The Evolution of our AAC System in screen shots (2021)
I first launched this site in response to the requests to see more/learn more about what we were doing/how we were modifying our daughter's AAC system for visual access. I had been peppering Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy with questions on her once a month talks with the Lighthouse Guild's CVI Parent Group. At the time, there were no examples of systems to accomodate the specific visual needs of a child with complex communicaiton needs (CCN) and CVI. It seems light years have passed since, both in our daughter's use of her functional vision and AAC, as well as awareness of CVI and the needs of those with CVI and CCN.
There is still so much to be done in the field, but in 2018, when we began developing our system, little was known/being done to make AAC systems VISUALLY ACCESSIBLE for a child with CVI, let alone based on a child's functional vision (CVI Range Score).
Over the years, it has been incredible to see how seeds planted have grown and how the idea of our system has impacted others. Mostly, I am thrilled to hear how children have been given access to their own voice.
see CVI speak AAC screen shots, circa 2019 (first implemented in 2017 not shown here)
Humble beginnings with hand-drawn "bubbled" words and all the headaches the size differences created.
There were many versions before this one, as we built up Emma's awareness and knowledge of how to use her talker. The intial three months were incredibly fast as she moved from using two corners to all four. Then adding swipe to get to more words and creating new pages (folders) with more words. That's when things started to slow down, as we added in more and more words.
But, we modeled, modeled, modeled and she swiped around her talker looking at the words, repeating many and essentially playing (which would be considered babbling for a new verbal talker) and we let her explore. As it turned out, she learned many words on her own that way, surprising us all with how much she was learning in play.
There was a version after this where all those bubbled words were painstakenly resized to be portotional to each other. If ever there was a reason to improve functional vision, it was to drop all those bubbles! 😉
Slowly, we dropped bubbles off the words she used with frequency, and moved on from there...