Top Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) Apps for iPad

The iPad gives voice to persons with speech disabilities

Student with special needs using a computer

Robin Bartholick / Getty Images

Mobile apps provide many of the vocabulary-building and text-to-speech features of alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) devices for less money than products such as the Dynavox Maestro. These apps, along with an iPad, make communication more accessible and cost-effective for persons with developmental and speech disabilities.

The following apps help persons who struggle to speak due to conditions such as autism, brain injury, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and stroke. They provide ways to choose words, symbols, and images to express moods, needs, and thoughts.

The information in this article applies to iOS 12. However, some apps are compatible with older versions of iOS.

01
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MyTalkTools Mobile

MyTalkTools Mobile user interface

MyTalk LLC

What We Like

  • The most affordable option in this list.

  • Good reviews on the App Store.

  • Good update frequency.

What We Don't Like

  • In-app purchases can be expensive.

  • User-interface design may not be helpful for adults.

MyTalkTools Mobile, offered by MyTalk LLC, presents a clean interface that is optimized for people with learning disabilities. The large, simple-to-use program helps people without fine motor control to accurately select images for compilation into a solid text-to-speech algorithm.

In addition to MyTalkTools Mobile, the company offers additional apps that include MyTalkTools Workspace, which configures the mobile app.

The app requires iOS 5.1.1 or higher.

MyTalkTools Mobile costs $99.99 with in-app purchases. A Lite version, without a vocal synthesizer, offers a demo of the app for $10. The Workspace tool, which is free for 30 days, requires a subscription.

02
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Predictable

A settings screen for the Predictable app from Therapy Box

Therapy Box LTD

What We Like

  • Includes technologies like head tracking.

  • The My-Own-Voice tool synthesizes your voice.

  • Predictive-typing algorithm auto-completes sentences.

What We Don't Like

  • Keyboard inputs are less helpful for certain disabilities.

  • Available in 10 languages, all European.

  • Requires more than 2 GB of space.

The Predictable app is one of a family of assisted-communication apps from British-based Therapy Box Limited. Predictable is optimized for literate people who require speech support. The cleanly-designed app offers on-screen keyboards with predictive typing. These keyboards are similar in functionality to a standard iOS keyboard.

The app includes support for 10 languages. It's priced at $160 in the App Store, without a free trial period. With a rating of 4.7 of nearly 60 reviews, it's a well-respected app in the field.

03
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Proloquo2Go

A person using Proloquo2Go on an iPad.

 AssistiveWare

What We Like

  • Highly reviewed.

  • Well-established, frequently updated.

  • Symbol-based approach.

What We Don't Like

  • Some symbology is confusing.

  • Tight grids are difficult for those without fine-motor skills.

  • Large grids require paging to find the right symbol.

AsssistiveWare presents Proloquo2Go, a symbol-based AAC platform that's ideal for people who don't prefer text-based solutions. With a single tap, select words that result in a sentence spoken with a clear, pleasing voice.

Proloquo2Go, a $250 app, has a wide community of users and high App Store ratings. Its approach to vocabulary building, which starts with core words and then adds them over time, helps expand the range of ideas and feelings that people communicate through the app.

It requires iOS 11.4 or later. The app does not offer a free trial.

04
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TouchChat HD

TouchChat HD user interface

Prentke Romich Company

What We Like

  • Several input modes, including words and symbols.

  • English and Spanish included.

What We Don't Like

  • Requires 1.3 GB of space.

  • In-app purchases can be expensive.

Prentke Romich Company offers TouchChat HD, an AAC platform to help people who cannot speak. It supports word- and symbol-based entry, widening the list of potential users, and it features a tilt option to display large words which is helpful for communicating visually in a noisy environment.

The app costs $150, without a free trial. The app supports other languages, including Hebrew, Arabic, and French Canadian.