The UDL Educational Technology Guide 2019-2020: Technology for Special Education

John F. O'Sullivan

Section 5 Low-End AAC Apps

School systems are top town organization when it comes to purchases. The process of buying something with a purchase order is long and less fun, then you think. Governments are designed to prevent people from stealing money and instilling accountability. This is not helpful when you want to buy something vital for ten dollars. The process of buying something is so annoying that some business refuses to work with governments. The businesses that do work with governments create more problems. If you do not pay your bills in thirty days many businesses with rightly full cut off your credit. Governments always pay up eventually.

This debacle creates the need for free stuff and makes it profitable. In order for a teacher to buy a five-dollar app, they need to say I used the app, and it is totally awesome. So educational technology businesses that shows up to conferences and gives free samples often times create interest. Teachers are cheap partly because of the complicated process called a purchase order and an unwilling to rock the boat. Those of us that lead the field are often diplomatic more than being rebels. If I can try a product and see the benefit, then I can lobby my boss, and they can lobby their boss. That person can go to the business department and ask to pay the bill. 

This creates the need for apps and products that teachers do not mind buying on their own with the hope of trading up for something better. A low-cost app that can make the argument for a higher priced app is an important stepping stone to where you need to go.

iPad Apps

This is a very simple AAC app. It helps students with a basic schedule or common events. 

EESpeech Basic - AAC Communication Notebook
This is an organizational app as well as one for basic communication. 


See Me Talk

A special education teacher made this app by taking feedback from an SLP and parents. The interface is simple and has a basic vocabulary. 


Oxford Picture Dictionary, Second Edition  

Picture dictionaries define words with pictures. This type of dictionary is designed for someone with limited communications skills. It is a great idea that is not used enough. 

Chrome AAC Apps


Picto4me AAC Communication Boards

Google Play Apps Low-End AAC


CommBoards - Communication Assistant – AAC

This app is designed for basic communications for students that have autism. The app gets some very impressive reviews.

AAC Autism myVoiceCommunicator

This is an AAC app. 


Niki Talk

This is an AAC app with a different interface. 



The app allows basic communication.

Aac Talking Tabs

The app has pictures and words to help you communicate.

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