Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Proloquo2Go in the iTunes Ap Store!
Proloquo2Go, Assistiveware's and Sennott Consulting AAC software that runs on an iPod Touch or iPhone is now officially available to the public at the iTunes ap store online or via your iPod Touch or iPhone. Envision balloons and confetti falling from the ceiling!
I was privileged enough to be the coordinator for a young woman who beta tested the software and let me tell you it is some amazing stuff. Amazing!
The software is sleek, intuitive and well designed. The teacher of the young lady beta testing said to me last week, "Can I just tell you, this thing is the best thing since mayonnaise!" This teacher, AAC user and speech therapy assistant had never really used anything higher tech than a Go Talk 4+. Yet the software is so well designed that the student and paraprofessionals had it figured out immediately. Those of us who have had extensive literacy, language and cognitive development training will take one look at Proloquo2Go and see the lastest research jump out at us. There are no features thrown in because they are the next hot thing (visual scene displays) inspite of very little supportive literature across broad bases of AAC users, there are just many, many features that are supported by well studied aspects of special education, speech and language development, lingiuistics and other fields.
This reasearch has lead to the software has many higher level features that our beta testing student doesn't need, like automatic verb tensing and grammatical features, which will greatly benefit many users. Additionally it is configured to us Goosen color coding out of the box to add phrase and sentence composing users.
The voice is smooth and easy to understand. The symbols are SymbolStix from the News-2-You folks and seem to easily generalize to students who are used to Mayer-Johnson Picture Communication Symbols.
Our beta testing student uses an iMainGo case to amplify the voice and protect against bumps and bangs. I am sure there are other case options out there.
I honestly cannot recommend this software application enough. It isn't for everyone (i.e. not for users who need a keyguard, switch access, eye or head tracking, etc.), but any clinic or clinician should have it on hand to trial (especially at the trial price it is being offered at right now) to test with users who have decent vision and good fine motor skills.
Please remember that like all AAC it is important to properly evaluate the user for an appropriate device, with the right features. It is necessary to collect data on AAC usage, to use a TEAM approach with the SLP as the lead and the involvement of the user and the family during the programming and updating phase (which is much shorter on the Proloquo2Go because it is so well designed). We all get jazzed about cool new tools, but they become old, dusty tools if we get them for us and not the user!