A few weeks ago in one of our Instructional Support Services department meetings, I passed the iPad around. My colleague Marlene was really excited to finally get her hands on one – as one of her main assignments at IU1 is to learn about, train, and support teachers and students with assistive technologies.
One of the most common tools in use for students who have speech challenges is the Dynavox. The Dynavox is one of the tools that Marlene most often trains students and teachers to utlize. The Dynavox website indicates that this tool is designed for folks with a wide variety of challenges – from Autism and Cerebral Palsy, to the effects of a stroke.
Enter iPad and iPad apps. My colleague Susan stopped in the other day to show me a new iPod Touch/iPad app called “AutoVerbal,” a simple talking soundboard. I added it to my iPad at a cost of $0.99 from iTunes.
While it doesn’t have a huge database yet, it is customizable. The video embedded above will give you a pretty good sense of what AutoVerbal can do. In comparison, the Dynavox costs approxmitely $6000! So I’d imagine that the iPad is going to change everything in this particular niche of educational technology tools!
For arts educators who have students with special needs mainstreamed into the art or music classroom, this sort of app could also prove invaluable!