Last week I was lucky enough to attend the Closing the Gap conference in Minneapolis. As usual, it was a great conference filled with great people and great information. Of course, we spent a little bit of time at Mall of America to eat and explore.
Takeaways from Closing the Gap
A lot of great technology was on display in the exhibit hall, but I narrowed down my list to my top five picks:
- Tangible Object Cards: These pre-made object cards are a great addition to any special education, low vision or speech therapy program. Pair them with SymbolStix, Braille labels and the ProxPad for a great AAC and object identification lesson.
- Vibes: A new sensory tool for individuals with auditory sensitivities. Instead of using the large headphones, Vibes is a simple, easily concealed high-fidelity earplug. It filters the sounds to reduce noise levels but keeps the sound quality high.
- Smooth Talker: The Smooth Talker by is six switches in one. When I saw it, the first word that came to mind was 'brilliant.' It combines a single message device, randomizer, step-by-step, choice making, auditory prompt, and converse mode into one. Choose the switch function needed and use the large button to activate. Connect a second switch for the choice making, auditory prompt, and conversation options.
- APPlicator: The APPlicator provides Bluetooth switch connection for iPads, iPods, and iPhones. Hook up one to four switches for switch/scanning control or use Quick Media Mode for easy play and pause functionality. Make using a iPad with a switch easier.
- TippyTalk: This excellent AAC app is getting a makeover with even more features. TippyTalk is the first AAC app to remove same room communication barriers. The user’s message is sent via text to their selected communication partner. The second version allows two-way communication between the user and the partner and adds a lot of great reports for teachers and therapists.