TouchChat is a full-featured communication solution for individuals who have difficulty using their natural voice. TouchChat is designed for individuals with Autism, Down Syndrome, ALS, apraxia, stroke, or other conditions that affect a person's ability to use natural speech.
This version of TouchChat is bundled with the WordPower series of AAC vocabularies designed by Nancy Inman. WordPower is a word-based vocabulary that allows for easy and intuitive communication. WordPower with Phrases incorporates phrases for easier language generation.
TouchChat 2.0 provides both English and Spanish options in one app and provides a universal app supporting iPhone®, iPod touch® and iPad®. 2.0 includes a new English WordPower 108 file and the first Spanish WordPower option with 48 locations.
TouchChat fits into the category of assistive technology known as Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and includes features that were previously only available in much more expensive dedicated devices. Words, phrases and messages are spoken with a built-in voice synthesizer or by playing recorded message. Various English and Spanish synthesized voices are available, allowing the user to choose a voice that fits their own personality. TouchChat also has a unique feature whereby one can simply tilt the device to make the message expand to fill the screen in large letters. This feature allows a person to communicate silently or in a noisy environment. TouchChat gives an individual the ability to navigate through page sets and speak messages. Page sets are linked pages, each of which is divided into a number of buttons. The buttons are programmed to have specific actions. For example, buttons may be programmed to speak a message, navigate to a different page, change the volume or clear the display. Various page sets are included with the TouchChat: VocabPC, MultiChat-15, and Spelling and available in both English and Spanish options, myQuickChat’s are available in English while Sintaxis and Sin Sintaxis files are available in Spanish. Each page set targets individuals with different communication needs. Additional English page sets including Essence, Gateway and Pixon are available as in-app purchases.
Text generated with TouchChat pages can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Google + or via iMessage and email. Generate a message, push on the text window and choose a service.
Text from other applications can be copied to TouchChat so that it can be spoken out loud. Also, text generated in TouchChat can be copied to other applications.
The pages, grid layout, buttons, messages, and symbols are fully customizable. Buttons can be easily rearranged by simply dragging them to the desired new location. Buttons can be copied and pasted into a different location. The styling of a button (colors, borders, fonts) can be copied and pasted into another button.
Provided page sets can be modified to create new custom page sets. Select from over 30 button actions when creating new buttons. Over 10,000 Symbolstix symbols are included for customizing buttons. Use any image or take a photo with the built-in camera. Gestures can also be used to navigate to new pages, speak messages, etc.
Button activation timing can be adjusted to meet the needs and capabilities of the user. Adjustments include button dwell time and button release time. Also buttons can be configured to activate on release.
Users can program buttons to play audio files such as music from the media library or video files from the Photo Roll.
Great measures have been taken to protect custom files. Vocabulary files can be imported and exported to a computer using the iTunes file sharing feature. TouchChat also enables users to subscribe to iShare and store custom files for safe keeping, or choose to share customized pages with an online community.
iPhone, iPod touch and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
- New button action to launch popular apps on your device
- Miscellaneous vocabulary updates
- Minor bug fixes and improvements
Ratings and Reviews
Great app for AAC communication
TouchChatHD is the first app I try with my nonverbal or limited verbal special education students. It’s very intuitive and helps reduce frustration by assisting navigation for new users. For example, if a person presses the eat button, it automatically (without extra programming) jumps to the food home page to select the food. It has lots of levels for all types of AAC users.
My only complaints would be:
1)The vocabulary layout is not consistent across levels so that if a user is ready to progress to a level with more robust vocabulary and buttons, the layout of main buttons changes drastically, which makes the user relearn basic motor patterns. For example the “home” button may move from the bottom corner to the top corner or the “clear button moves from the lower bottom corner to the opposite top corner.
2) The app saves an image of the logo to the device’s camera roll every day the app is used. This is a minor annoyance, but I have never seen another app do this and it gets old deleting the logo every day.
Needs more skin tones, back button issues
We have been using this for about 2 years with our son, who is non verbal. It is way better then the PECS system we were using, because he was constantly chewing those up or throwing them away. I also like how customizable it is, I have been able to build in screen shots for all of his tv shows and episodes using the camera. However, I do think it would be a marvelous thing if this app included a more diverse range of skin tone colors on their representations of faces, body parts, etc. All of the generic forms not specific to a known celebrity are apricot colored. My son has beautiful brown skin. Non verbal children are a diverse group, and I think stick figure renderings don't take up much storage space, and can easily be colored in with more then one shade. I think children tend to feel marginalized when they do not see images that reflect them, and special needs kiddos are already a group at risk for feeling and being marginalized. It is also pretty frustrating that if your kiddo accidentally touches the "back" bar, it repeats every single thing requested since it was last cleared. It can really disrupt and disorient a kiddo with sensory issues. And for my son, who struggles with fine motor, he accidentally bumps it a fair bit. His aim is not always as precise as he would like, but it is getting better all the time... Just not enough to save us from back bar issues. Otherwise we LOVE how this app has improved his quality of life and his ability to tell us what he wants and to feel heard. And despite the monochrome skin tone, there is a decent range of object drawings, etc.
Great gone wrong
I was thrilled when I found this app in its original version. I work with many students with a wide variety of disabilities and the ease of use of this app was very appealing. Because it is such an intuitive software, I recommended it to a number of families. I have been very disappointed in the current version. It freezes or crashes frequently and often does not respond to touch. The improvements in vocabulary and editability are promising but I'm having a hard time testing them out. I hope these problems can be worked out, or, can I return to the original version?
- Saltillo Corporation
- 1.3 GB
- Requires iOS 8.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
- English, Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish
- Age Rating
- Rated 4+
- © 2018 Silver Kite
- In-App Purchases
- US Child Voice - Josh $11.99
- US Child Voice - Ella $11.99
- iShare Individual 1-Year 2GB Subscription $119.99
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.