Access Technology | Comparing Devices | Funding | Device Information | Off-The-Shelf Tech
Keyboards | Keyguards | Letterboards | Positioning Devices | Manufacturers

Access Technology

ATU231 – Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) with Dr. Melanie Fried-Oken. (interview) Podcast with transcript. "What's more popular [than invasive systems] at the current time is what's called noninvasive systems. That's like, consider wearing a swim cap, and attached to the swim cap are electrodes. Those electrodes read the brain signal through your hair and your scalp and your skin. That's how those signals are acquired."

How do I use a switch with an iPad? iOS 7 Overview by Jane Farrall.

A Multitude of Uses for Switches, Beach Center on Disability.

Seating and Positioning for Individuals who use AT by Aileen Costigan, MSc-OT, Penn State University (quiz available). "Appropriate seating and positioning is critical for use of assistive technology (AT) and participation in a variety of environments. Aileen Costigan, a certified Occupational Therapist, provides an introduction to important issues in seating and positioning for individuals who use AT." Slides, handouts, and transcript available.

Switch Accessible Apps for iPad — Enabling Devices. Dated: 3/6/2016.

Switch Access Basics — North Carolina Assistive Technology Program. PowerPoint slide presentation. Topics: Why Aren't OTs and PTs Using AT or Helping with AAC? ... What is Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)? .... Top Tips for Switch Selection.

Switches — Ablenet website.

Video of the Week: Angling Switches for Better Access. Posted by Carole Zangari of PrAACtical AAC. "In this video, Sue Russell, from the Boston Children's Augmentative Communication Program, gives us some ideas for easy-to-make switch mounts."

Comparing Devices and Equipment

ABLEDATA "provides objective information on assistive technology and rehabilitation equipment available from domestic and international sources to consumers, organizations, professionals, and caregivers within the United States." Products, Resources, Library, Consumer Forum. Information on many augmentative and alternative communication devices: Communicators (communication boards and books, communicators general, direct selection, encoding, scanning). Searchable.

Closing the Gap Online and print magazine "designed to assist you in locating, comparing and reviewing the thousands of products on the market."

Communication Aids — Attainment Company.

Enabling Devices Communicator Feature Comparison. Chart includes photos, costs, and features for various devices.

Key Technologies, Inc. "is a fully independent vendor carrying 15-17 top manufacturers of essential products in assistive technology covering augmentative communication, computer access, environmental control, literacy support, and rehabilitation/special needs software."

National Assistive Technology Research Institute (NATRI), University of Kentucky. Video clips and descriptions of various devices: input devices, communication aids, mobility aids, alternative keyboard, switches, visual aids, workplace technology, software.

PrAACtical Resource: Searching for AAC Devices with SpeechBubble. Posted by Carole Zangari of PrAACtical AAC. "Device Comparison - SpeechBubble also lets you select up to 5 devices to do a side-by-side comparison. This is a handy tool that gives you an at-a-glance look at what each SGD has to offer."


AAC Funding Help website for Speech Generating Devices (SGDs) – SGD Funding Fast Facts, SGD Funding Programs, AAC Report Coach, SGD Funding General Resources.

Augmentative Communication, Inc. "The funding of speech generating devices varies, depending upon the laws and policies of an country, province or state. This section contains some funding information and funding resources."

Funding Speech Generating Devices (SGDs). "This web page will help SLPs, advocates, people with severe disabilities and their family members, funding program staff, and decision makers. It is designed to be of benefit to those who are confronting SGD funding questions for the first time, as well as those with prior funding experience." USSAAC (United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication) website.

Funding a Speech Generating Device (SGD): What YOU Need to Know! AAC Institute website. "Do not allow funding agents to override comprehensive AAC assessments and in the process reduce the communication performance and life experience of individuals who use AAC."

Funding of AAC Devices — ASHA website. Links to information: Medicare Funding of AAC Devices; Coverage Policy on Speech-Generating Devices; Medicare Speech-Generating Devices Information.

Funding Programs: Medicaid-Only, Medicare-Only, Medicare and Medicaid-Both. "ZYGO's funding staff provides assistance to clients who need help navigating the complex healthcare insurance system."

Medicare Funding of AAC Devices - Device Coverage. Page currently under construction.

Prentke-Romich website —unding for AAC Devices. Training, resources, and tools, including Funding Submission Assistant, Funding Forms by State.

SGD Funding Solutions (SGD stands for Speech Generating Device, also known as AAC Device); from Assistive Technology Law Center. Includes Funding Fast Facts, Funding Programs, AAC Report Coach, General Resources.

Used Equipment: If you're in North Carolina or the surrounding area, the Partnerships in Assistive Technology Exchange Post may be a source of affordable technology.

Check your state's Assistive Technology program for a device lending library or device loan program.

Video of the Week: Who Can Pay for AAC Devices for Public School Students by Lew Golinker. Posted by Carole Zangari, PrAACtical AAC. Date: 2016. Run time: 1 hour; transcript in right sidebar of presentation.

Information on Specialized Communication Devices and Equipment

AAC/AT Vendor List. UNC — Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities website.

ABLEDATA "provides objective information on assistive technology and rehabilitation equipment available from domestic and international sources to consumers, organizations, professionals, and caregivers within the United States." Products, Resources, Library, Consumer Forum. Information on many augmentative and alternative communication devices: Communicators (communication boards and books, communicators general, direct selection, encoding, scanning). Searchable.

AlphaSmart by Renaissance Learning. Word processing computer designed for classroom use, battery-operated, highly portable. Models Neo1, Neo2, Dana, Dana Wireless. LCD screen, sturdy, no voice output. No longer manufactured. Available (primarily used) from various vendors. What is an AlphaSmart 3000?

CandLE Wooden Letter Board. Strong wooden QWERTY letter board with built in key guard using yellow on black design for better visual acuity.

Gus Communications, Inc. Developers and distributors of AAC hardware and software.

LightWriter A relatively small electronic aid which converts typed text to speech. The newest model also has native SMS and environmental control capability. Manufactured in the UK by Toby Churchill Ltd. Dynavox Technologies is the sole distributor in the US and Canada.

Mayer-Johnson LLC, a Tobii Dynavox Company. Developer of the Boardmaker family of picture communication symbol software products. Site also has many Communication and Access products, including some for low tech, high tech, and eye tracking access.

Sahara Touch-It Tablet, Slate PC, Pen Tablet. Tablet PCs and Ultra-mobile PCs by TableKiosk® with passive resistive touch screen and/or screens that support full handwriting recognition.

Talking Photo Album. "Easy-to-use speech output album that holds standard 5 x 7-inch photos. A unique message can be recorded for every image that you insert.

Tobii Assistive Technology Inc. Developer of innovative hardware and software solutions for people with disabilities, including eye controlled communication. National Public Website on Assistive Technology, Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA), Georgia Institute of Technology College of Architecture. Extensive website with search feature: Browse by Function, Browse by Activity, Browse by Vendor.

RJ Cooper and Associates. Developer of software and hardware for persons with special needs. Products include iPad/Tablet Stuff, Positioning Stuff for Switches and Stuff, Hardware to Access the Computer, Miscellaneous Devices. "I started, and continue, to make materials that are requested by others, many that know more about needs than myself. I research & develop these materials in actual settings, with actual people, for professionals and parents that have shown a belief in my work."

Off-The-Shelf Tech

OtterBox. Rugged, protective cases for iPod, iPhone, Blackberry, Palm devices, PC, and Tablet. "Our cases are dedicated to all the klutzy, spontaneous, chaotic, graceless individuals who have broken a device or valuable due to their active lifestyle ... We take the idea of a protective case to the next level so customers can find the ideal solution for any work environment or adventure!"

iPhone/iPad AAC Apps Lists by Apps for AAC, Jane Farrall Consulting. Regularly updated detailed chart with information on device on which app works, symbol system, pre-programmed pages and customisation, voice output/speech, and rating by Jane Farrall. Lists: Symbol / Picture Apps A - M (Part 1), Symbol / Picture Apps N - Z (Part 2), Symbol & Text Based Apps, Text Based Apps, Additions and Updates. Note: prices are in Australian currency.


Big Keys Keyboard. Keyboards for laptops, desktop computers, and iPad; keyguards.

EC Technology Ultra-slim Mini Wireless Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard:

Intellitools – Learning Technologies for PreK-8 Classrooms. Tools for teaching reading, writing, mathematics and for providing access to the computer; includes Classroom Suite 4, Intellikeys (adaptive keyboards), switch access products, and other tools.

RJ Cooper and Associates, Inc. Big blue-tooth keyboard, Mini-keyboard/Trackpad, stands. Searchable site.

Spike iPhone Keyboard & Protective Case. "We've designed a keyboard whose layout includes individually sculptured keycaps and snap-touch keys that lets your fingers find and feel every letter you type."


Turning Point Therapy and Technology, Inc. Keyguards and protective film overlays for keyboards (AlphaSmart, computer keyboards, and other devices)

Letterboards, Spelling boards, Communication Boards, Alternative Pencils

Alphabet Charts — Ace Centre (UK). ABC spelling boards, Encoded layout spelling boards, Frequency layout spelling boards, High contrast spelling boards, QWERTY spelling boards, Spelling boards with words and phrases too,

Collection of Free and Inexpensive Health Care Communication Aids.

Communication Boards — AAC Scotland website

Emergency Communication 4 All — Diane Nelson Bryen, Institute on Disabilities, Temple University. Picture Communication Aid (English, Spanish, Hatian Creole), Letter and Word Communication Aid (English, Spanish).

Five Great Resources for Pre-Made Communication Boards. PrAACtical AAC blog

Free Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) for Adults and Children. Amy Speech Language Therapy website.

Free downloadable Alphabet Boards for people who use AAC. Spectronics website. ABC or QWERTY, upper case or lower case.

Nurse Station Communication Collection — List with links to resources for healthcare-related communication (some free).

Stencils, Letterboards, Number Boards with or without math symbols. HALO website.

Positioning Devices and Related Equipment

Daessy Mounting System by Daedelus Technologies, Inc. Mounting systems to support communication devices, laptop computers or switches for use in the Assistive Technology field.

Enablemart. Mounting systems.

Lapworks, Inc. Desktop stands for mobile devices, proprietary designs (not available through Apple). Jose Calero, Founder and CEO.

Make an iPad Stand in Under 3 Minutes! By Therese Willkomm. A low-tech recipe from Assistive Technology in New Hampshire's Therese Willkomm, Ph.D.

. Other how-to videos by Therese Willkomm:

Modular Hose. Tablet and device solutions.

Mount'n Mover by Blue Sky Design. Customizable accessible wheelchair mounting system.

Ram Mounts. Fittings, suction mounts.

Rehadapt. Module mounting systems for assistive technology.

AAC Developers and/or Device Sales Organizations (not a complete list)


Augie AAC

Avaz – Making Every Voice Count

CandLE Limited (Communication and Learning Enterprises, Ltd.)


PRC (Prentke-Romich Company)

RJ Cooper & Associates, Inc.


Speak for Yourself

Talk To Me Technologies

Talking Mats

Therapy Box

Tobii Dynavox


UNC Center on Disability and Literacy Studies (Writing with Alternative Pencils)

Additional links to assistive technology sites.

We're currently in the process of trying to reorganize the pages that deal with technological solutions ... for now we sugge st you also look at the Physical Accessibility page.