Thursday, April 4, 2013

Top 25 Favorite AT Tools, Part One: Switches and AAC

There are things I love to use and have found to be the bread and butter items I go back to over and over professionally as an AT Specialist. With budgets tight, folks are always wondering what they can get that will get used and not sit on a shelf. I decided to share with you the ones that seem to always be in demand and NEVER sitting on the shelf. I have included their cost, a link and notes how I use it where appropriate.

Cause and Effect, Switches and Mounts: 
I am always putting together an adapted toy with a switch and a latch timer or plugging in a radio and twinkle lights or fan to use with a latch timer. Often the switch has to be mounted too. The 4 items below are what I use the most. I have an array of fans, light balls/sets I have made, radios, tape players and switch adapted toys to mix and match out in schools for variety (That could be another post in itself).

1. Ablenet Universal Mount with friction knob $235 Get access to a switch by mounting on a wheelchair, standard or desk/table.

2. Ablenet Powerlink 4 $329 Can use with radios, tape players, light sets, juicer/blender, etc.

3. Jelly Bean Switch with Latch Timer $109 Use with battery operated switch-adapted devices/toys.

4. Switch Adapted Toy ($40-50 Range) Check out Enabling Devices Therapeutic Learning for many plush toys, action toys, light and motion toys, fans and musical instrument toys.

Note: You can learn to adapt your own toys too! Battery Interuptor method  Multiple Action Toys with soldering/rewiring   You tube has videos on this as well. Link to buy battery Interuptor and videos from Enabling Devices

Augmentative Communication:
I have an arsenal of most used and most checked out items listed below. There are many more that are great and get used but these just keep coming up as the most utilized items.

5. Big Mack $119 Use to record single messages. Can mount on the Universal Mount. It has ports to plug in toys and devices to activate while saying the message.
(I use it to read books with kids. I record the page and have them press to read on the fly. We record and read the whole book page by page and have a great time. They get to "read" by pressing and get initial literacy and sequencing support/training.)

6. Cheap Talk 8 with levels $309 I use overlays created with Boardmaker to create board sets that support an activity, a concept or steps in a routine. Can use it for more than "I need to go potty" or "drink please" !

7. Boardmaker Software $399 Use to create Schedules, Routines, Choice boards, Sentence strips, overlays for devices and more...

8. Go Talk One (set of 4) $12 each Use to create mix and match phrases, sequencing activities, etc. Not just a speech output single message tool but a way to structure language and build phrases, identify colors, things, etc.

9. Sonoflex Lite App FREE  We use this on iPads as a way to build sentences, learn language, categories, etc. for early learners as well as a speech output trial board. The full version is $99.

10. Proloquo2Go App $190  We use this on the iPad and iTouch for trials. With the new version's core vocabulary option it has streamlined the access for users.

11. Sounding Board App FREE  This free app has a great board template to design and customize 1 to 9 buttons. Boards can be linked too. It scans and also works with the Blue 2 bluetooth switch from Ablenet. There are pre-made boards that can be bought at the online store.

Hope this gives you some resources to build your own equipment collection.

NEXT TIME: Part Two will be on Text and Writing Tools. Apps and Supports so check back!

All the best,


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