Introduction: Augmentative and Alternative Communication App
We will be using AppInventor to create this app. Follow this link to create an account of your own: http://appinventor.mit.edu/explore/ This is an app that allows for those who are unable to speak still communicate basic phrases. There are three folders, one called, I want, which will allow the user to identify what they want, inside I want is a food folder which lists many popular foods the user may want, and the last is I am, which allows user to identify how he or she is feeling.
Attached is the file to the original app.
Step 1: Choose Words and Phrases
It is important to have an idea of which words and phrases you want to use before starting. In order to stay organized, you can write out a list of everything you are using and you can check it off as you go so you do not forget anything.
Step 2: Create Your Opening Screen
Your first screen should have buttons labeled with basic phrases and statements such as "I am" and "I want" that will lead into other folders. In order to make the screen visually appealing, it is helpful to arrange the buttons in a table. The last key piece of the screen is to add the "Text to speech" component that will be used in the next step.
Step 3: Create the Blocks
The app will only doing things if you arrange the blocks to tell it to. To start, click on one of the buttons from the left side bar. When the options come up, use drag the first one that says "When [whichever button you chose] .click do" onto the screen. The next component to use is the text to speech component "call texttospeech1. speak message". This will go inside the "when .click do" button. The next step is to use the first block in the "text" category and attach it to the text to speech button. Here is where you enter the words that you want the app to say when the button is pressed. Repeat this step for all of the buttons that will say a phrase when clicked.
Step 4: Creating Folders/new Screens
If you want to make a button that will lead to a new list of buttons, like the picture when you press "I am", it leads to the feelings screen where you can click the emotion you are feeling, then follow this step. First, you need to add a new screen by pressing the "Add Screen" button on the top crossbar. It is important to label the new screen something relevant to what will be going on the screen so it is easier for you later. Once this is set up, click on the button from the left-hand side that you want to use to go to the next screen, and drag the "when .click do" button onto the viewer screen. Next, you click on control from the left-hand side and drag out the "open another screen screenName" button and connect it to the "when .click do" button. You will then open the text section and grab the first blank " " text button and connect it to the open screen button. Lastly, you will have to write the name of the screen that you want opened. Repeat this for all of the additional screens you would like to have.
Step 5: Going Between Screens
Because you don't want your user to be stuck on a screen, it is important to add a "back" button in addition to the buttons you are using to communicate. The "back" button will be assembled using the same steps from the last step, but you have to tell it to go back to "Screen1".
Step 6: Finish Adding All the Buttons
Add any buttons you feel are appropriate for your app, following all the previous steps. Thanks for following along!