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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

TapToTalks helps humans communicate with orangutans and dolphins

Yes, that's an orangutan using TapToTalk!

Famed animal communications researcher, advocate and teacher Jack Kassewitz has been using TapToTalk for over a year to communicate with dolphins and orangutans. Jack has pioneered the use of leading edge technologies to facilitate communication with these intelligent animals. Early on, he saw the potential of the iPad and other tablet devices, and began using them in his work.

When we first met Jack, he was considering getting an app developed to enable dolphin-human communication. He realized that TapToTalk Designer let him create the interface he needed. Soon dolphins were tapping and talking, and then orangutans.

For more information, check out Jack's website.

Now that's an AAC user experience report you don't see every day!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Is a child who uses TapToTalk leaving your school? Here's how to transfer their TapToTalk albums.

Teachers and SLPs often ask us how they can transfer a child’s albums to a parent or a different school after a child leaves their care. This "How To" shows you how to copy the child’s albums to another TapToTalk account.

TapToTalk Sharing makes doing this as easy as 1-2-3.

Step 1: Have the parent of the child get their own TapToTalk Designer Home account and create a new TapToTalk in it. They do not need to create any albums.

Step 2: The parent then shares their new TapToTalk with your school's TapToTalk Designer account. Here's how.

Step 3: You copy the child's albums from the child's school TapToTalk to the shared TapToTalk. Here's how.

That's it!

You've transferred the TapToTalk from your school's TapToTalk Designer account to the parent's account.

The family can publish the TapToTalk to any device(s) they want. They can now take over design work, and you can reuse the TapToTalk in your account for another child.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

One autistic boy's introduction to an iPhone and TapToTalk

Jack Kieffer writes a blog called Autism Plugged In, where he "combines my passion about gadgets with my desire to assist children with Autism." Here is his story about one autistic boy's introduction to an iPhone and TapToTalk:
...I sat down with Kevin to work on the iPhone. He had never before used an iPhone, iTouch, iPad, or any device of this sort. I showed him that the home button would bring up the main screen, and then I showed him how to swipe it to unlock the iPhone. Furthermore, I pointed out that he could turn off and lock the device using the small rectangular button at the top of the phone. (Kevin is often not verbal, or if he is, he's hard to understand, so he needed to show me that he knew what was going on by doing the actions himself.) Soon, he was unlocking the phone by himself and putting it to sleep when he didn’t want to use it anymore. He caught on to the technology surprisingly fast.

I learned something important from my first session with Kevin – he doesn't work very well with clutter, whether it be virtually or otherwise. When we were initially looking at the home screen, it was full of apps...The problem was, Kevin didn't know where to start. (Before I left, I put all of the apps except four into a folder on a separate page, so he wouldn't feel overwhelmed.)

I want to talk about...his experience with the TapToTalk application. As I said earlier, Kevin is not very verbal, and it's extremely rare to hear him say an entire sentence. When he opened TapToTalk, he first tapped the Toilet icon, which says, "I have to go to the bathroom" out loud. After the application said this phrase, Kevin repeated it. We all looked at him in excited disbelief--he's not one of the kids who frequently repeats instructions from people or conversations that he overhears, he sticks to basic words and strings a couple of them together. Of course, Kevin went back and journeyed into the "food" section and proceeded to make the application say, "I want to eat a (insert food here.)" and repeated the phrase. This successful interaction was very encouraging!
Very encouraging, indeed!
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