We have corrected the recent issue of Bluetooth reconnect not happening consistently with the NOVA Chat amps. It has resulted in a change to the NOVA Chat system software and the amp software. The NOVA Chat system software update 1.10.0 is posted to the Saltillo support pages on our website.
Unfortunately, the amp software is not field updatable. Anyone having re-connect issues will need to contact tech support (1-800-382-8622) to arrange for their amp to be updated.
Zachary Willingham is our Saltillo Spotlight Celebrity for November. He is 18 years old and goes to East Paulding High School in Dallas, GA.
Zach’s favorite things to do are going to football games and playing on his computer and iPad. He likes jumping on the trampoline, swimming, hanging out with his best buddy, Josh, and spending weekends at Aunt Donna’s.
Zach has had both an Xpress and a DynaVox V before getting his Nova Chat in the beginning of 2013. His mother, Shari, reported that Zach has been involved in programming his NovaChat from the beginning, which she thinks has definitely made a difference with his success in using it. She also thinks that the portability has been a plus. “He truly does use his device in every aspect of his daily living”.
Zach is fortunate to receive communication therapy at Dynamic Therapy Associates (http://www.mydynamictherapy.com) in Kennesaw GA. Vicki Clarke, owner, President, SLP, and AAC Specialist extraordinaire has been his therapist for many years. Vicki and her staff believe that because they work with their clients and their families for so long, they know a bit about what they really need to communicate! They organize vocabulary based on what they know makes sense to the individual client.
The route Vicki took with clients like Zach was using their communication devices to introduce places, activities, medical procedures and people in a safe, familiar manner before big events such as going to the dentist, doctors, or community events take place. Apparently for Zach it worked!!! Zach has always had a fear of all doctor visits so that is just one example of providing the right vocabulary for scary or unfamiliar situations. To top it off Zachary actually helped label, arrange and color code the symbols on his NovaChat. He chose to put each doctor’s pictures on one row, labeled the doctor “Dr. Ear,” (ENT) “Dr. Lisa,” and “Dr. Head” (Psychiatrist) and gave each their own color row. For Zachary, it made sense that this page was placed under the category of “People” on his “Doctor” page. Dr. Ear got his own special page since the event was a major surgery.
Again, mom stated, “How are you supposed to put into words the significance of this? It’s ‘ginormous!’ For the first decade or so we didn’t go to the doctor unless it was something significant. You only went to the doctor as a last resort, if we couldn’t fix it ourselves. Now (Zachary) goes and has physicals and regular checkups with the ENT to make sure everything is okay. I don’t have to wait until he has the 105 degree fevers, seizures and raging infections before we have it checked out. Preventative medicine is now an option.”
Early on we realized that Meredith would need an alternative way to communicate due to her tracheostomy. So, we started out teaching her ASL and learning along with her, thinking this was just for a couple of years. Then when she was 3 years old we found out that she also has a paralyzed vocal cord and that it is not likely to resolve on its own. At this point we knew that we had to step it up a notch with teaching and learning ASL and consider other communication alternatives.
Once Meredith was enrolled in the public school system it became very apparent to them as well, that something needed to be done to help her language development progress. Fortunately by then, the Nova Chat had recently progressed to the 7” tablet which is the perfect size for Meredith, since she is a very petite 5 year old. In late spring 2013 Meredith received her Nova Chat. Since then, Meredith’s language is steadily improving and she is even able to communicate with sentences. She does have a great sense of humor for her age and often she will make a request using sign, but will then use her Nova Chat to say the same thing, as if to let us know she doesn’t think we understand her or perhaps we are too slow. I would say her favorite thing to do right now with her Nova Chat is to request pasta. Since it is her current favorite food she will say, “I want to eat more pasta, pasta, pasta!” I also believe that using the Nova Chat has helped to improve her signing. She has become so much better combining two or three signs when communicating, rather than making one word requests. While it is still early and she is still young I am so happy that Meredith is able to have total communication thanks to her Nova Chat.
Closing the Gap is less than 2 months away! Have you registered yet? It takes place October 9-11 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bloomington. There will be a lot of wonderful presentations and so much great information to share with each other. While you are there, we encourage you to check out the following presentations:
WordPower: New Options and Features for TouchChat App and NOVA Chat Devices
Date: Thu, Oct 10, 2013 from 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Location: Plaza 4 Category: augmentative communication
Description: This session will provide an in-depth overview of the WordPower and ChatPower AAC vocabularies that have been designed for the TouchChat app and Saltillo's NOVA chat devices. New WordPower vocabularies will be reviewed, including those with 20, 24, 30, 42, 48, 60 and 80 locations. Various access strategies, including manipulation of touch screen sensitivity and scanning, will be explained and demonstrated. Unique features for TouchChat and NOVA chat vocabularies, such as use of "gestures," sharing/copying information from the WordPower vocabulary to a document, email and Facebook will be demonstrated.
Presenters: Nancy Inman
Bridging Gaps: Literacy into Technology
Date: Fri, Oct 11, 2013 from 9:30 am - 10:30 am Location:Plaza 4 Category: literacy
Description: This presentation is designed to help early childhood professionals use repetition, literature and assistive technology to create a language-rich environment for both verbal and nonverbal children. Saltillo technology now allows nonverbal children within one classroom to benefit from using Read It Once Again's curriculum technique of combining literature with repetition. Participants will learn how to use goals and objectives combined with appropriate activities necessary to provide students with an educational program that will meet their basic needs in each of the five domains commonly addressed in the early childhood classroom.
We have released a vocabulary update for the Nova Chat Version 1.9.0 and a software/vocabulary update for NOVA Chat Editor 1.9.9. This update adds an additional vocabulary File, ChatPower20 Simply (see below for description), along with making updates to some of the other vocabulary files. This will NOT change your version number on the device. After the update, it will still appear as 1.9.0, but you will see the ChatPower20 Simply in the vocabulary list. The version number will, however, change on the Nova Chat Editor. Updates for both are available here.
ChatPower20 Simplyincorporates carrier phrases with core words for quick and easy language generation and therefore, could be called a “hybrid,” because it can be used primarily as a phrase-based system, or as a word-based system. It was designed for users with motor disabilities and access issues, those with vision impairment that need large cells and print, cognitively and severely language disabled individuals who benefit from phrases to assist with quick language generation, and those who have scanning access needs.
Did you ever wonder what to do with the News-2-You pages that are located on our Implementation page of our website (http://saltillo.com/implementation/news)? Wonder no more! This video will show you how to get those pages downloaded and transferred to your Nova Chat, and gives suggestions on where to link to them. It's a brief tutorial that will show you exactly what to do!
Did you know that you can send FREE texts with your Nova Chat device?
Please note, you must have an OPEN device to do this and you MUST be connected to a wireless network.
Go to the Google Play store and search for google voice.
Download and Install it on your device.
Open google voice, and add the account you want to use with it.
If your account is not yet enabled for google voice, it will direct you to go to www.google.com/voice to do this.
You have to be able to verify an existing phone number (they will send that number a text message) in order to get a google voice number. This is only available in the US.
Edit a button within your Nova Chat vocabulary. Give it a label and choose the button action, Open Android Application. Then choose Google Voice. You can then press on this button within the Nova Chat software to access your texts.
Did you know we have a recorded webinars section on our website? You can find all kinds of helpful videos here such as "How to Update Your Nova Chat Device", "Transferring a Vocab File from TouchChat to Nova Chat", "Nova Chat Profiles", "Nova Chat Button Functions" and all 3 of our Nova Chat trainings. Watch whichever video you need whenever you need in the convenience of your own home!