Since the very first AAC flash-cards in the late 60's there have been some terrific advances in the technology available to speech-impaired children and adults. From the desktop computer in the 80's, to the first unwieldy (and VERY expensive) dedicated devices, and now the iPad. And yet...
In 2017 has that much really changed?
Even a quick glance at the history of voice assistive software applications reveals a surprising lack of innovation over time. Yes the hardware has improved massively and the cost is thankfully now a tiny fraction of the exorbitant prices of only a few years ago, but forty years on and the software is almost indistinguishable from the earliest efforts. It's not unreasonable to ask ourselves how can it be that assistive speech iPad apps for children with autism, apraxia, or developmentally delayed speech still ask users to hunt and peck for words, searching through tables and folders of stick figure drawings?
If the goal in creating assistive communications software is to provide a means for children to efficiently and clearly express their thoughts and feelings AND at the same time to help with further language development, then compared to the software advances in any other aspect of our lives, it's not difficult to conclude that the systems we're providing our children are woefully inadequate.
The time and effort needed for parents or speech professionals to set up tables/grids of words can range from days to weeks and months, and yet for far too many children grappling with static grid/folder interfaces and abstract concepts whilst trying to find more than a handful of words is not only excruciatingly slow for the child and those listening, but also completely ignores any cognitive or developmental issues they may have.
We're not for a moment suggesting there is any one size fits all solution to address what are very complex and challenging issues, nor are we advocating the use of technology across the board (an iPad is just an iPad without a comprehensive development plan and support structure) but hopefully we're asking the right questions. This is what we saw as parents, and speaks to the singular reason we decided we wanted to put our companies full weight behind trying to address at least some of the issues.
With 'aacorn' we're attempting to shake things up by providing speech-affected children of ALL ages and abilities with the means to express themselves via an INTELLIGENT adaptive solution that empowers them to build and speak anything from simple to highly complex sentences - at or near the speed of most other children!
But none of this means anything if the high cost of AAC apps means they remain out of reach vast majority of families, schools and language professionals. So we're committed to shaking things up there too to make assistive communication more accessibile for those who would benefit most.
With traditional AAC apps ranging in price from $200 to $500usd or more, aacorn is VERY competitively priced at $120usd, and because ever child is different we include a 30day money-back guarantee!