SymbolSpeak Removes Limits from AAC Symbol-It 3.0 App Update
Based on Dual-Symbol Immersion theory (O’Lenick & Trevino, 2020), Symbol-It turns any iOS device into a speech-to-symbol translator by using the leading AAC symbol systems. Never before has there been the ability to translate verbal speech to pictorial symbols at the speed of conversation.
“We have sign language translators that provide a way for the signer to be able to learn sign language naturally in their natural environment,” SymbolSpeak CEO Deann O’Lenick explains, “but to date we haven’t had a way to be able to speak in picture symbols in real time, in complete sentences, in all environments, for all different reasons, by all kinds of different people. We just haven’t had a way to be able to do that. And that’s where Symbol-It comes in.”
After many months of user testing, SymbolSpeak’s development team has provided updated features to better serve the communication partners of AAC symbol speakers, making it easier than ever before to converse with a symbol speaker using their own preferred symbol system. Symbol-It has been made as customizable as possible, ranging from adjustable picture sizes to light and dark mode for the visually sensitive user. Users even have the ability to create personalized symbols by converting photo images into picture symbols and adding them directly into their preferred symbol system.
“Symbol-It was designed to give you a way to speak in picture symbols in real time,” O’Lenick said. “We were designed in order to give you a way to make language visible in real time and with complete sentences. In this way you can speak verbally and in picture symbols simultaneously so that the developing communicator has a chance to see the symbols and hear your language simultaneously in a natural environment and in a natural way.”
Symbol-It is changing the conversation when it comes to AAC by putting Dual-Symbol Immersion directly into the hands of families, friends, and therapists to better communicate with the symbol speakers in their lives.
“This is going to be an essential tool for the development of language through Augmentative and Alternative Communication,” O’Lenick predicts. “The goal is to be able to symbol everything that you’re saying throughout the day and throughout all contexts.”
About SymbolSpeak: SymbolSpeak was founded by Deann O’Lenick, PHD, CCC/SLP, MBA and senior engineer Will Taylor in 2019. With over 30 years of experience as a speech language pathologist, O’Lenick was part of the research study which developed the theory of Dual-Symbol Immersion (O’Lenick and Treveno, 2020) and continues to educate therapists through continuing education while providing regular sessions with patients.