PrAACtical Thinking Updated: 59 Free or Lite Versions of AAC Apps

Published on May 15th, 2012 | by Carole Zangari

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Updated: 59 Free or Lite Versions of AAC Apps

The content of this post has been updated. Click HERE for the most current version that includes Android apps and a link to our AAC app rubric.

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Thanks to all who’ve given us great feedback and suggestions on our list of free and lite AAC apps. If you’ve been following our blog, you know that we have mixed feelings about the AAC app revolution. More specifically, we’ve had Updated: 59 Free or Lite Versions of AAC Appsconcerns about the decision-making process around app selection, and have advocated for that to occur within the context of a feature match process that gives appropriate attention to the full range of AAC options.

In our digital curation sites, we link to tools we use for this process, such as the feature match forms developed by Jessica Gosnell at Boston Children’s and the ones created by Scott Marfilius and Kelly Fonner. In our own teaching and clinical work, when AAC apps are being considered, we’re beginning to use a supplemental rubric that focuses more specifically on the language aspects of the app using this working draft. That is still in the preliminary stages, but we are happy to share the initial draft.

Because this list sometimes gets circulated without the context in which it was originally developed, we decided to include some previous posts, resources, and comments related to this topic.

1. Our post on 5 Things to Do Before you Choose an AAC App
2. Comprehensive AAC app list for iPhone and iPad by Jane Farrall
3. Scoop.It collection and Pinterest boards with AAC app sites and videos
4. OCALI’s listing of apps for individuals with ASD
5. Tech Connect’s Apps Assistant
6. The App Academy’s site for app training videos

And, finally, some excerpts from our original post:

Graduate student SLPs are a fairly diverse group, but one thing that is common to almost all of them is that they are on a very limited budget. Although many of the AAC apps are reasonably priced, even that can be a lot for a struggling student. We wanted to put together a list of the free or lite versions of AAC apps for them to explore on their own iDevices.

First, a few caveats:
1. Selection of AAC tools is always made after a thorough assessment. This is as true for apps as it is for SGDs.
2. This list isn’t intended in any way to endorse these apps or suggest that the free/lite version is sufficient. Hopefully, it will give future professionals a taste of what these  apps can do and allow them to begin to think about how to make decisions about this in the context of a feature match assessment. Review sites like the one at Spectronics and OCALI can be very useful when you are trying to see some of the features that apps contain.
3. This list isn’t comprehensive. If you have links to other AAC apps that are free or have lite versions, please send them along and we will update our list.
4. Students, remember what we’ve taught you about AAC. This doesn’t supersede what you’ve learned about AAC and language assessment, symbol selection, multimodal communication, etc.

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59 Free and Lite Versions of AAC Apps

  1. AlexiCom AAC
  2. Answers: Yes/No Free
  3. Augie Free (Free version not currently available in US)
  4. Autism 5-Point Scale EP (Autism Help)
  5. Com App
  6. Comunicador Personal Adaptable(Spanish)
  7. Communicate Mate Female: NEW
  8. Communicate Mate Male: NEW
  9. Connect Cards:NEW
  10. DIME Lite
  11. FreeSpeech: NEW
  12. Functional Communication System Lite: NEW
  13. Gabby Tabs Lite: NEW
  14. Grid Player
  15. iBlissymbols Lite
  16. iComm Education
  17. iPhonic Lite
  18. iPicto Lite
  19. Locabulary Lite
  20. MetaTalk Lite
  21. My Choice Pad Lite: NEW
  22. My Talking Phone
  23. MyTalk Tools
  24. Neo Julie (also Kate and Paul)
  25. Noni Lite
  26. OneVoice-AAC
  27. Phrase Board
  28. Pic A Word
  29. Pics Aloud Lite
  30. Picture Card Maker
  31. Picture Board
  32. PocketAAC-Lite
  33. Say Hi AAC
  34. See and Say Lite: NEW
  35. Scene & Heard Lite
  36. Small Talk Aphasia (Male & Female)
  37. Small Talk Conversational Phrases
  38. Small Talk Daily Activities
  39. Small Talk Intensive Care
  40. Small Talk Pain Scale
  41. Sounding Board: NEW
  42. SFY_Speak4Youself Lite: NEW
  43. Speech Button: NEW
  44. Speech Buttons Free
  45. Sono Flex Lite
  46. Speak All
  47. Speak for Yourself LAT Kids
  48. Spubble Lite
  49. Talk Assist
  50. Talking Cards Lite: NEW
  51. Talking Text
  52. Talk Tommy
  53. Talk to Me 100 (free version has 9 locations)
  54. Talk 4 Me
  55. Tap to Talk
  56. Touch Chat Lite
  57. Verbally
  58. VocaBeans EN
  59. VoiceSymbol AAC

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About the Author

Carole Zangari

Carole Zangari has been involved in the practice and teaching of AAC for over 20 years. She is a professor of speech-language pathology and has been fortunate to have been able to introduce many children and adults to the world of AAC. "Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." Theodore Roosevelt



2 Responses to Updated: 59 Free or Lite Versions of AAC Apps

  1. Mark N says:

    Although Free and Lite versions of aac apps are great, they often come with hidden fees later to unlock features or to customize the app. My son has found AAC Autism myVoiceCommunicator very helpful. It’s for android on Google Play and also on the Amazon Appstore for the Kindle Fire. It’s only $2.99 and it can be fully customized with your own categories and pictures. It also comes ready to use with pics already loaded. I don’t mind paying $3 for a good piece of software that works. I have paid much more for other apps that are not as good. Here are the links:

    Google Play:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=apphouse.software.autismspeaks&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImFwcGhvdXNlLnNvZnR3YXJlLmF1dGlzbXNwZWFrcyJd

    Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/RoessingDev-AAC-Autism-myVoice/dp/B00BJXO8SC/ref=sr_1_6?s=mobile-apps&ie=UTF8&qid=1372351210&sr=1-6&keywords=aac

    • Carole Zangari Carole Zangari says:

      Your point about hidden fees is well taken, Mark. As SLPs and clinical educators we are always trying to find ways to get a good range of quality AAC apps in the hands of those who are doing the evaluations. It is hard to use a feature match approach to assessment without being able to use the SGDs or apps with the client. Having a free or lite version of an app can be very useful in the context of a comprehensive assessment, particularly for those dealing with budget cuts. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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