A simple search of any of the app stores for AAC Apps will result in the user receiving a multitude of apps. This can become mind boogling and overwheling for the user as each app has its own unique selling point so how does someone select the most appropriate App? The thing to understand about Apps is that there is no one size fits all solution. Thus, the use of an evidence based framework for the selection of Apps is essential to ensure that the most appropriate and effective App is selected for the user. However, it is important to note that the selection of the App is not the completion of an intervention; rather it is just the start of the journey.
This is where our AAC Tech Consultancy can help you. We have developed an evidenced-based framework for the selection of apps and software for the recommended device. This evidenced based framework is takes a person centred approach to its selection of the App(s).
From a sit down consultation we can create a detailed report with key recommendations that are tailored to the protential user. When creating this report we use an evidenced-based approach taking into consideration a number of variables such as user strenghts and weaknesses, budget, level of communication, current device etc.
The next stage of this process is to create a bespoke intervention plan for the successful implementation of the app. We offer hands-on support where our AAC consultant uses an evidenced-based appoach to the tracking of progress whilst using the app. This allows us to monitor and adapt the intervention to best meet the needs of the person.
Research has shown that the effective use of iPads/Tablets and specific purpose Apps reduces the intensity and frequency of the presence of behaviours that challenge. The specific purpose of the App is key to the successful decrease of behaviours that challenge. Thus, the function of the App is directly linked to the function of the behaviour and its potential reduction.
The use of iPads/Tablets and Apps has proven successful for people with disabilities with respect to increased social inclusion. This is attributed to the ambiquity of the devices and reduced stigma around engaging with a form of AAC. The device and App has proven successful for eliminating the social anxiety around direct engagement with others; thus, using the device as a medium increases social inclusion for those with disabilities.
Evidence-based studies have identified independence as a key benefit resulting from the use of iPads/Tablets and Apps for specific purposes. Increased independence has particularly been attributed to the use of communication Apps. The use of a communication App empowers the person to independently develop their own vocabulary; thus, they are no longer dependent upon stakeholders (parents and professionals) to pre-empt their vocabulary needs.