AT/AAC Resources

Resource Compendium: This document is a compendium of the many resources that we have, discovered and spread the word about over the past seven years.

Tots-N-Tech began as a research institute to carry out various studies to identify the prevalence and use of Assistive Technology (AT) with infants and toddlers. Over a 5 year period, T-N-T conducted numerous national studies with states, providers, and families to identify the how AT was used, the types of devices used, and the timing of use.       T-N-T also studied successful states to identify what characteristics supported families and providers in their use of AT with infants and toddlers and developed a self-assessment instrument for states, programs, and agencies to use to identify areas in which to place resources or activities in order to optimize AT use with infants and toddlers.

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·  June 2010: Using assistive technology to support socialization

·  March 2010: Using arms and hands in activities and routines

·  May 2009: Positioning and Mobility: The Basics

·  March 2009: Augmentative and Alternative Communication: The Basics

·  January 2009: Switches: The Basics

·  September 2008: Ideas to Share Contest 14

·  July 2008: Resources about using Adaptations and AT with Babies


From the site: “Ideas to Share have been contributed by people working with young children in early intervention programs across the country. If you have an Idea to Share, please tell us about it, and include a description of your idea. Pictures are always helpful. We will then work with you so that we can add your idea to this growing resource.”

Access to Libraries for people with disabilities living in the United Kingdom can be found at


The Central Coast Children’s Foundation ( has supported the creation of a Patient Provider Communication website. A recently uploaded new document Promising Practices in Overcoming Communication Barriers by Harvey Pressman and Val Lewis can be found on  Please check it out and share it freely with colleagues.

LinkedIn Groups suggest the following lowcost/free assistive technology tools HandyBits: voice mail 
 ClickNType: virtual keyboard with word prediction: CameraMouse: 
 Dwell click: 
 Natural Reader Freeware: Getting Started With My Child Without Limits looks to provide parents with the knowledge, resources, and network to ensure their children’s future is without limits.

Thanks to Graham Clarke for his reference to an interesting article – iPad drawing interest as device for disabled – that relates to the use of the ipad and ipod for people with complex communication needs.



The Centre for Augmentative & Alternative Communication at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, is committed to making a difference in the communication and life-skills of people with severe disabilities, and in particular those with complex communication needs. The Centre shares excellent downloads at

The same Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication is affiliated with Interface South Africa and acts as the main facilitator of training in AAC nationwide. Interface is a non-profit NGO that promotes the participation of adults and children who have complex communication needs. Their Newsletter is available on-line.

The Simon Technology Center helps children and adults with disabilities and their families use assistive technology to improve their lives. The Simon Technology center believes that technology allows children and adults with disabilities to keep pace with a rapidly changing world by providing opportunities for communication, education, recreation, employment, and independence. Many downloads are free.



Global Assistive Technology Encyclopedia

The Global Assistive Technology Encyclopedia (GATE) is a Wiki, or piece of software that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser. It’s a little bit likeWikipedia, but concentrates exclusively on assistive technology. GATE is very simple to use, with a control panel enabling you to add content, and more. It is available in 10 languages.


The Beginning Communication Package 

The Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAAC), in collaboration with the South African National Department of Health, recently developed The Beginning Communication Package (BCP). This package is aimed at assisting health care workers in helping parents or caregivers of children with severe communication problems. The package uses everyday activities to assist parents to encourage children who are unable to speak to participate by using other communication means, such as graphic symbols, as well as communication devices, to supplement their existing communication. Contact:


Babylon is a useful, intuitive dictionary and translation tool for use with a computer. Babylon translates 75 languages and offers a free download programme.


Sparklebox is a great site for teachers. Provides teaching plans, worksheets, fun and seasonal activities, e-books etc. in English and other languages.   Living made easy for children is an impartial advice and information website about daily living equipment and other aspects of independent living. The site has been created by a team of occupational therapists who do not sell equipment for children with disabilities, but who do give advice on daily living equipment.


Unlimiter is an Assistive Technology Engineering Lab in Taiwan. The site, available in English and basic Chinese, describes symbol systems, communication boards and adaptive technology.Communication without Speech, Anne Warrick’s basic introduction to AAC in the ISAAC Series, is now available in basic Chinese (as well as Spanish and English) as a download from ISAAC (free to ISAAC members). ( Many thanks to our Taiwanese colleagues for their help in making this translation a reality.


Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs.  This site provides resources and ideas for teachers of learners with severe, profound, intensive, significant, complex or multiple special needs. This is a ‘friendly’ site with excellent information and tips. For example: “Free and Low Cost Head Tracking Software (note head trackers can usually track any body part and more so if you put reflective tape, shiny nail polish or an LED on that body part).”


A great place for downloads is SWAAAC: Supporting Learning Through Assistive Technology  Select the Resources menu for hosts of useful information on Assistive Technology and free software downloads at


There are also PowerPoint presentations on the following topics and much more

· AAC Assessment:

· Making Toy Adaptations:

· An Overview of Assistive Technology:

· Picture Exchange Communication System:

· Reading and Writing: Assistive Tech for Learning Disability:

· Assistive Technology in the Schools:

The WATI: Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative is also a great source of free downloads. From the main page, pull down the Supports Menu and click on Free Publications or Classroom materials. The following is a list of just some of the materials available:

· Resource Guide for Teachers and Administrators about Assistive Technology

· Hey! Can I Try That? A Student Handbook for Choosing and Using AT


Recursos en español 

· Oye! Puedo yo intentar eso?:!puedo.pdf

· Lista Comprobante de Asistencia Technolgica:

· Guia de Consideracion para Asistencia Technolgica:


Free and Low Cost Head and Eye Tracking Software


Videos: Shows the many applications of Intellitools. Shows the remarkable achievements of someone with complex communication needs with the use of assistive technology.



Communication Therapy International is an organization working with people with communication disabilities around the world. The organizations newsletter, edited by Mary Wickenden, UK, is available on-line.

Sparadrap. This web site (in French) is an interesting example of a way to use the Internet to communicate to young patients in a way that can help improve patient care. Here is a description of the site prepared by a member of our staff. 

dotSUB is a browser based tool enabling subtitling of videos on the web into and from any language. There is nothing to buy and nothing to download. Recognizing the potential of global communication powered by the Internet, the founders of dotSUB created a web-based tool that enables video to be accessed in an open, collaborative, “wiki” type environment. The dotSUB tool gives anyone the ability to translate video content into multiple languages via subtitles rendered over the bottom of the video.   “We are a social-volunteer Association of parents, relatives and friends of children with deficiencies and/or disabilities working together in solidarity under the umbrella of Los Pipitos. Our objectives are to support the full and effective participation of people with disability in development and community life and to improve their rights and protect their dignity.”

EZ AT Book: A Guide for Professionals and Parents by the PACER center This is a guide for parents who have children between the ages of three and eight with special needs.  The guide is divided into three sections: activities, AT tools, and resources.  The activity section is the longest and provides activities that focus on a wide range of education topics.  The activities presented have set learning goals and describe how parents can use assistive technology (AT) to help their children achieve those goals.  Each activity is presented using the categories: Goal, Subject Area and Skills Addressed, Technology Used, Other Materials Used, Preparation, Description of Activity, Ways to Adapt this Activity.  Under each of these descriptions is information that makes each of these activities easy to understand and lead.  The AT tools section highlights several items that are available to help children communicate.  Some examples are picture boards, tracking balls for computers, switch adapted toys and communicators, and software programs.  The reference section at the end includes four pages of information about useful organizations.  The organizations’ addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and websites are available. You can download this guide at no cost.

KIDO’Z is a web browser that is described by its developers as a “Kid’s Web Environment”.  Once downloaded and installed, the browser offers a self contained web of games, websites and videos that are accessed wiith large icons.  Because KIDO’Z is an Adobe Air application, it will run in Windows, Mac, or Linux. KIDO’Z comes with an extensive collection of  games, videos, and websites built-in, and these appear to have been selected carefully.  The beauty of this browser, however, is that you have the option of completely customizing what is available.  The browser is managed by a set of Parental Controls that can be accessed anywhere.  KIDO’Z is currently available in 17 languages.

Do2Learn is an amazing site for finding information, interactive tools, and printable resources for your work with students who have autism or special needs. Along with information about a variety of learning disabilities, the site includes songs and games for teaching basic skills, printable social skill organizers, organizational tools, and picture cards. This site is a must-see for anyone who works with students who are on the autism spectrum or have learning disabilities. NOTE: Do2Learn charges for some resources and applications, but many of the resources on the site are free. Text to Speech Sakhr TTS engine converts any Arabic/English text into a human voice. Sakhr has been focusing in the last 5 years on creating an Arabic TTS engine that can match in its quality the human voice. This technology gives businesses a competitive edge by allowing them to provide their customers with the latest static and dynamic information anytime, anywhere using normal telephones and mobiles. NOTE: it has also been used for augmentative communication. An article which describes AAC in India. has free software, primarily relating to visual impairment. This website has a long list of words on the right side, and when you click on a word a video displays how to say that word in American Sign Language (ASL). It’s free and could be useful for those who need to communicate with people who sign.  A site with AAC and disability information sheets in Spanish. offers videos demonstrating the use of AAC.  A guide book from SET-BC, a Canadian organization whose staff enhance student opportunities by providing access to curriculum through the use of educational and communication technologies.



By referencing and by searching ‘Augmentative Communication’ and ‘Assistive Technology’ you will find an impressive number of examples that demonstrate the use of AAC and AT and also spread awareness of AAC. At   there is a video of a young girl who uses her feet as hands (Spanish commentary). You can also find excellent videos on the University of Washington site. There you can search the site’s video archives for particular subjects (pre-schoolers, teenagers), their means of communication (picture board, Morse code) and a situation in which AAC is being used (shopping, classroom).

Go to there is a Canadian site that shows adults commenting on their lives and community living experiences with communication boards via direct selection and assisted scanning. To view them go to select ‘Pointing It Out’ and find ‘video clips’ in the left hand column.

Enabling Dreams is a video that shows some highly motivated students and the use of assistive technology in a university setting.  In other media, a DVD has been produced by Communication Matters (United Kingdom) that provides an introductory presentation about Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). ‘Communication Matters’, a film (running time 15 minutes) delivers a powerful message that communication really does matter. A demonstration of this DVD is available on line

Here’s something for those who are just learning to use a mouse. Click on   You will get a black page. Click your mouse on Flower Garden, then anywhere on the page and see what happens! Better yet, click and drag your mouse all over the page. Love it!


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