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Features You’ve Asked for Highlight Chat Software Update 2.34

Posted on 2021-12-17 10:37:25 by Admin under News

Important Software Compatibility Information

The database for software update 2.34 has been updated, meaning that your NovaChat and ChatEditor must be in the same software version to make file transfers. So, make sure both your device and ChatEditor are running the 2.34 software so you can access the following new features.

Select Skin Tone for Individual Buttons

In this update, you are now able to change the skin tone for individual buttons! This is a great feature to create a diverse vocabulary file but still be representative of people in your AAC learner's life!

Learn More!

Change Pronunciation for Individual Buttons

Another feature added at the button level is being able to change pronunciations for individual buttons. This can be useful for names and words like wind (like the air) and wind (like a clock). 

Let's Take a Look!

A New Way to Print Pages from Your Vocabulary in ChatEditor

Now in ChatEditor, you can save the page as an image or .png file to your computer! This allows you to copy and paste the image into a document and change the size of the image to your liking.

See it in Action!

New in WordPower®

WordPower80

  • Core vocabulary added to category pages - you can now say anything you want from the core vocabulary pages OR the category pages.
  • QWERTY keyboard available in category pages – in addition to core vocabulary, access to the QWERTY keyboard on category pages allows for this easy generation of language.
  • Early Books added - these books pages from WordPower60 Basic have been added to the vocabulary and can be found on the reading page.

All English WordPower Files

  • Verbs “lick,” “squeeze,” “text,” and “exit” have been added
  • “Fire” and “water” have been added to the nature page

 Check ‘Em Out!

Watch the entire 2.34 Chat Software Update here or jump to certain sections above!


WordPower60 & 120 Français: How A Classic AAC System Jumped The Language Barrier

Posted on 2021-10-28 10:53:51 by Admin under News

by Patrick Fothergill, Ontario AAC Consultant & SLP

As an AAC-focused SLP with connections to Quebec and northern & eastern Ontario, among other places, I often hear from people seeking French speech-generating devices (SGDs). And while they exist, until recently I didn’t think there was anything for folks whose abilities & needs suit a robust, picture-supported, predictive (and therefore selection-saving) language system.

Enter Nancy Inman, the veteran SLP behind WordPower. When she heard about this gap, she dusted off her university French and, in collaboration with some first-language-French speakers, intrepidly set about bridging it.

“What’s the big deal,” you might say, “just translate English WordPower.  Sure, it’ll take a while, but most of the hard work is already done, right?”

If only it were so simple! As Nancy can tell you, the French language works differently enough from English that straight translation of anything beyond a keyboard and pre-stored messages is impossible. For example, English verbs have a maximum of 6 forms in total, whereas some French verbs have as many as 6 forms in a single tense—and at least 5 basic tenses!*

Plus, a word in one language often doesn’t conveniently match up to just one word in another. As English speakers who’ve tried to learn Spanish know, “to be” translates as ser or estar, depending what you’re using it for. And French may be even ‘worse’ for English speakers: for instance, it lacks anything equivalent to the English “out”…and consider how often we use that core word, especially with early language (and therefore AAC) learners!

So it’s remarkable that, in a couple of intense years, Nancy published not one but two essentially brand-new French page sets—WordPower60 français and WordPower120 français—that nevertheless feel familiar to WordPower jockeys. The first new French WordPower in decades, the first ever with picture support, and the only ones to run on modern SGDs, they incorporate almost all the conveniences people appreciate in modern English WordPower for NovaChat & TouchChat such as logical next words, word completion, category-based vocabulary including core words, etc.

And with the arrival of the Via Pro, people for whom touch isn’t an option and for whom switch scanning is too slow or frustrating can choose a fully-vendor-backed SGD that makes these files accessible through head tracking. Or if someone needs a bilingual system, WordPower60 français is built to resemble the popular WordPower60 Basic for NovaChat & TouchChat, and you can easily link them together using these platforms’ Profiles function.

So French-speaking AAC communities, take note: there’s a new kid on the block!

To find out more about WordPower60 français & WordPower120 français, be sure to check out our videos and/or contact your local Saltillo/NovaChat consultant.

Watch with English Captions:

Watch with French Captions:


Introducing: Tamira!

Posted on 2021-09-28 13:37:38 by Admin under News

Tamira, an African-American Adult Female voice, is the latest addition to voices available from PRC-Saltillo.

Your Voice Is Important

Created in conjunction with Acapela Group, Tamira is the first of four African-American voices that will be coming to PRC-Saltillo products. Every AAC communicator should be able to communicate in a voice they feel represents themselves, and we look forward to building a larger library of voices to support that goal. In the meantime, we welcome Tamira to the PRC-Saltillo family!

Meet Tamira:

U.S. English, African-American Adult Female – Tamira

Get Tamira on Your Device

Tamira is now available as part of the suite of Acapela voices on Accent* and NovaChat*. She is included as a free download within the TouchChat app, and is available for free within the upgrade store of the LAMP Words for Life app.

* Available for devices with Acapela Adult Suite activated, and running the latest software versions. For more information, or to purchase, please call 800-262-1933.


Coaching with AAC Custom Coaching

Posted on 2021-09-27 09:29:10 by Admin under News

AAC Custom Coaching logo

New! For parents/caregivers interested in learning how to be more effective when interacting with a child using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

Working with a new speech-generating device is exciting, and there’s so much to learn… from understanding the vocabulary system to programming the device and more.

What you need…is a coach. Someone to walk you through it all.

AAC Group Coaching from PRC-Saltillo is here to help!

What is AAC Group Coaching?

AAC Group Coaching provides parents/caregivers with communication partner training to increase their skills for interacting with children who use AAC for communication. It has been specifically designed for communication partners supporting children using PRC-Saltillo speech-generating devices and apps.

 Duration

Over the course of four, hour-long, online sessions, participants will learn about communication techniques and strategies to encourage receptive/expressive language and communication with their child using AAC.

These sessions take place over four weeks and include six parents/caregivers and one AAC Coach, a certified speech-language pathologist with expertise in AAC and vocabulary systems.

Goal

By increasing their communication partner skills, families and caregivers will assist their children using these devices to become better communicators. This will improve their child’s ability to:

  • Direct self-care
  • Participate in learning activities
  • Increase independence
  • Increase the ability to express wants, needs, thoughts, feelings, questions, and medical concerns

AAC Group Coaching provides parents/caregivers with the chance to learn from an experienced AAC coach as well as from parents like themselves, who may have different perspectives to share.

Specific skills taught to parents/caregivers include:

  • The importance of making their child’s communication system available in all environments
  • Where to get a low-tech back-up version of their child’s communication device
  • Techniques for inviting children to communicate with their SGDs and not telling them what to say
  • Developmental language stages to assist with realistic expectations for beginning communication goals using the SGD
  • How to determine which vocabulary words to focus on with the SGD
  • Use of aided language/modeling strategies to teach and encourage communication
  • Where to locate numerous free and low-cost resources for continued support once the group is over

Supporting Each Other

Meeting in a small group environment allows parents/caregivers to support and encourage each other. Often parents/caregivers of children with significant communication disorders who use SGDs have had little opportunity to talk with other parents in similar situations.

AAC Group Coaching provides parents/caregivers the chance to learn from an experienced AAC coach as well as from parents like themselves who have different perspectives to share.

Sign Up Now!

Don’t wait – space is limited, and cost is only $200 for four weeks of coaching! Sign up now and learn how to help your child become a more effective communicator.

Sign up now!