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Tools 2 Talk

Tools2Talk with Scope Australia

Scope Australia is a charity which supports people with mental, physical or multiple disabilities and for the people who care for them. Their person-centred mission is to enable each person they support to live as an empowered and equal citizen.

Project objective

Scope Australia wanted to make an iPad app that could be used to make communication boards. The primary purpose would be to create printable resources, but a chat functionality within the app itself would be considered a bonus. Scope had a number of templates that they'd like to include within the app, as well as having options for regularly spaced layouts. Tools2Talk+ needed to include a searchable symbol library, and preferably include iOS voices for an auditory feedback feature. Scope also requested compatibility with iOS switch control.

Project output

Tools2talk+ is an iPad app built with 2 modes: edit and chat. In edit mode a user can build or edit communication boards, using a standard grid layout or taking advantage of a pre-built template. In each individual cell on a board, users can change text (display text and the text spoken in chat mode), font (type, colour and size amongst other options), cell appearance (background colour, border colour, corner roundness and more) and an image (PCS symbol or user generated). Boards are generated as a pdf and can be exported via email or printed using air print. Boards are stored within the app and can be used during chat mode, tapping on a cell results in the cell’s content to be spoken via a preselected iOS voice. One of the biggest concerns that scope mentioned to us is that other grid making apps for tablets can be very time consuming and it was important to the team that editing inside the app should be quick and painless. To that end, we added an automated symbol search which works for single words and phrases, and a feature whereby the selector pushes a user forward to the next cell and forces open the text option. The ability to select and edit the appearance of multiple (or even all cells) on a page makes fixing appearance settings simpler. Cell selection and editing options all appear on one page and changes are shown instantly, to reduce.time consumed by page transitions.

Impact

"Thank goodness the Tools2Talk+ app is back! It’s new, it’s updated and it’s been upgraded.

Tools2Talk+ has maintained its affordable price tag and continues to be a brilliant communication app that now supports both BoardMaker PCS and COMPIC symbol sets. So very few apps provide these universal symbol sets, it’s a definite must-buy for anyone serious about creating accessible communication aids.

Tools2Talk+ is equipped with a robust voice output function and has the in-built flexibility to create any paper-based or mid-range high-tech communication aid that a Speech Pathologist, parent, AAC user or communication accessible company could possibly need. Use the boards straight on the app, or export the board as a .pdf file to print and use in a multitude of ways. The options are endless!"

Georgia Burn

Speech Pathologist