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Apple Highlights Developer AssistiveWare and its Augmentative and Alternative Communication Apps

May 17, 2023

Apple recently took the time to highlight app developer AssistiveWare and how its slate of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) apps are helping non-verbal children and adults to communicate.

Using an iPhone or iPad for Communication

Using an iPhone or iPad for Communication

AAC apps can help a variety of people easily communicate with an iPhone or iPad.

AssistiveWare is the behind a number of AAC apps including Proloquo2Go and two titles that arrived in 2022, Proloquo and Proloquo Coach. Along with creating speech, Proloquo can build phrases or sentences, learn related words, and expand language and grammar.

Proloquo Coach is made for families and educators to help support children and students in their learning.

Proloquo offers 49 genuine children and adult’s text-to=speech voices and 12,000 words, about three times more than other AAC apps.

AssistiveWare’s founder and CEO David Niemeije says that the shift to the iPhone and iPad helped a larger amount of people afford to use the technology and helped fuel the developer’s growth:

“One of the coolest things about the iPad and the iPhone is that they’re not separate devices,” says Niemeijer. “They’re cool devices that everyone else uses, too, and that has already made a major difference in its acceptability. But we still have more work to do.” 

More Accessibility Features Arriving in iOS 17

More Accessibility Features Arriving in iOS 17

Earlier this week, Apple also previewed new accessibility features coming later this year in software updates.

Assistive Access distills experiences across a number of built-in apps to lessen the cognitive load for users.

The customized experience is made for Camera, Photos, Music, Calls, and Messages. The feature has a distinct interface with high contrast buttons and large text labels along with tools to help trusted supported tailor the experience.

Live Speech on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac allows users to type what they want to have it be spleen outlaid in FaceTime calls and in-person conversations.

A Personal Voice feature will allow anyone to create a voice that sounds like them. In about 15 minutes, users will read a randomized set of text prompts. All that information is secure and done on-device.

Detection Mode in the Magnifier will also add a Point and Speak option. That will allow users with vision disabilities to interact with physical objects with several text labels.