Sunday, June 28, 2009

iPod Touch/iPhone App Round Up for Users with Significant Disabilities and Those who Teach Them

Updated June 19, 2010

Please note YGWYPF notation means "You get what you pay for!"
T&T means the blog author uses this application
BIC is Best in Category, based only on the authors impression, no other criteria are in play
* means that the app has been used by the author

  • Answers: Yes No - is an app that simply says yes or no, press the green yes to say yes or the red no to say no, you can have a male or female (or cartoon) voice, simple and works great in a pinch ($.99) T&T*
  • AutoVerbal Talking Soundboard - an AAC app which uses clip art like icons and low quality voices when off of wifi and high quality voices when on wifi, has a limited number of programmable buttons, many have noted it is currently buggy, compelling horizontal scrolling looks interesting ($.99 with rumors to be going up to $29.99) YGWYPF
  • Expressionist - is a app by Adastrasoft it holds 120 common expressions in 7 catagories and 1000+ nouns using photographs as identifiers in addition to a black and white line drawing of a cartoon-like person to create "composite images", the system design is a little baffling to me just looking at the screenshots and videos
  • EZ Speech by Gus Communications is a text-to-speech system with NeoSpeech voices and a system of folders to organize and speed things up.  No pictures symbols. ($795!!!!)
  • Grace - A PECS style app for all the iDevices that uses simple color drawings in a PECS like set up.  ($37.99)
  • iComm - a newer photo based AAC app with recorded voice and yes/no confirmation of choices, iPhone and iPad only (free for introduction period and price will scale upwards to $27.00, some reports of being "nagware"*
  • iConverse - this is a "you get what you pay for" augmentative and alternative communication solution, offering six choices with a decent voice and clip art icons and a horrendous text-to-speech voice for user created buttons ($10) YGWYPF*
  • Look2Learn AAC - yet another "you get what you pay for" app, this one is photo based (comes with 80) and allows you to change sizes of the images, basically this allows the user to communicate "I want" messages only (only 4 buttons with vocal output). ($25) YGWYPF*
  • My Talk Tools - Voice output AAC using photos and emoticons, not research based, nor designed for intuitive communication or motor planning based use ($35.99) YGWYPF*
  • Small Talk - by Lingraphica is a photobased communication program designed for adults who have had strokes (free - subscribe for more)*
  • Speak It! - text to speech program with choice of voices ($1.99)*
  • Proloquo2Go - a complete augmentative and alternative communication solution using current research in the field, SymbolStix communication symbols and a high quality voice and many highly customizable features ($189.99) T&T, BIC see TLWMSN review*
  • Talk - by AlterMa Inc is a text-to-speech application ($0.99) YGWYPF*
  • Talk Assist - a free program that allows keeping selections of text-to-speech to click on and play or typing and playing messages with TTS, voice is very low quality (free) *
  • TapToTalk - AAC seet up in "albums" of "emoticon" style clip art, the starter album is free and may be enough for beginning communicators, more advanced albums and original program requires a subscription (free starter, $99 a year subscription) *
  • Tap Speak Button - essentially a Big Mac Button (or single message voice output switch) where you record a message and touch the screen to play it back, you can store multiple messages and use when needed ($9.99) T&T*
  • iAssist Communicator - a photograph based AAC app with 4 photos and related speech output per page over multiple pages, customizable ($29.99)
  • iBlissSymbols - not many people still use Bliss symbols with individuals with severe or multiple disabilities, but if you happen to work with someone who was talk Bliss Symbols this app is for them, a Bliss Symbols based communication app!  (Lite is free, Full is $18.99)*
  • iCoon - a global icon dictionary using very simple line drawings and digital pics, meant for travelers, may have other implications in our field
  • iInteract - an odd communication board set as it has no regard for the heirarchy of symbolic representation, the main board is text based and subsequent boards mix clip art and photographs; there are a total of six boards at this time and a choice of a boy or girl voice ($8.99) YGWYPF*
  • iMean - is a letter board based AAC system with word prediction for literate AAC communicators, currently no voice output ($4.99) YGWYPF*
  • Locabulary - is a primarily text based (some small digital pics), list based, sentence chaining, AAC or vocab teaching or prompting system that uses GPS to determine vocabulary on the page (i.e. puts you to the coffee page in Starbucks) currently the lite version is up for beta testing; hopefully they are putting together a really great expansion of Locabulary because the beta is very promising T&T*
  • iTake Turns - simple app allows user to say, "my turn" and "your turn" in a male or female voice ($1.99)
  • SynthSpeech - allows you to use an adjustable voice to create text-to-speech selections, which can be stored on a soundboard for AAC use ($1.99)
  • Yes/No Bilingual - allows the communicator to say yes or no in English or Spanish and in a male of female voice ($1.99)
Data Collection
  • ABC Data Pro -  complex data collection software for those that need it (27.99)
  • Behavior Tracker Pro - allows the users to log ABC, frequency or duration data and then see it graphed, supports multiple data collections at once ($9.99) T&T*
  • eCove Observation Software - five types of counters and timers to allow you to take different types of data (free)*
  • iBehavior - allows tracking of positive/negative behavior of multiple subjects, designed for teachers to track classroom behavior in general education (free)*
  • Percentally - data collection by tally or +/- which is automatically converted to percentages, allows for tracking multiple goals and objectives for multiple students at the same time ($4.99). T&T, BIC*
  • Tallymander - list based tally management, keep tally of multiple things (behaviors, data) at once and e-mail it
    Prompting/Visual Schedules
    • First/Then Visual Schedule - simple picture schedule allows three formats of viewing, however a limited choice of pictures and currently no means of importing images ($9.99)*
    • Halo Talk - by AdstraSoft this forced choice/prompting app is designed as pairs of opposites to use to offer choices from a field of two photos or to prompt to using a field of two photos, like the other AdstraSoft applications this uses the cartoon drawing of a person as well as photos ($33)
    • iPrompts - this is an ap allowing you to use photograph or clip art symbols to make visual schedules, pair with a count down time or make basic choices from a field of two (without speech output) ($50) (if you tried this a year ago, the updates make it more user friendly - still not worth $50, but more user friendly and no bugs)*
    • Picture Scheduler - this app shows a visual reminder (photo or video) at a specified time as well as playing a voice note to cue the user ($3)*
    • Step Stones - by AdastraSoft is a new app for visual schedules using photos the current version has 12 visual sequences, the new version to be released will add 15 more and allow user made sequences, the user can check off each step as it is done ($29) 
    • Visules - sets of individual or lists of picture cues to use separately or as routines. ($4.99) YGWYPF*
    Reward Charts
    • iReward - is essentially a "star chart" or behavior contract system for your iPod/iPhone ($2.99)*
    • Reward Chart - simple, early childhood type sticker charts for tracking multiple rewards over time for children (free)*
    Sign Language
    • Signing Time - the famous DVDs now have an app! Learn sign on your iPhone or iTouch
    • Sign4Me - SEE Sign Language Tutor using animated avatar ($9.99) *
    • Time Timer - the original Time Timer as an app, visual showing of time remaining, 10 sounds you can play when time is elapsed (we like the clapping for differential reinforcement of zero behaviors) ($4.99) T&T, BIC*
    • Time Jot - allows you to time things and keep multiple logs of those times, good as both a timer and for data collection*
    • Visual Count Down Timer - a stack of blocks that lowers as time counts down ($2.99)
      • 3D Brain - a 3D image of a brain with various view, labels and information about brain and brain disorders; very useful if you teach those with brain injury, seizures and various brain based issues like agenesis of the corpus callosum or microcephaly (free) T&T*
      • A_T_Chooser - it is hard to say something isn't worth $.99 but this isn't, basically it is supposed to give you an overview of AT options for various types of disabilities, if you know how to use Google or have ever been in a special needs classroom you don't need this app, let's just say if someone can't be bothered to remove the underscores from the app title don't but it! ($.99) YGWYPF*
      • ArtikPix - using SymbolStix Communication Symbols for flashcards and matching games this app gives teachers and speech therapists probes for working on articulation
      • A Special Phone - this is an app that allows dialing without looking at the key pad and a shake of the phone instead of pressing dial, additionally you can program six dial by photo numbers that allow dialing without knowing or mathcing numbers ($0.99)
      • Flick Tunes - allows a playlist to be controlled by sliding a finger or fingers across the screen, designed for drivers and others to control music without looking this app is wonderful for those with fine motor issues (be careful, your students will learn how to crank up the volume FAST!) T&T, BIC ($.99)*
      • Flux Tunes - very similar to Flick Tunes ($.99)
      • IEP Checklist - this app lists all of the sections of the IEP as required by federal law and allows you to create a checklist of those sections by student to be sure you have completed everything you need to complete before, during and after the meeting (free)*
      • Talkulator - a talking calculator, basic in design ($.99) *


      1. wow great list thanks for posting this I'll be checking these apps out.

      2. the Look2Learn website is at, not, which is why you can't find it. You should update that link.

      3. Thanks for posting these, they are very helpful to many families and teachers. My daughter has multiple special needs. I have been inspired to start a company focused on technology and special education. Our first app just came out in time for Halloween Adapted Book - 5 Pumpkins, see what you think!

      4. Nice. Check out the Stories2Learn application.

      5. This is an amazing blog. Any views on the iPad? There are several developer companies like mine - - working on educational content for kids and I think the way is clear for better apps and content for special needs children.

      6. Anyone interested in developing apps for kids should check out the Dust or Magic App camp (May 2- 4).

      7. How amazing to have this list! Well Done! I will twit this on Smarty Ears twitter page! Smarty Ears is developig apps for children with communication disorders. We have 9 apps available at the ap store as of today.

      8. TapToTalk just became available on iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad. www,

      9. We have developed a new fun app for kids!
        ABC zoo is a teaching and developing iPhone and iPod touch application for your kids. Easy-to-use on a trip or whenever you are out with your children to amuse or keep them busy. A useful and funny app that lets your kid get used to reading. Your kids will learn alphabet while playing.
        Awailable here:

      10. You can add photos and additional images to the "First Then Visual Schedule" app. You do it the same way you add any photos or images to the itouch/iphone.
        Here is how: You must first transfer your images to your device's Photo Library using iTunes. This is normally done by connecting the device to your computer, opening iTunes, selecting your device within iTunes, and following the iTunes instructions for transferring photos (either by "syncing" your device to a folder containing your pictures, or by transferring individual photos).

        After you have loaded images onto your device, open the FTVS app and select the "Edit schedules" tab in the main menu. When you go to + to add an image you can select to add a photo from the "camera roll". Your imported images should now be available. After you select and save, it will be available in the "stock image" library for future use.
        Hope that helps :0)

      11. Thanks for including Percentally and ArtikPix. FYI, Percentally is $2.99, which we don't plan to change anytime soon. Our aim was to create a low-cost solution for data collection.

      12. Also I love the simple (and not distracting) dolch sight words app by Margaret Fernandez. It has simple touch the screen---hear the word---feature and some of the 1-3 grade levels have an additional sentence too auditorily. Great article!

      13. Awesome list. Almost all applications are a must have. Tallymander is one my favorites as my work involves extensive use of this application.

      14. A nice list of software. One should be careful before downloading them to avoid any infection of virus and malware.

      15. IPad is not intended to replace computer in anyway.It however does a lot of things which a computer does and surprisingly it does better and faster.Ipad is an amazing invention from apple.It has many flaws and drawbacks too.Apple should consider those things.It doesnt have camera even.I usually shop on this online shopping site for ipad when i came acros with different blogs.Do check it out for many other products.Ipad and blackberry books are both the same.Blackberry book comes with many new feature while ipad lacks sum functions.

      16. Thanks so much for the GREAT list! I love using:
        easy for kids to use! Great results. THanks again

      17. I've used a few of these apps to help my daughter. They are really helpful and I'm not really as disappointed as some people may seem to be. I want my daughter to be as caught up as possible.


      18. I think buying different ipod cases and apps is the most amazing feeling,as these both are the best sources to enhance the beauty and functionality of the gadget.

      19. iPhone can transform your phone into something different and you may now learn the most effective way is to experience how those apps are working. I'll be checking those apps lately and let see how it works.


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