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A Framework for Evaluating VOCA Apps

  • Daniel Cooper

With the emergence of iPads and other mobile devices into the field of AAC, there has been a sudden increase in the number and variety of VOCA programs (or apps) available. This presentation will offer a framework in which to judge the suitability of apps by categorizing an app's features using Light's Communication Competencies for AAC Users.


I used Light's Communication Competencies for AAC Users to determine what makes a VOCA app 'competent'. I selected four of Light's Competencies to use in an app evaluation framework. The different features of VOCA apps fit within these four competencies to provide a summary of the capabilities of the VOCA app. I then applied the framework to evaluate seven keyboard-input VOCA apps for a potential mobile device AAC user.


I found that the framework enabled me to consider the different features of keyboard-input VOCA apps and helped me find the one most suited to meet the needs of my AAC client.


This framework could be helpful for SLTs when trying to decide whether or not to use a mobile device VOCA and to decide which app would be the most appropriate to go with the device.

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