Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices offer persons unable to communicate with their voices another way to communicate. These range from the simple (such as the QuickTalker, Cheap Talk, and Talkable IV) to the highly technical, such as the Accent 1400. Even the simpler devices come in enough varieties to enable the user to progress from one to another as he or she gains proficiency. This week, we discuss one of these devices, the Step-by-Step communicator from AbleNet. As with the Buddy Button, the Step-by-Step comes in little and big versions.
Both the small and large Step-by-Step communicators offer a full two minutes of recording time in clear digital sound. The teacher or caretaker records a message by pressing and releasing a record button on the side and depressing the main button on top. The user can then replay the message by means of the same button or an additional button via the external jack. For those who need a communicator that will allows for the recording of a sequence of messages, AbleNet offers the little and big Step-by-Step with Levels. One need simply to press the button again advance to the next message. (Recording time for each message is 75 seconds). The little Step-by-Step has a 2.5 inch (6.4 cm) switch; that of the big Step-by-Step is 5 inches (12.8 cm). Four activation buttons are included in bright red, yellow, green, and blue. Both communicators come with a mounting jack; other mounting options are available from AbleNet.
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices