Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Expressive {App Review and Giveaway}

I just completed a course in AAC this summer, so it has been on my mind a lot recently.  We had to opportunity to play with some of the devices and apps that are available out there.  Today, I want to take the time to show you one of those options- Expressive by Smarty Ears.

The Basics:
-It is a mid-level AAC app
-It is intended for children and adults
-It uses 10,000 Smarty Symbols
-It has male and female voice options
-Can use it horizontally or vertically
-There are options for text-to-speech
-It is based on categories to help clients build phrases.

How to Use:

First off, I would recommend that anyone who wants to use this app watches the video tutorial available here.  I think it helps to see it in motion!

You open the app and it takes you to this screen:

You can see the basic categories there.  If you click on one of those folders, it will open up specific vocabulary under those pictures.  Just click on the picture and it will move it to the white space at the top.

One thing I love about this app is that you can customize it for the user.  You can add your own folder or specific vocab under any folder. Note: It is for ONE user, not multiple users.

You can add your own images or you can add from the Smarty Symbols library (10,000 symbols)! These symbols and folders can be color-coded, too, for easy organization!

There are several setting options, too.  You can lock the screen so that the child/adult can't change what's already on there.  You can also have it automatically erase the message once it has been spoken once.  The slider at the bottom controls the speed.  You can also change the voice output used- there are 2 male voices and 2 female voice options.

Expressive also offers back-up and restore options under the info button (blue) at the bottom! This is such an important feature to have with an AAC system.

Bottom Line:

This is honestly one of the easiest AAC apps to use and played around with.  It is so intuitive. The way it is organized just makes sense to me. It's not complicated, and is organized in a very logical manner.

Updates I'd like to see in the future:

I would love to see a way to print the boards out.  I know this may seem counter-intuitive since this is an app, but it is SO important to have back-ups and back-ups of those back-ups.  A printed copy of the boards would ensure this.

You like this app?? You can find it on iTunes currently for $25.99.

Smarty Ears was generous enough to give a copy to ONE lucky reader. Enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win! It will be open until Friday night, August 30.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: A code for this app was provided to me for my review.  No other compensation was received. 
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  1. I like that this app can be customised for individual users? Brilliant. I also like that it has a tutorial too. Thanks for highlighting it...I'm impressed.
    Julie :-)
    Mrs Stowe's Kinder Cottage

  2. This app would work wonders for my non-verbal kids using the iPad! Would love to trial this with them :)

  3. This app looks like it is easy to use and would be great for one of my students!

  4. This app would be great for my nonverbal kiddos that were are hoping to test for AAC use and more! Love it!

  5. I would love to be able to test this with my AAC Students

  6. It looks very user friendly. I like that it has a video tutorial! I have several EC kids that I would love to try this with!

  7. I have a little girl that I do therapy with who is nonverbal and uses augm. communication. This would be great!

  8. If you backup to iTunes the app would restore all your boards and you would not need to print the pages.

    1. I think that's awesome and am so glad that that is a feature! I was always taught to have a paper copy backup of everything AAC related just in case. Perhaps that's not needed anymore! :)


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