Simple, digitised speech communication aids into which you record your own voice or sounds have proved to be among the most popular classroom technologies. The AbleNet range (BIGmack, LITTLEmack and Step-by-Step) can be used to help include learners in all sorts of activities by giving them a voice. The ease with which they can be programmed with new messages means that anyone can use them.
For many learners, the next step - having direct access to a number of messages - has only been available through using much more complex and expensive communication aids. The BoardMaker; a template disc for this is included with Tech device. Alternatively you can use a simple piece of paper with pictures, sweet wrappers or photographs as well as symbols. The program Picture This... Pro is an ideal source of good clear photographs of over 2800 pictures of everyday objects, places, vehicles etc. It is then a matter of simply pressing a button and touching a square on the overlay to record a new message. This can be your voice, that of another pupil or a sound. Make an overlay of pictures of musical instruments and record their sounds to allow a pupil to decide what to play.