ACOLUG: The AAC Town Square

One very interesting follow for those of you in the world of AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) is the ACOLUG (Augmentative Communication Online Users Group). Born out of Temple University, this online community has members from all around the world, and is a wealth of AAC knowledge.

Augmentative Communication Online User’s Group (ACOLUG) is an Internet Listserv that allows users of augmentative communication and their families to communicate with each other and with professionals and students who are interested in augmentative communication. ACOLUG enables people who are separated by great geographic distances to “meet” and communicate with each other in a way that is convenient, comfortable and free! (AAC-RERC )

Not only do you get to hear the everyday thoughts, challenges, and ingenuity of everyday AAC users, but you get wonderful advice as well! Below is a recent post by an ACOLUG member named Tim. Here is how he described his path to finding the perfect set-up to meet his communication needs:

I want to thank everyone liking my IPad Mini setup on my chair.  I had a Dynavox Xpress when they first released it about 8 years ago and it never quite met my needs.  Over the years, I got extremely frustrated with my AAC device and needed to find a better solution.  Instead of going through the insurance route and getting something that would not work for me, I wanted to get something off the shelves and easy to use with zero restriction in what I wanted to do.  Speech to text is extremely  important to me, but I needed the Internet, text, and data everywhere I go.

Here is my gear list.

IPad Mini 4 64gb with cellular. – I have Verizon Wireless and I get services even on my foot plate.

Otterbox Case – I’ve looked at other cases such as iAdapter, by ADMi, but it was too bulky for my setup.

Predictable app by Therapy Box – This was the best app for me.  I tried many other apps such as Proloquo2Go and Verbally, but I find that  Predictable had the best layout for my toes.  Their layout of their keyboard is a bit larger than others.  If a better app comes along for the IPad, I can always install it on my own.  I’m no longer restrictive to one AAC software.  Again, nothing is proprietary anymore <YAY>

Bluetooth speaker on ebay – I need to buy a better speaker because it’s not loud enough, but easy solution and many options.

Mounting the IPad was the hardest part of the project.  My friends and I went back and forth on many ideas of how we should mount my device.  This was the hardest part.  There is a mounting company that specialize in AAC devices, CTJ Mounting, but we never could get a hold of them.  Last week, I was searching around and found some mounts that could work.

The Joy Factory makes mounts for IPads and other tablets.   Their offices are in Irvine, CA.  Very close to me.  I contacted them to see if they could help and made an appointment with them.  When my friend and I got there, they were extremely nice more than willing to help.  We figured out what will work and after I bought what we agreed on, they said, “Let’s install this.” and 10 minutes later, I had my mount.

My mount consists of their wall mount product for a tablet and their MagConnect module from The Joy Factory.  We installed the module on the back of the hard case of the Otterbox and the IPad snaps in.  It’s a perfect combo.

Now, see this set-up in action by visiting his YouTube post: Tim’s IPad Mini Setup with Predictable With Joy Factory mounts and Otterbox case

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