Communication tools include such things as symbol systems, communication boards and wallets, programmable switches, electronic communication devices, speech synthesizers, recorded speech devices, communication enhancement software, and voiced word processing.

Simple, Inexpensive Devices Can Assist in Communication Information Sheet from

Techniques and Devises Can Help a Child Learn to Communicate  Information sheet from

Switch Activities Promote Classroom Inclusion for Young Students Information Sheet from

Above articles are reprinted with permission from PACER Center, Minneapolis, MN, (952) 838-9000. All rights reserved.


7 level Communication Builder with Overlays
This communication builder grows with you. The user can record and play back from one, two, four, eight or 16 different messages per level. There are seven levels for recordings, giving you a total of up to 112 messages. Total record time is 300 seconds.

Adjustable Soft Touch Desk Fan with Adapter
The Adjustable Soft Touch Desk Fan with Adapter is an adaptable fan that can be activated with the touch of a switch.

All Turn It Spinner
Students of all abilities can use the All-Turn-It Spinner to make random selections to play games of chance (like rolling dice or playing Bingo). Includes dice overlay.

Bass Switch
This Big Area Single Switche has a large surface area (6x3.75x.75 inches) with low profile and require 5 to 8 ounces of pressure to activate with a .5-inch travel. The switches are designed for users needing a larger activation area.

BIGmack Communication Aid
BIGmack is a simple and powerful tool for sharing single messages. Great for linking environments like home and school, or from class to class! Ideal for students needing a larger target area because of motor or visual needs.

Big Red Switch
The Big Red Switch features a large, 5-inch activation surface, and is perfect for students who require a larger surface due to visual and motor abilities.

Blue 4 Selection Device  A simple AAC device with four choices.

Cheap Talk 4
An easy to use communication device with recorded speech. The Cheap Talk 4 In Line has four messages buttons arranged in one line, and there are several models with different access methods to choose from.

Cheap Talk 8
An easy to use communication device with recorded speech. The Cheap Talk 8 is a user-friendly teaching tool great for providing communication and cognitive support, as well as enhancing and developing expressive and receptive language.

DynaVox 3100 Communication Device
The DynaVox 3100 is a communication device with direct select touch screen. It has visual and auditory scanning capability as well as single switch and two switch options. It has been discontinued but is an excellent resource for trialing the features of an AAC dynamic display device

Go Talk
A powerful, portable, easy to use and very durable speech output device. Use it as an introductory communication aid and also for curriculum enrichment. The Go Talk has 9 message keys with 4 levels, totalling six minutes recording time. Its light weight (12 oz) and built-in handle make the Go Talk very portable. It is slim enough to fit into a backpack and attractive enough to use everyday, anywhere. Two AA batteries (included) last a long time. Two inch square buttons with built-in keyguard help the user select the right message. Change levels with a press of a button. Overlays are stored inside and slide in and out easily. Adjust the volume by pressing up and down buttons.

Handbook of Adaptive Switches and Augmentative Communication Devices, 3rd Edition
The 300 plus pages contains physical descriptions and laboratory test data for a wide variety of commercially available pressure switches and augmentative communication devices and chapters on physical interaction, seating and positioning, and control access. It is a source book for assistive technology professionals, teachers, and therapists who make decisions concerning physical access.

Hummingbird (Scanning SA-1)
Mid tech AAC device featuring visual and auditory scanning, the Hummingbird has 12-location overlays and 3 levels of messages. It's simple to operate and features an affordable price.

iMate Universal ABD to USB adapter
The iMate USB to ADB adapter is the perfect companion for your USB equipped Mac. It allows you to continue to use your favorite ADB mice, keyboards, trackballs, trackpads, hardware, dongles and other ADB peripherals.

Jelly Bean Switch
A smaller alternative to the Big Red Switch. Meets a wide variety of student needs.

Listen to Me AAC Device
Low cost, portable AAC device. 12 buttons with clear 1" pockets. Each button allows for a 10 second message. 3 volume levels. PCS™ stickers fit in the button pockets. Runs on 3 AA batteries. Includes jack. 90 day warranty.

LITTLE Step-by-Step Communicator
With 75 seconds of recording time, you can record as many messages as you need. Students are empowered with the ability to communicate and participate more naturally. Each touch of the 2.5-inch activation surface plays and advances messages in sequence, or use the message repeat feature to replay one message in the series.

LT Switch
The L.T. switch is the most sensitive, general purpose switch in the Don Johnston range of switches.

Magic Frog
The Magic Frog is an adapted plush toy that can be attached to a switch so a student can make it move with the touch of the switch.

Mercury Tilt (Tip) Switch
This switch is activated by changing the angle of a body part to cause a mercury bead to move to activate the switch. You can wear the switch on an ankle, foot, hand, arm or attach it to a cap or hair clip for head activation. Requires 4 degrees of rotation.

Pal Pad
The Pal Pad is a very thin membrance switch activated by a light touch. A no-skid backing is provided and comes in seven colors. Pal Pads come in three sizes and use a standard 1/8-inch jack.

PECS low tech communication book
This picture-ready PECS communication book comes is made of thick, durable, polyvinyl and come in a variety of colours. We have made the back of the book longer than the front to accommodate the sentence strip. This allows access to the sentence strip no matter which page in the book is in use. This ring binder measures 18.5 x 15.5cm and is perfect for students using the 2.5cm pictures to communicate. It comes with two insert pages and a sentence strip. Pictures are not included.

Playful Penguin Race (Penguin Roller Coaster)
The Penguin Roller Coaster is an adapted toy that can be activated by touching a switch. The penguins climb to the top of their iceberg and “swoosh” down the slide to the bottom.

Pocket Communicator (Various kinds and sizes)
3 1/5" x 4 1/5" book fits nicely in a breast or hip pocket. 144 1" symbols may be displayed. Comes with a grommet. Grids are not included.

PowerLink 3 Control Unit
The PowerLink 3 Control Unit can be used with almost anything electric --- drills, sanders, mixers and more! It's durable, flexible and portable, and meets rigorous safety standards. Your students will b e able to use it at any age and in any setting. Provides you with all the benefits of four Modes of Control.

Rocking Lever Switch (Medium Force)
The Single Rocking Lever Switch with medium force can be activated from either end or the center for scanning. Size 4-3/8 x 2-7/16 x 1-1/16 inches. Weight 3.9 ounces.

The Sequencer can record as many messages as will fit in the 90-second maximum. It allows the user to play back the messages in the same sequence in which they were recorded. The Sequencer works well for reading a story, conducting a class report or participating in a school play, etc. It has 2 message levels for rapid contextual or user changes, it plays pre-recorded message sequences with a touch of the Sequencer's surface or connect an external switch, and it has a total record length of 90 seconds.

Step by Step Communicator
Now, communication can be richer and more meaningful because sequential messages empower the user to communicate more naturally! Help your student sing a song or tell a joke to peers! Record song verses or conversational messages into the Step-by-Step. Seventy-five seconds of memory makes it easy to do! Each activation plays a line of the song or a message.

String Switch
The String Switch is ideal for students who have limited finger and hand mobility, as well as those with minimal strength. All it takes is a slight pull to activate the switch.

Speak Easy
The SpeakEasy voice output communication aid stores up to 12 digitized messages with a total recording time of 4 minutes and 20 seconds.

Single Switch Latch and Timer (SLAT)
Used to add Modes of Control to any switch accessible toy or appliance. Use with any pre-adapted device. Switch Latch and Timers include three modes of control that determine the amount of time the appliance operates once the switch is activated.

TalkTrak Plus with Levels
This portable communication aid, worn on the wrist, empowers users to communicate and participate in classroom projects by activating two levels with four messages on each level.

Tech Scan 8 Plus
The Tech/ScanTM 8 Plus is a light-weight multi-level augmentative and alternative communication device that combines the usage of a standard direct select communication device with the benefit of scanning. It features high quality and durability at a low price.

Tech Speak 32
The Tech/SpeakTM is multi-level augmentative and alternative communication device designed to aid communication through direct selection. Using “Real-Voice” technology, the Tech Series provides speech playback at a high audio quality. The Tech/Speak is user-friendly and easy-to-use, while also being durable and rugged. The Series is light-weight and portable. A shoulder strap is included and all units can be easily mounted.

Zygo Switch Kit
The Zygo Switch Kit contains several different types of switches and may be used to evaluate which switch is best for an individual and his or her specific needs. This kit includes tread, leaf, pneumatic with squeeze ball, thumb, short leaf, lever, and lolly switches. Also included is a buzzer that provides feedback during switch evaluation and assessment. This kit is helpful for those wishing to become familiar with adaptive switches. Check out the entire kit of just an individual switch.

  • Tread Switch
    This sturdy switch is metal with foam rubber surface and base. It requires 5 oz. of force to activate and is 2-3/4" x 3-1/2" x 1" in size. It will withstand severe pounding and general abuse without being damaged. It is suitable for use with almost any voluntary, reliable motor action. It gives the user both auditory and tactile feedback.
  • Leaf Switch
    This is a two-way deflection switch, meaning it can be activated in either direction. It takes 1 oz. of force to activate the sw itch. The leaf is 6-1/2" long, and is encased in a soft, non-abrasive red vinyl sleeve for use in tight access areas (between upper or lower arm and trunk, thighs, knees, under chin, etc.). The switch is normally open and is activated by deflecting the leaf. Not recommended for use where auditory or tactile feedback is required. The base of the switch is a block with a locking screw for mounting.
  • Pneumatic Switch with Squeeze Ball
    The Pneumatic Switch is a dual switch activated by sipping or puffing which allows activation of certain devices. A tube (which can be mounted for convenient access) has a mouthpiece attached through which the user sips or puffs. The change in air pressure is then transferred along the tube to a switching unit which activates one switch for sipping and one for puffing. Breath control rather than respiratory control is necessary. A 19" gooseneck which enables the mouthpiece to be extended is included.
  • Thumb Switch
    This switch is designed to be held in the user's hand and is activated by pressing a small button on the top surface.
  • Short Leaf Switch
    This is a two-way deflection switch, meaning it can be activated in either direction. It takes 4 oz. of force to activate the switch. The leaf is 3-3/4" long, and is encased in a soft, non-abrasive red vinyl sleeve for use in tight access areas (between upper or lower arm and trunk, thighs, knees, under chin, etc.). The switch is normally open and is activated by deflecting the leaf. Not recommended for use where auditory or tactile feedback is required. The base of the switch is a block with a locking screw for mounting.
  • Lever Switch
    This snap-action switch was developed specifically for access by either a lateral or rotating head motion. The user receives both auditory and tactile feedback. It is frequently used in pairs for side-to-side head motion where two separate switch functions are required. The switch housing allows for mounting in various positions. The force to activate the switch is adjustable, between 4-8 oz. Any excess force against the switch is applied directly to its mounting. The foam pad cover and aluminum housing are replaceable. This switch is 9" in length.
  • Lolly Switch
    The Lolly Switch is a snap action switch that is actuated by depressing the touch plate. The force required to actuate the Lolly Switch varies from 3 to 5 oz., depending on the location the user touches on the touch plate. The maximum sensitivity is at the corners of the plate. The switch is made of plastic and is 3-3/4" x 1-1/2" x 1/2" and provides both auditory and tactile feedback to the user. This website specializes in speech/language resources for people with communication disorders. Visitors will find two free demo CDs available – one on spelling, language, and literacy, and the other on handling emotions and learning concepts


We will be looking to add new free and low cost AT alternatives.  If you have a great idea you would like to share, please send it to the following:

AT Committee Site Manager

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