Thursday, March 13, 2008

Laptops and VMax: Transitioning AAC

The other day I wrote about an article in Wired Magazine on autism. I posted the video created by Amanda Baggs where she shares her language. The author of the Wired article shared that during the interview, she sat with a DynaVox VMax and a keyboard in her lap.
The VMax has quite a few bells and whistles. There is a large 12.1" screen and wireless access for devices through a bluetooth adapter. There is the "V"also, that is a smaller version. A wireless keyboard can be used with it and it can connect to the Internet to access a free email account given to the purchaser. There are communication boards for instant messaging online. It runs Windows applications and has a 40 Gig memory. The VMax can be used as a Environmental Control Unit for appliances, media center, etc. There are phone and dialing capabilities too.
I think of several of our children who have autism and are using laptops with starter software like Boardmaker with Speaking Dynamically Pro to learn access to AAC. We have touchscreens that can be put on them so they can be used in a similar way to a Dynavox device. With Boardmaker Bridge, the boards and topics built on a laptop can be imported into a Dynavox device later.
We are using the laptop as a way to transition to a dynamic display device down the road. If you are interested in more on this device, check out the video demo on the
DynaVox site.

All the best to you!

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