Many people with developmental or intellectual disabilities have trouble communicating. One tool that can help is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device. For some, the thought of using a tablet or computer to help with communication can be intimidating. However, unlike other AAC devices, Lingraphica AAC or speech-generating devices are specifically designed for people who need a simple, easy-to-use device due to a language impairment or cognitive deficits.
The devices can be programmed for a range of needs and abilities. Some people do best with a very simple setup, with just a few choices per screen. For people who want access to a wider variety of topics and vocabulary, the device can contain many folders and categories.
Lingraphica devices use pre-programmed icons, which combine an image, a written word or phrase, and verbal output – meaning that the device says it aloud. The images are realistic drawings or real pictures, so they are easy to understand and identify. Because the system is picture-based, it is not necessary to be able to read or write in order to use the device.
The devices come pre-programmed with many common words and phrases, but they are also simple to program. This means it’s easy to add in icons that are meaningful and can help you achieve your goals, whether that’s connecting with friends and family, participating in a hobby, or being more independent at home and in the community. Notably, the icons use multiple types of stimulation, they help the brain to understand and use language. Some people with developmental disabilities do best with drawings and pictures. The devices make that easier than ever with a digital whiteboard and a built-in camera.
Research has shown that using an AAC device can be beneficial for a variety of people with developmental disabilities (Snell et al., 2010). Many people use speech to communicate, but can still benefit from an AAC device when speech alone isn’t enough. Using an AAC device is not disruptive to the development of speech; in fact, it can be a tool to enhance speech. Furthermore, it’s never too late to start using an AAC device. Even adults who have not used technology to help them communicate in the past have had success starting to use an AAC device.
Lingraphica AAC devices can help people of all ages with developmental and intellectual disabilities to bridge the communication gap. Use a device to make more meaningful connections with others, participate in an event, or increase independence.