Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Closer Look at the Dynavox InterACCT System

Yesterday I had a great interview with Linnea McAfoose from Dynavox. She shared on the InterACCT system that is the foundation of the Series 5 software on their AAC devices. I made the comment on yesterday's blog that I thought they sold the software for laptops as a stand-alone item, but they don't. Through some comments and emails, I was alerted to my error - I stand corrected. I am so glad some of you took the time to inform me. It is nice to hear from folks and get your input on things. You can get a trial CD with the full version on a 180 day expiration through a Dynavox representative. I would suggest going to their website: to find out who a representative in your area would be.

During the interview Linnea clearly shared her passion about communication development and language growth with students. I asked a couple of hard questions: "Why did you choose Dynavox?" "Being an expert, what is your conviction as to why you chose to work with the Dynavox system? What reasons do you have that support the Dynavox AAC over other devices?"
Linnea shared that the software on the devices has been developed in conjunction with researchers and groups that use devices and know what really needs to be there. She also said that the team that designed the new software had let themselves dream big as to what they would want if they could "have it all" in a high-end AAC device. They wanted to be able to make the system easily understandable and quickly accessible - not something that is always possible with technologies today.
The way that a beginner is taught to use an AAC device has just as much to do with the success of the device as the bells and whistles and elements in the system contained in the device.
Linnea stressed that we use age-appropriate content and situations to teach and use the device. There are over 2000 new vocabulary words added to a child's vocabulary each year at school and at home in the k through grade 12 years. This includes curriculum content and new trends, pop culture terms and other words that crop up in daily life as well. Trying to keep up with this is a challenge in using an AAC device, but the company is striving to work on developing a way to include this element through the InterACCT system.

The interview with Linnea is crammed full of good concepts on developing language with a device and I would recommend listening to the archive. You can access this segment on the No Limits 2 Learning live player on the sidebar of my blog or at the Blog Talk Radio Site for the show.

All the best to you!


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