Devices Offering Great Solutions (DOGS)

AAC – Speech Generating Devices


Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) devices are tools that help people who have trouble speaking to express their thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas.


About AAC – Speech Generating Devices 


Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) refers to different ways people can communicate when they have difficulty speaking or understanding spoken language. It includes methods like using gestures, sign language, communication boards, or special devices called AAC devices. AAC helps individuals who have conditions like autism, speech disorders, or physical limitations to express themselves and understand others. It provides alternative methods to spoken words, augmenting or adding to their communication abilities. AAC can be personalized to fit each person’s unique needs and helps them participate in conversations, share their thoughts, and be understood by others.

A speech-generating device is a special tool that helps people who have difficulty speaking. The person uses buttons, a keyboard, or sometimes even their eyes to pick words or symbols on the device. Once they choose what they want to say, the device turns these choices into spoken words. It’s like having a computer talk for you, making it easier for others to understand what you want to say!

Some devices are “dedicated” – meaning that they cannot be used for any other purpose than AAC. However, common tablets such as iPads or computers can sometimes have the same software as a dedicated device. This is often a much more affordable option.

Most robust AAC devices share some common features. They use synthesized speech. They can be customized. Some use symbols to support communication and others use writing (text to speech). Most are folder-based. They include folders for a variety of things, like food, entertainment, hygiene, and sports.


Related Apps


Here is a list of some of the apps available for augmentative and alternative communication. This list does not include every app on the market.


  • Dialog AAC – Apple
  • Jabberwocky AAC – Apple
  • Predictable – Apple
  • Proloquo4Text – Apple, including Macs
  • Talk for Me – Apple and Android


  • Avaz – Apple and Android
  • CoughDrop AAC – Cross Platform
  • Go Talk Now – Apple
  • Grid for iPad – Apple (Grid 3 software exists for Windows devices)
  • LAMP Words For Life – Apple
  • Proloquo2Go – Apple, including Macs
  • Speak for Yourself! – Apple
  • TouchChat HD with WordPower – Apple

How can I find out what’s new?

Technology changes all the time. To find out about the latest options for these, you can type keywords into a search engine such as Google, Safari, Firefox, or Bing on a computer or tablet. These are the keywords for this type of item:


  • AAC apps
  • nonverbal communication apps
  • AAC for iPad
  • speech generating device
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication


How do I find out more?

If you live in the US outside of Pennsylvania, you can find your state’s AT program.

If you live in Pennsylvania:

  • you could contact TechOWL to work with a specialist. We can meet with you and sometimes demonstrate this equipment. We can also help with different ways to get one for your own.
  • you might borrow this equipment to try out.

Are these in Pennsylvania’s AT Lending Library?