Most AAC speech boards are created with the intent to speak a word or phrase when a button contained on the board is pressed. That is just as it should be.
The purpose of alternative and augmentative communication is to support and encourage communication in order to help a person express themselves and build relationships.
While vocalizing using an AAC board is the most important purpose of a program like CoughDrop, with a bit of creativity people can use speech boards to further engagement in other ways as well.
Here are some speech board ideas that might help a communicator have more desire to use AAC and might promote learning and growth in additional ways.
Speech boards that contain recorded sounds can sometimes be the right fit for an AAC user.
Maybe the person wants to communicate auditory feelings without speaking any words -- just like everyone else does. A board like this might be a good solution:
This option could also be used to record audio if a person is able to voice words sometimes or if they are faced with a future loss of speech. Learn a bit about recording and message banking here.
In addition, a speech board with favorite sounds could help to draw a communicator into AAC and help them engage with a program.
Reading & Language Boards
AAC is built on a use of words so reading and language are important concepts when using a communication aid (not to mention as part of life in general).
Use speech boards to link to books about core vocabulary words or other favorite topics.
You could link a books board to vocabulary words contained in the text in a board set like this:
Maybe you want to teach about synonyms or antonyms of specific words. A speech board like this one can help you do that.
CoughDrop has created a board template the can be helpful when working with Gestalt Language Learners. This board allows you to customize preferred communicator scripts, or Gestalts, and expand communication as you move forward.
Music is often a great motivation for AAC learners. Creating a board which contains favorite songs, music videos, or the opportunity to play music with an attached piano could be a great fit for some users.
Activity boards can be a wonderful way to build relationships, encourage making choices, and have fun.
Here are a few ideas that might work for your communicator.
Create a "choose your own" adventure story board like this one.
Support "first" "then" planning and participation.
Design a classroom activity like this treasure hunt using the AAC app and let everyone take part (imagine how great your AAC user will feel when he or she gets to lead the fun).
AAC speech boards can be used in HUNDREDS of different ways to help children learn to love their communication app and have a desire to use it and share their words. What other amazing ideas can you imagine?