Top Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) Apps for iPad

The iPad gives voice to persons with speech disabilities

The iPad continues to make communication more accessible and cost-effective for persons with developmental and speech disabilities.

Mobile apps provide many of the vocabulary-building and text-to-speech features of alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) devices for far less money than products such as the Dynavox Maestro. The following apps help persons who struggle to speak due to conditions such as autism, brain injuries, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and stroke. They provide ways to choose words, symbols, and images to express moods, needs, and thoughts.

The AAC-app space changes frequently. The items we've highlighted in this list have been assessed relative to iOS 12.

01
of 04

MyTalkTools Mobile

MyTalkTools Mobile user interface

MyTalk LLC

 

What We Like

  • The most affordable option we've reviewed.

  • Good reviews on the App Store.

  • Good update frequency over the last few years.

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 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 several 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 — free for 30 days — requires a subscription thereafter.

02
of 04

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 actual voice.

  • Predictive-typing algorithm helps auto-complete sentences.

What We Don't Like

  • Keyboard-focused inputs are less helpful for people with certain developmental challenges.

  • Available in 10 different languages, but all of them are European.

  • Massive app — requires more than 2 gigabytes of space.

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

The app includes support for 10 different 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
of 04

Proloquo2Go

A person using Proloquo2Go on an iPad.

 AssistiveWare

What We Like

  • Highly reviewed — App Store rating of 4.8 after more than 3,500 reviews.

  • Well-established, frequently updated app.

  • Symbol-based approach supports people who prefer to avoid text. Although grids resize, the approach requires more paging to find the right symbol as grid sizes increase.

What We Don't Like

  • Some of the symbology is confusing.

  • Tight grids might not work well for people who struggle with fine-motor skills.

AsssistiveWare presents Proloquo2Go, a symbol-based AAC platform that's ideal for people for whom text-based solutions may not be preferable. With a single tap, people can select words, that in a chain, result in a sentence spoken with a clear, pleasing voice.

Proloquo2Go — a $250 app — boasts a wide community of users and stellar App Store ratings. Its approach to vocabulary building, which starts with core words and then adds them over time, helps to 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
of 04

TouchChat HD

TouchChat HD user interface

Prentke Romich Company

What We Like

  • Several different input modes, including word- and symbol-based entry.

  • English and Spanish included in a single universal app.

What We Don't Like

  • Large app — requires 1.3 GB of space on your iPad.

  • Several in-app purchases are quite 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 — helpful for communicating visually in a noisy environment.

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