Communication Boards and Communication Books are popular low tech AAC resources; you can now create and customise both of these at ease, with access to a huge range of our Twinkl Symbols.
Boards are single, standalone and can be locked to offer a simple and focused communication opportunity.
A variety of templates and ready made boards are available as a starting point. Save, organise and quickly load these boards via ‘My Boards’ on the main menu.
To create your own communication boards, tap the ‘Create’ button on the main menu, then tap ‘Create Board’. Choose your template and tap ‘Enter text…’ to add text. The symbol will appear automatically or tap on the card to search through the symbols on the app.
Take a look at the video below to learn more.
Communication Books are a popular step between simple, standalone boards and more complex AAC devices which are often not suitable for learners. They can now be made in version 2.1.4 of the app, released in late March 2022.
Communication Books in the Twinkl Symbols for AAC app offer adult and learner users the ability to more seamlessly communicate with an expanded or varied vocabulary. Simply put, a communication book is a collection of communication boards available in a common, familiar and standardised layout - as the app user, you can choose to configure the book in whatever way you like, using all available board layouts and taking advantage of the speech bar.
A variety of templates and ready made books are available as a starting point. Users can save, organise and quickly load these boards via ‘My Books’ on the main menu. This is intentionally similar to how boards are created, managed and used to aid the transition from using boards to using books. Alternatively, tap ‘Create’ on the home page and then tap ‘Create Book’ to choose a template and create your own.
Let's take a closer look at the Communication Book layout.
This is how the Communication Book will look when "unlocked", for example, when configuring, editing and updating the book:
This is how the Communication Book will look when "locked", for example, when in use:
The key areas to be aware of are as follows:
1) The main page symbol content, shown in the middle of the screen.
This will display the active, selected page content (see: 2). As mentioned previously, a page is just a board that you have added to the book. Symbols pressed in this main area are added to the speech bar (and optionally read out loud when pressed if the page is not muted (see: 5f)).
2) The page bar area, the grey strip on the right hand side of the screen showing selectable book pages.
You can choose to add as many or as few pages as you like, adding a label, symbol/image and background colour as you wish. If you add more than 7 pages to a book, the scroll up/down arrows in the page bar area become active and allow you to switch between all the pages added to the book.
3) The orange speech bar / communication strip area, running along the bottom of the screen.
Symbols selected from the page are added sequentially to this bar and can be played (spoken) at any time by pressing the "Speak" button on the left hand side of the speech bar. The bar can be cleared by pressing the clear button on the right hand side of the speech bar, or selecting a symbol on the bar. Once the speech bar is full, symbols can still be added as left and right scroll buttons used to navigate are activated. All symbols added to the speech bar are spoken in order when the "Speak" button is pressed (the speak button changes to "Cancel" whilst speaking, to allow the user to stop the speech whilst it is in progress).
4) The "starter" page on the speech bar (in the images shown, this is called "Sentence Starters" and features a common set of sentence starters).
Once any item is added to the speech bar, this area disappears. The pages added here are intended only to be used as a quick start area. You can add and select any board to be shown in the "starter" area, via manage pages when the book is unlocked. Starter pages are pages in the book, but only appear in the starter area, never in the page area.
5) Navigation, setting and control buttons in the top left of the screen:
5a) Exit > returns to the main menu
5b) Lock (Unlock) > locks and unlocks the board, optionally requiring passing an adult lock check if this setting is enabled (disabled by default, enable adult lock via the app main menu > settings (top right)).
5c) Copy Book > Duplicate this book and save it as a new book (if you want to make multiple similar books)
5d) Edit Page > Edit the page (board) configuration, just the same as editing a board!
5e) Manage Pages > Add, edit and remove pages in the book. Control the symbol, label and tab colour of the page. You can also set a page to be a "starter page" if you edit the page and check the "Is Starter Page" option.
5f) Mute (Unmute) Page > Toggle the setting which determines whether a symbol label will be read out loud when selected from the page and added to the speech bar. Users can choose on a page by page basis whether the page is muted/unmuted.
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*We are constantly improving and adding to our app offerings. Information contained within this article is accurate as of March 2022*