Avaz AAC App & Vocabulary Learning
We originally talked about Avaz, the first commercially available AAC app developed in India, back when we introduced PrAACtical AAC in January of 2012. At that time, one of the primary developers, Ajit Narayanan, was recognized by the MIT Technology Review through the prestigious TR35 List, which applauds 35 innovators under 35 years of age. We were congratulating the team at Invention Labs and thinking that they would continue to improve communication for individuals with disabilities throughout 2012.
They have succeeded. The Avaz team has worked this year seeking feedback from AAC professionals throughout the world. They have listened and have made many updates to improve the communication and language options of the Avaz App.
We thought this was a great time for some follow-up information because many of the modifications and added options relate to vocabulary, which just happens to be our strategy of the month.
- Pre-loaded vocabulary has been updated throughout the year with focus on core words and concepts
- Picture icons (vocabulary) can be set to ‘zoom in’ when used to get specific visual attention to the word
- Word prediction in the keyboard mode has the added benefit of picture icons. This can be helpful to learning new vocabulary and increasing literacy. (We have not seen this before and hear that technically it is a tricky feature to implement).
- There are 3 levels of starting vocabulary, which can make it very easy to get started.
- Picture icon and label can each be sized according to needs. This is very helpful for learning new written words and/or learning comprehension of picture icons.
- Editing is extremely simple with a ‘how to’ overlay can be on the screen to help. As we always say, ‘ALL of us benefit from visual support’.
Since ‘meeting’ the Avaz team, they have been dedicated to improving the language learning opportunities within the app. They have continuously sought feedback from of SLPs and special educators. They take pride in their ongoing efforts to communicate with anyone who has a question, comment, or feedback.
Avaz has always put much effort into making the app easily translatable into different Indian languages. Which in a surprise twist, they have found that this has helped create an interest in Avaz in the European market. Through this interest, Avaz is almost ready to release a Danish version of Avaz.
Avaz is a great AAC option for many reasons, but we especially love the dedication to continued improvements and innovation.
**Full Disclosure– Avaz participated in the AAC Awareness Month Giveaway and Robin Parker participated in viewing and providing feedback on early versions of the Avaz App. This in no way was contingent on the post in PrAACtical AAC or it’s content.
Filed under: PrAACtical Thinking
This post was written by Robin Parker