Lowest-cost AAC and where to start: CoughDrop pt. 1

Hello All!

CoughDrop.com is this incredible open source platform that allows everyone in a child's life to have access to their speech boards and it is an app that can be used on any device with any control i.e. switch control on iPads/androids, head gaze control on iPad Pros, eye-gaze control with PC attachments (soon to be on iPad Pros), with a mouse and of course touch. The app is cloud-based and has accounts rather than most apps which are purchased for one device/apple ID etc.

COST

Device:

  • Old iPad/Android tablet from family or friend: FREE

  • Amazon Fire Tablet (adult is preferred and can be locked): $30 (on sale)-$150: No guided access but can use parental controls to lock most things

  • iPad Pro $$$- pro: soon to have eye-gaze and head pointing, has switch control and guided access (see iPad)

  • PC Windows 10 Tablet $$- pro: works with $150 eye gaze attachment

  • Android tablet/iPad-- pro: has guided access to lock device to restrict leaving the AAC app and can customize press time, multiple touches, what touch to ignore etc. also switch control

  • iPhone or Android phone- pro: small and good for students who are mobile and have strong fine motor control

App:

Without Tracking:

  • Free without tracking

With Tracking of time, location, word usage, and heat map:

  • Free 2 month trial of tracking

  • $6 per month for tracking

  • $200 for lifetime of tracking data

Extras

  • $25 for PCS/Boardmaker symbols (definitely recommend, open source do the trick tho)

  • Bluetooth switch(es)

  • Tobii 4C eye gaze ($150)

The app is meant for learning expressive and receptive language and can be advanced as the child's skills progress. Supporter accounts are free and every teacher, therapist, caregiver and relative who interacts with your child regularly should have one. They can create and share boards to devices for lessons etc. and edit existing boards.

The app also allows printing out paper boards so if your child or student would benefit from having a binder, cards or core board of PECS images, CoughDrop is a great place to do so. It might be nice to print out the boards you share with devices for an activity or lesson and vice versa. The app is SO much easier and user-friendly than $$$ Proloquo, TouchChat, etc.

Staff members and parents should use their computers for editing, supervising, looking at usage reports etc. and then use any extra tablets for modeling or to sign into a students account for them if their device is dead or broken. As designated supervisors of a child, you can observe usage of the devices, patterns, and assign kids and supervisors to rooms. 


I think it's important to remind others that cerebral palsy does not inherently indicate cognitive delays, however, these delays are often present because of a lack of speech and motor development that impedes learning at their peer's pace. I hope AAC devices can help ameliorate that for relevant kids and help every child to find their voice.

I am always available for questions about the software or devices, I hope this is only the beginning and that one day every kid can have a voice, especially at only $250 for a lifetime of access and tracking or FREE with no tracking.


Best,

SNH



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