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Using Tablet Devices to Support Adults with Communication Difficulties

Practice Report
  • Helen Whittle (Manchester Metropolitan University)
  • Claire Hamshire (Manchester Metropolitan University)
  • Julie Lachovic (Manchester Metropolitan University)
  • Hannah Palin (Manchester Metropolitan University)

We aim to inform the audience about the ITEC (Intelligent Technologies to Empower Communication) project at Manchester Metropolitan University. This innovative project has involved many children and adults with a range of communication impairments in assessing and evaluating a range of apps on tablet based devices. This presentation will focus on the adult strand of this research project.


All project participants have had an opportunity to trial the apps and tablet devices. All the project resources produced as a result of this feedback are therefore very much based in the real experience of those participants.


The project resulted in the production of a number of resources. These will be outlined during the presentation and include: assessment framework for tablet managment with the identified groups; guidance on how to evaluate tablet based apps appropriately and select those that can be used to meet specific needs; an app evaluation tool and best practice model; guide on accessibility for tablet devices; a series of individual case studies involving tablet devices; and a project website with guidance on tablet usage and a directory of apps for use with children and adults.


The outcome of the project will be more standardised practice relating to the use of tablets and apps leading to a common understanding and consistent assessment and treatment of those with communication Impairments.


  • Department of Health (2014) Embedding informatics in clinical education (eICE) [online] available at: (accessed 17 June 2014)
  • Health Education England (2014) Framework 15, Health Education England Strategic Framework 2014-2029
Level of Session 
Age Group 
Further/Higher Ed.