather than explain the functionality, instead we’ll focus on the software.
Proloquo2go uses similar technology to that of Grid Pads but is instead more heavily focused on picture supported phrases. It promotes language development as the ‘progressive language’ tool within the app reveals new categories and words based on the developmental stage of the user. There are also 5 different vocabulary sets to suit different communication maturities and buttons can be easily edited or customised to contain personalised pictures or more specific words.
As an iPad has an integrated QWERTY keypad, users can also rely solely on this whilst in the Proloquo2go app and because of the built-in Polypredix feature, predictive text makes communicating in this way a little bit faster. Whichever way the user chooses to form a sentence or phrase, the automated voice will read out the message through the iPad speakers. The app has over 60 downloadable voice styles including different ages, varying accents and gender-specific variations.
Who Can Use It?
In order to use an iPad as a communication aid, a degree of mobility is required and unfortunately, as there are no USB ports, they can’t be linked up to a head or switch mouse. Despite this, using an iPad is one of the more accessible communication devices, because the app accommodates children as young as two by formulating programmes to begin learning vocabulary. Thanks to its progressing stages, it also means that there is no age limit on the users. The Proloquo2go app also comes in 4 languages; Spanish, Dutch, French & English and can even display words in two languages at a time, so users can even learn new a language!