5 free AAC tools we love

Photo by Emily Wade on Unsplash

There is a wide range of available communication tools, but some tools can also be costly or don’t match the person’s individual needs. Here is some good news: there are also free options at your fingertips. They will allow you to try out different settings and features which will inform your decision if you decide to purchase a more advanced Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) tool.

In this article, we will guide you through widely available and free options for various abilities to practice communication skills. The following solutions can complement learning, therapy and also foster meaningful and positive relationships among peers and nurture inclusion.

Talk for Me: Text to Speech

Talk for Me was created by a person who lost the ability to speak. The app uses Text-to-Speech technology and enables users to communicate quickly and with ease. You can save the most common phrases in the archive, access or edit them on the spot. This app enables those who struggle with speech to communicate and participate effortlessly.

Cboard

Cboard is a free AAC web app for children and adults with speech and language impairments that aids communication with text-to-speech and symbols. Cboard is available on desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones. Cboard allows users to delete, add and rearrange content based on different needs. But what is so cool about it? It is an open-source project inviting software engineers from all around the world to collaborate. It also supports 33 languages!

Did you know that you can easily connect Cosmo Switch to Cboard and other AAC tools? Check out our compatibility guide and see if Cosmo works with the AAC tool you use.

Global Symbols

Global Symbols enables you to easily create communication boards using thousands of symbols available in their library. You can use ready templates and customise them by changing the layout, colours or even adding your own symbols. A unique thing about Global Symbols is that you can access featured boards that have many useful Covid-19 symbols, communicating about Understanding Lockdown and Covid Mental Health Tips.

Sono Flex Lite

Sono Flex Lite is an easy-to-use AAC app by Tobii Dynavox that turns symbols into clear speech. Sono Flex Lite is a basic version of the full Sono Flex app which makes it limited in terms of the available customisation settings and access to preprogrammed contexts. However, users still can practise basic communication skills and work on language development. 

SoundingBoard

SoundingBoard by AbleNet allows you to create symbol boards for specific daily situations such as going shopping or going to the doctor. The built-in database of symbols allows you to communicate on the spot and with ease. You can also add your own pictures to create customised symbols. 

What’s next?

These are our 5 favourite free tools for practising communication in 2021. What apps do you use? Did we miss anything important? If you know of any other free communication apps, share them in the comments below.

If you want to receive the latest news, tips and ideas on using technology to support people with disabilities, make sure to sign up for Cosmo newsletter.

If you want to contribute to our knowledge base or share your thoughts on developing communication skills, feel free to reach out at hello@filisia.com

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