Monday, March 23, 2009
Tango at Home
I was sent this fun video of a boy using his Tango to read books with his mom. I have to say, having just finished a trial with a Tango for a student in my classroom this is a pretty accurate representation of the Tango. Notice how the mom is doing lots of the navigating and linking, that happened with our student too. The Tango has a high cognitive load (i.e. is not very intuitive) for users which means that users with developmental delays or intellectual impairment need higher levels of support with the device compared to other devices, especially navigating/linking. However the voice is just awesome and the smaller number of pictures can be easier for students who have access issues and students with cognitive issues if someone else navigates for them. Another issue I saw was that the icons, well beautiful, are not familiar to students who have used other symbol systems their entire lives. Older users especially may have issues learning a new symbol set. If Mayer-Johnson Picture Communication Symbols or SymbolStix were available this device might make a difference in a lot more lives. I also bet to differ that only a Tango would be comfortable in that setting. What about anything from the Chat series from Satillo or the Palmtop or iChat from Dynavox? How about any of the Lite devices from PRC? Even a Dynavox V would be fine - my student with a V curls up with it on the beanbag chair and even holds it comfortbaly on her lap and talks on the school bus.
Like any other device the Tango might be just perfect for some and not so for others. That is why we do full evaluations, trials and collect data.