Inexpensive, comprehensive, accessible – these are just some of the words that describe the recently updated app, Expressive, by Smarty Ears. Those familiar with the elaborate cost of voice output devices for clients who are nonverbal can appreciate a $25.99 app compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad that houses over 10,000 picture symbols! As though that weren’t enough, you can even develop new group folders and images using your photo library! Adding folders and images is quick and easy! Take a look at the images I loaded into a Chicago folder:
This customizable app has a few settings allowing users to hide edit keys; delete or add images; change the voice of the speaker; control the speaking rate for words; automatically remove sentence strips once played; later lowercase/uppercase text; and audio speak folder titles. Once you get everything set up, all you need to do is tap images to create a sentence strip at the top of the screen. Tapping a folder icon brings you to another screen with a display of category members. Use the back arrow to get back to the main screen with your sentence strip. That’s all there is to it!
Here’s what the developers have to say about their app- This is an entry to mid-level, easy to use, and powerful app that allows children and adults with speech impairment or communication difficulties to express their wants and needs through the use of pictures and symbols. Expressive was designed to meet the needs of a wide range of users. Children can use this application to communicate by tapping buttons with symbols or pictures that generate sound. If you have a family member that has lost the ability to express themselves (even if just temporarily due to a surgery, accident or aphasia) Expressive will give them back the ability to communicate and express their basic needs.
Nanette Cote, MA, CCC-SLP has her own speech-language practice, Therapediatrics. She is a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist in Naperville, Illinois who was has been practicing Speech Pathology for close to two decades. Her blog, speech2me, was named one of the top Speech-Language blogs for 2012. For more information about this practitioner, please visit speech2me Blog or Facebook