Augmentative Communication Program Handouts and Resources

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Our Goal:

It is not our intent to review every app or media device that has been or will soon be released.  Rather our goal is to provide a framework, based upon well established clinical considerations for feature matching a person's strengths and needs to available tools and strategies (Shane and Costello, 1994), and apply that to comparing and selecting an  iDevice platform and apps (refer to Table). Only through an informed clinically based selection, can we minimize the emerging trend toward selecting communication apps  based on the robustness of media coverage, public testimonials or recommendations from well meaning friends and family.

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To this end, a chart  was created to detail the features known to be vital considerations for a broad profile of people with complex communication needs.   Not all of these features currently exist in apps thus highlighting the need to match a person’s needs to the right tools and strategies and NOT try to fit a person to a specific platform or app.     In addition, this chart should be considered as dynamic ( the number of communication apps is constantly growing as is the scope of available features).

The Chart:

Feature Matching Communication Applications Chart (PDF)

To better understand the application of the chart, a case study will illustrate application of the assessment process and use of the app feature matching process/chart.

Case Study:

Nancy, a 69-year-old woman with Bulbar ALS was seen in August 2010 (Table 1.1 & 1.2)

Table 1.1: Key Needs/Features Based on Assessment Outcomes
 


Information gathered during assessment


Key App Features based on information gathered during the assessment

Representation
  • Text
  • Text
Rate Enhancement
  • Doesn’t not want to “write every letter out”
  • Word Prediction
  • Abbreviation Expansion
  • Logical Letter Encoding
  • Ability to store Phases/Retain Codes
Display Settings
  • Was able to navigate dynamic displays
  • Wants something with “little set up”
  • Able to use QWERTY keyboard
  • Increase font size
  • QWERTY Keyboard
  • Increase font size
Access/Motor
  • Able to type on iPad and other devices
  • No current motor issues (yet could potentially have motor issues in the future)
  • Adjust dwell
  • Edit icon size and spacing
  • Direct Selection
Purpose of Use and Patients “requests”
  • Communication in multiple contexts
  • Wants voice output and a female’s voice
  • Synthesized Speech (voice output)
  • Female Voice
  • Adjust rate
  • Speak after selection

In Nancy’s case, the iPad is a tool that meets most of her communication needs, serving as her primary communication system.  Recommendations in addition to the iPad during the AAC consultation included use of pen and paper (for written messages) and a low-tech alphabet board. Yet the iPad will be used as her primary tool due to the voice output features, ability to pre-store messages, and word prediction (thus enhancing the rate of communicative interactions). Assistive Chat was selected as the primary communication app, matching key features that Nancy needs  within her price range (Table 1.2).

In Nancy’s case, both Prolqou2go and Easy Speak had just as many “matched” features to the final app choice. Yet in trialing them in the assessment with Nancy, she voiced a clear preference for Assistive Chat (due to quality of voice and what she described as “the best prediction”); thus stressing the importance of step four in Table 1.2.

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Related Articles

ASHA Perspectives, July, 2011
Using a Clinical Approach To Answer “What Communication Apps Should We Use?” (PDF)
Gosnell, Costello & Shane

ASHA Leader, October 11, 2011
Apps: An Emerging Tool for SLP's
Jessica Gosnell

Video demonstration of the Feature Matching Process for Nancy.

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The Boston Children's Hospital service delivery model for patients who are Communication Vulnerable was recently highlighted in the AAC-RERC spotlight on Supporting Effective Patient-Provider Communication Across Health Care Setting

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ACP FACEBOOK DOWNLOADS

Family fun Day announcement

Communication Profile Template

Modular Hose

Cursor Access to keyboard and Mouse

Cursor Access to Keyboard and Mouse for MAC

CMS Letter

ISAAC 2014 Lisbon, Portugal   July 19-24

Jenny Abramson:  Visual Smorgasbord:  Unique Visual to expand lang ASD

Costello and Santiago AAC in the Intensive Care

Costello and Dimery: Message Banking and Operational Considerations

Russell, S. and Buxton, J.   Access is the Key

Rebecca (Therriault) McCarthy and Vicki Haddix



Milano, Italy  Costello, J.M.  May 2013

Non-Negotiable Strategies for AAC Support

Domains of Assessment and Feature Matching

Martha's Vineyard Workshops by Rebecca Therriault May 2013

Comm and Language

Comm and Tech

NORWAY ISAAC  Costello, J.M. April 2013

AAC in the ICU

http://www.childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2016/Documents/NorwayicuHANDOUT2013.pdf

Message Banking

http://www.childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2016/Documents/messagebankpreservelegacyNorway.pdf

Errorless Co-construction of Language

http://www.childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2016/Documents/AACerrorlesscoconstructionnorwayhandout.pdf

AAC and CVI

http://www.childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2016/Documents/cviNorwayhandout.pdf

ATIA January 2013 Caron, Buxton and Rice

Caron, Buxton and Rice: SUCCESS WITH SWITCHES: BALANCING THE TASK AND TECHNOLOGY

http://www.childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2016/Documents/ATIA2013CaronBuxtonRiceHandout.pdf

Costello and Santiago:  AAC In ICU and Acute Care

http://www.childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2016/Documents/ATIAICU2013finalhandout.pdf

Costello: Message Banking

http://www.childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2016/Documents/atiamessagebankhandout.pdf

HONG KONG LECTURE TOUR NOVEMBER  2012: Costello

Lecture 1 Opening Lecture

http://www.childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2016/Documents/1openingHongKonglecture1nov2012.pdf

Lecture 2: Changing Role of the SLP in Hospital

http://www.childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2016/Documents/2changingroleofslphongkongseminar2.pdf

Lecture 4: Message Banking and Creating Legacy

http://www.childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2016/Documents/4messagebankpreservelegacyhongkonglect4.pdf

Lecture 7:  AAC and CVI

http://www.childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2016/Documents/7cvihongkonghandoutlecture7.pdf

Lecture 8: AAC an Erroless Co-Construction of Meaning for Language Learning

http://www.childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2016/Documents/8AACerrorlesscoconstructionhongkonglect8.pdf

Lecture 10: Banquet Keynote:  AAC and Finding a Voice; Reflection on the Hong Kong State of Practice

http://www.childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2016/Documents/10Banquetlecturefindingvoicehongkonglecture10nov2012.pdf

HANDOUT:   ISAAC July 2012  Preserving Legacy:  Message Banking

http://www.childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2016/Documents/ISAACMessBankpreservelegacyhandoutforweb.pdf

DRAFT GUIDE FOR MESSAGE BANK: This guide features the working definitions and terminology being used when introducing the concept of 'Message Banking"

http://www.childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2016/Documents/messagebankguidedraft.pdf

MESSAGE BANKING:   Messages banked by many people with ALS in the event they need to use a speech generating device July 2012.    (part of the evolving BCH Augmentative Communication Protocol for Message Banking)

http://www.childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2016/Documents/PALSexpressions.pdf

Allen Crocker Speaker Series.   Rebecca Therriault, AAC and Down Syndrome

http://childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2016/Documents/AllenCrockerSpeakerSeriesTherriault.pdf

MDSC 2012

http://childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2016/Documents/MDSCCostelloHANDOUT2012.pdf

AAC Division Conference - January 2011

Costello AAC in the ICU: New Standards and Professional Preparedness

AAC Highlights from ACP - January 8, 2011 

AAC and EI Building a Foundation (Berg EI.pdf)

AAC ICU/Acute Care (Pritchard.pdf)

CVI Complex Needs (Costello.pdf)

Think outside the box with apps (Gosnell.pdf

Visual and Tech to Support Language ASD Abramson&Laubscher.pdf

Role of OT in AAC, (Russell.pdf)

ASHA 2010

Costello and Pritchard ASHA 2010

Preoperative Voice / Message Banking

Costello, Voice Banking in Pediatric ICU

AAC in the ICU

AAC Intervention in the ICU: The Boston Children's Hospital Model

Communication vulnerable patients in the pediatric ICU: Enhancing care through AAC

AAC and the End of Life

Last words, Last connections: How Augmentative Communication Can Support Children Facing End of Life

Dynamic Display Examples

These power point 'dynamic displays' were created to support our patients and families to have experience and practice with navigating dynamic pages while waiting to purchase a commercial software program or arrange a trial with a dynamic display speech generating device. 

Car2Comments

Speckled Frogs PowerPoint

Chase Me PowerPoint

Dynamic Beginnings
 
To access the slides missing from the 4/24 Needleman Conference "Evidence-Based Communication Treatment for Children with ASD", please click on the link below. 
Evidence-Based Communication Treatment for Children with ASD Conference Slides

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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
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