Using Objects as SymbolsBy Dahlquist, Lori; Closing the Gap, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 6-7
Publication Date: October/November 2002
Article describing the Object Communication System, Taction Pads, the LinkSwitch, Pal Pads, and the External Scanning Overlay, all of which use tangible symbols or objects to aid communication for alternative and augmentative communication users. The Object Communication System from Talking My Way contains 30 different real and miniature objects that are attached to heavy laminate cards. Each item is labeled, and the symbol is attached to each card with Velcro. The Object Communication System can be used by educators in general communication, choice-making activities, developing schedules, work basket systems, and for a variety of matching activities. Adding voice output to objects can further enhance the use of objects in communication. Taction Pads are clear adhesive-backed, touch sensitive plastic patches. When connected with a surface or object they can serve as indicators. For example, when attached to a cup, a message such as "drink please" would be activated when someone picks the cup up. Taction Pads can also be used with the LinkSwitch, a switch-latch timer. The LinkSwitch allows the use of Taction Pads on battery-operated devices, such as a tape recorder. For example, a Taction Pad could be placed on the tape recorder and plugged into the LinkSwitch. When someone touches the tape recorder, the music would play. Pal Pads are another product that can be used to add voice output to objects. Objects can be placed on a flat switch, and voice output can be activated by touching the object. Visual and/or audio scanning can be employed with objects that cannot access multiple switches. The External Scanning Overlay allows up to four lights to be placed on objects. When the light on the object illuminates, the switch can be pressed, and the corresponding message will play. These devices can be used to greatly enhance communication.
Assistive Products Discussed: PAL PAD
LINKSWITCH (MODEL DLT-202)
Published by: Closing the Gap, Inc. (Website:http://www.closingthegap.com)