Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices are a powerful type of assistive technology. They provide people with a variety of disabilities with the independence to engage in that most fundamental human activities: communication. However, their very complexity makes them difficult to learn, especially among the youngest users. Partner/Plus provides a stepping stone to answer this need. Produced by Advanced Multimedia Devices (AMDi), Partner/Plus is a simplified AAC device designed to adjust to each individual user’s skills, allowing and encouraging him or her to learn at his or her own pace. A single-message AAC device, Partner/Plus grows with the ability and needs of the user by interlocking with other Partner/Plus devices to create a multi-message communication system.
Partner/Plus has an elevated platform to hold a “graphic overlay,” a picture representation of the recorded message. Included in the package is software to produce the icon. One can either use the files provided or create and customize new ones. A Velcro strip holds the laminated picture card in place; changing the card and message, therefore, is simple.
A single-message augmentative communication device that interlocks with other Partner/Plus’s to create a multi-message communicator. Start with a single message communicator and add on as skills are acquired. An elevated platform and slot for objects or picture cards makes the Partner/Plus a great tool for teaching object discrimination. The Partner/Plus system also has mounting holes on bottom for hanging on walls. Messages can be as long as 30 seconds. The voice playback, according to AMDi, is a high-quality audio reproduction. For users with a limited range of physical movement, there is the Partner/Plus Stepper. This device will be covered in this space at a later date.
AMDi reports, “The Partner/Plus is the first entry-level augmentative communicator to offer high quality, reliable performance and many important features for a very low price.” Nevertheless, many people will want to try the Partner/Plus out before committing to a purchase. Users in New Jersey can do so for free through our Technology Lending Center.