Monday, October 21, 2019

What can a V8 engine do for you?

What's under the hood
Hey Tek-ninjas, so I am still excited about the new i13 and i16 from Tobii Dynavox.

One of the aspects I'm excited about is the increase of power under the hood. The older models have what is needed for communication. They are capable of doing what is necessary.

That being said, a car with an eight cylinder engine is so much more fun to drive then a car with a four cylinder engine.

The i13 and the i16 are indeed faster, lighter, more powerful, and incidentally the volume output is also significantly upgraded. I included the specs in the graphic above for those of you who understand what all of that means... for the rest of us, I included a video which very simply displays how robust these new AAC systems are.

Happy Therapy!

Introducing the i13 and the i16: faster, lighter, better!

Hey Tek-ninjas! So Tobii Dynavox is introducing the I-13 and I-16, the next generation speech generating devices with a new, faster, more accurate, and precise eye tracker. These devices will replace the i12+ and the i15+.  

According to Tobii Dynavox, the new I-Series devices feature:” The lightest, fastest, and most durable integrated eye gaze device design” - the Tobii IS5. I can report first hand that even though the IS4 was the best on the market, the IS5 is significantly better. The Tobii IS5 cannot be found on any other AAC device. 

In addition the new devices feature “Partner Window” for conversation flow. Partner Window is a text display on the back of the devices designed to allow caregivers, support peeps, and friends the ability to read-along with AAC users as they write AND STILL MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT!! No more looking over someone’s shoulder to communicate (#sorude).

Finally of note, under the hood, the computer power is significantly upgraded. For now I’ll note that it boasts a powerful Intel Core i5 processor - more specs to come.

Tobii Dynavox is also releasing significant updates to Snap Core First, including minor rebranding (dropping the + in the name), a text pageset, and a Copy button allowing users to make their own messages.

There are also some very important upgrades to Communicator 5 including a Chrome pageset, and Android phone mirroring to note a few.

Finally, I’ve been blown away by the profoundly easy to use, yet super robust software called Computer Control, which allows full Windows control with eye gaze. It is unlike anything I’ve seen before... I’ll blog in depth on this in a later post.

Mosey over to for more information.


Sunday, October 20, 2019

‘Sup fam?

 Hey Tek-ninjas! 

Y’all probably know this, but Boardmaker has several slang symbols available. They are fun, and also important. 

Young people using AAC devices like to sound like their peers. All kids want to fit in. But it turns out, offering current slang is easier said then done. I thought it would be fun to make a few slang symbols of my own... but at 52 years old, the only thing “hip” about me is my aching hip. So I went to my Cool-Consultants, my 18 and 22 year old sons. Both of whom would ridicule me for saying “Cool-Consultants”. 

Anyway... my sons gave me some phrases, and imitating the Boardmaker style I decided to get to it.  

So, for your communication pleasure please consider using “I’m dead” and “the GOAT”. 

Also checkout “and I oop-“, “gaslighting “, and “Fam”. 

Incidentally, I will not be defining these terms here. If you don’t know what they mean, go find a teenager or early 20-something, and ask them!

Thursday, October 17, 2019


Hey Tek-Ninjas! So, today I spent the day in training with roughly 140 Solutions Consultants and other key folks from Tobii Dynavox from all of the United States. We spent the day learning about what is coming on 10-21-19.

There may have been a dance-off... and if there was, I won. There was definitely not a single employee who was not completely wowed! Not by my dancing... but by Monday.

I’m sorry to be coy... but if you are at all interested in AAC, TUNE IN ON Monday. You will NOT be disappointed.

GDTBTDR!  (GoodDayToBeATobiiDynavoxRep)

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

"Unlock your possibilities" 10-21-19

Hey Tek- ninjas!

Have you been to the Tobii Dynavox website recently?  The homepage suggests there are some big things brewing in the AAC world.

Oh my goodness!


Friday, October 11, 2019

AAC Resources

Hey Tek-ninjas! I know in past blogs I have talked about the various and many resources available for AAC screenings and interventions, but recently I offered a webinar to a group of school-based professionals that I thought I would share here as well.

These tools could be useful for anyone working with individuals utilizing AAC systems. Regardless of what software or product you’re working with, if you are addressing core language you will find useful tools here.  Ultimately, in order to access these resources you will need to have a free account at, and a free professional account. In this blog article here I share with you how to make that professional account.

I hope you enjoy the webinar, and feel free to email or comment with questions.

Happy therapy!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Discounts and continued growth...

Hey Tek-Ninja’s! So here’s some exciting news... In honor of AAC Awareness Month, Tobii-Dynavox is going to be offering 15% off Snap + Core First and Communicator 5.  Considering that Snap + Core First is already $200 to $250 less expensive than any of the other comparable AAC offerings in the App Store, this is pretty cool.

This will be an ONLINE ONLY sale and will run from October 7 through October 31st.

Customers can purchase through the iTunes store, the Windows
store,, or (for Communicator).

Tobii Dynavox has always been committed to growing and improving their software offerings. This is evident in the steady addition of languages and data tracking tools for Snap + Core First over the last year and a half. Similarly, they've recently added a lot of new features to Communicator 5 like:

  • New Windows Access page sets: Windows Mouse Horizontal and Windows Mouse Vertical
  • Phrase prediction update that includes all phrases that contain the text in the message window, not only phrases that start with it
  • Windows Access now available for eye tracking users with Switch activation method

Look for a deeper examination of these new features in coming blogs.

Happy Therapy!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

AAC...the more you know...

Hey Tek-ninjas! Let's talk about learning opportunities to support your AAC users.

One of the biggest barriers often talked about from individuals implementing AAC is that they are unsure where to start. Tobii Dynavox's Pathways for Core First is a free companion app that is ideal for any communication partner seeking expert guidance and best practices to get started using symbol-based AAC. The company made this software to support folks using Snap + Core First, but the reality is, there are some really tremendous tools here that can support ALL AAC users who are using a Core approach. Pathways provides videos, lesson plans, interactive goals and a suite of printable materials to help you each step of the way. Download the free app or use Pathways Online (available in English, German, Spanish, or Dutch) to help you get started or take you to the next level.

Back in July I blogged about the new Learning Hub from Tobii Dynavox. Well. They've got some updates for September! These are free Tobii Dynavox on-demand trainings that enable learners to also earn ASHA CEUs.

The new courses include:
Make it for Math in Boardmaker Online - Starts 9/13/19
Sharing Activities in Boardmaker Online - Starts 9/13/19
Boardmaker Picture Symbols: When & How to Use Them - Starts 9/15/19
Journey into Eye Gaze for Communication - Starts 9/30/19

Register for Courses

In addition, you can attend Live Webinars in September.

9/10/19 - 10:30 AM ET: Back to School with Snap Core First - Topics/Customization

9/10/19 - 5:30 PM ET: Boardmaker Ask Us Anything

9/11/19 - 12 PM ET: AAC Ask Us Anything

9/18/19 - 12 PM ET: Back to School with Snap Core First - Positive Behavior Supports

9/18/19 - 12 PM ET: AAC Ask Us Anything

9/18/19 - 4:00 PM ET: Introduction to Reading Avenue

9/24/19 - 5:30 PM ET: Boardmaker Ask Us Anything

9/25/19 - 12 PM ET: AAC Ask Us Anything

So... let's get to learning friends!

Thursday, August 22, 2019


Hey Tek-ninjas! Summer is winding down, even though it was 100 degrees yesterday. As we get ready for school all over the US, I thought I’d share this quote from SLP Jane Korston. Many of you have likely seen it, but I feel it’s a good reminder of the importance of modeling, modeling, and more modeling.

“The average 18-month-old child has been exposed to 4,380 hours of oral language at the rate of 8 hours/day from birth. A child who has a communication system and receives speech/language therapy two times per week for 20-30 minute sessions will reach this same amount of language exposure in 84 years.”

We’ve got a lot of work to do!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

More learning opportunities with Tobii Dynavox

Hey Tek-ninjas! Here are a number of terrific learning opportunities, which also include ASHA CEU's. I blogged about the Tobii Dynavox Learning Hub awhile back. Well, here are a variety of free Tobii Dynavox on-demand trainings that enable learners to also earn ASHA CEUs.

The current courses include:

Tobii Dynavox will be adding new courses regularly so keep checking back. 

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Bank that Voice Friends!

Hey Tek-Ninjas! So, recently I had the chance to show some colleagues how well Message Banking works. It is really a pretty amazing tool for folks who are wanting to capture their voice, or that of a loved one and use that voice in their speech generating device.

I was aware that banked messages can than be downloaded and installed into Communicator 5 software, and grouped into categories. What I did not know was that users can also import their banked messages with categories into Grid 3 as well. This was brought to my attention by Chicago Tobii-Dynavox Solutions Consultant, McKenzie Mok.

Boston's Children Hospital (BCH) teamed up with Tobii Dynavox to create this free tool. For clarification, BCH defines "Message Banking as: Digitally recording and storing words, phrases, sentences, personally meaningful sounds using one’s natural voice, inflection and intonation. These messages are catalogued as .wav files and may then be linked to messages in a variety of augmentative communication technologies or sound storage files. This will allow you to ‘retrieve’ a message and speak it in your own voice but does not allow you to create novel messages by spelling."

Message Banking can be performed with a free mytobiidynavox account, the Message Banking service is also free.

It is easy to record your voice, and categorize the phrases as you deem appropriate. I did not make this video, it was made by the SLP John Costello of BCH, and I think it demonstrates the process really well.
 So the next steps are to upload the web files into your communication software. In the following video I demonstrate how to do this in both Communicator 5 and Grid 3. 

Happy Therapy!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Overview of the Learning Hub: Webinar

Hey Tek-ninjas! Just the other day I posted about the new Tobii-Dynavox Learning Hub.

Want to learn more?

Join Tobii-Dynavox for an hour to learn about the Learning Hub, and the variety of on-demand online trainings that span a variety of AAC and Boardmaker topics you won’t want to miss!

Date & Time: Thursday, July 25, 2019 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM ET

Presenter: Lisa M. Geary, M.S., CCC-SLP

Lisa Geary, M.S., CCC-SLP has over 25 years’ experience in speech-language pathology, teaching, and supervision. She previously served as Clinical Assistant Professor in a university setting as well as SLP in the public school, private practice, and outpatient rehabilitation settings. Lisa is a member of the Tobii Dynavox Learning Services Team, providing implementation workshops for professionals and customers.

I have worked with Lisa, and can tell you this will be good!


In order to be able to support you Tobii-Dynavox will process your personal data according to their Privacy Policy.

Happy therapy!

Monday, July 22, 2019

Free AAC Trainings!

Hey Tek-ninjas! Today I want to tell you about a new offering from Tobii Dynavox. Recently the Learning Team rolled out a new online platform called the The Learning Hub

The Learning Hub hosts a variety of on-demand trainings, which Tobii Dynavox provides for free. You Speech Therapists out there can even get ASHA CEUs. 

But do not be deterred if you are not a Speech Therapist! If you are interested in learning AAC, you are welcome to make a free account and participate! I encourage parents, educators, and all other therapists to check it out.

The Learning Hub can be used on any Windows-based or iOS-based computers, laptops, and tablets, but according to the website, the best browser to use is Google Chrome. 

Did I mention it's free? 

Happy Therapy!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Shared Pageset for Circle Time

Hey Tek-ninjas! Before I even start on this post, let me reiterate, I'm trained as an Occupational Therapist, and an Assistive Technology Professional. I'm not a Speech Therapist. So all my speechy friends, if you have thoughts, or variations on how you might do this, please share with us!

Alright, disclaimer out of the way.... One of my favorite times to integrate AAC for our developmentally younger students is in Circle Time. Circle Time is one of those occurrences that seems consistent across schools, and happens every day.

I want to share with you a Snap + Core First Pageset which I created. Anyone is able to download it and run it on their version of the software. I would hope if you download it, you will edit and and fully customize it for your student.

If you are appealed by this pageset, and you want it for yourself, go to If you don't have an account, make one (it's free). Once you've logged in, you can navigate to Pageset Central, where hundreds of clinicians, and care-givers have shared pagesets that they've made. You can find my Circle Time pageset here. Be sure to click "Add to My Stuff" in Pageset Central. That then adds the pageset to your mytobiidynavox account, and allows you to download it to your software.

Happy Circle Time!

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Role of the Related Service Provider in the IEP: Again

Hey Tek-ninjas! I shared this older post on my Facebook page recently, and heard back that it was really helpful for a lot of my friends, so I thought I’d repost it here. The post was written by my ‘then-colleague”, Ashley Robinson

I have a question for all the school based related service providers and assistive technology professionals:  Have you ever struggled to explain your role in a student's education to a parent or teacher? As a speech-language pathologist at a middle and high school, I see many students who have received speech-language as a related service since preschool. In many cases I wonder if the role of the related service professional has been explained to the team. So, I came up with my own explanation. 

Figure 1
A student who qualifies for special education services cannot access the curriculum (in most cases the Common Core). (Fig. 1)

The IEP is the bridge to the curriculum. It should address the skills that the student needs so that he can follow the Common Core. For example, there is a sixth grade boy who struggles with written expression.  Instead of writing a goal that states “Boy will write on grade level,” think about what is keeping this student from writing on grade level. Perhaps this student is not using complex sentences or is using ambiguous pronoun references. 

Figure 2
The IEP team will work together to review data on a child and determine the needs of a particular student. In this case (Fig. 2), the student does NOT require any related service support, so the special education teacher is the one building the bridge. Another possibility is that the team may find that a speech-language impairment is the primary disability holding the child back, and the SLP will be in charge of building that bridge. In either case, additional related service support is not needed.

In my experience though, most students have a disability (think ADHD or specific learning disability) and language disorders (or sensory issues, or assistive tech issues....) are a part of that disability and require related service support to access the IEP.  (Fig. 3) The bridge cannot be built straight across - there needs to be a ramp.

Figure 3
This is how our lead SLP explained it to us, “If you take away the student's primary disability (e.g., ADHD), would they still have a language disorder?” This is a clinical judgement question for each student; however, I've found the answer to be “probably not.” Thus, speech-language is a related service. 

Because I'm an SLP, I am going to use speech-language services as my example; however, this analogy applies to OT, PT, and Assistive Technology (at least with the model we work under in my school system). 

Once the team determines that speech-language services are needed to address a goal (stay tuned for a future post on this), then the question is – what is the role of the SLP as a related service support provider? Here's what I think:

Figure 4
Related service is the RAMP to get on the bridge (i.e., the IEP). (Fig 4). What language skills does the student require to even get on the bridge? Again, goals or objectives should be developed to address a student's language needs that are impeding him from accessing the IEP (e.g., explicit instruction in pronoun use or sentence construction). Once the student has mastered these skills, and is on the bridge, then the special education teacher is the one to continue moving forward to build the bridge.  Speech-language services are no longer necessary. 

Goals should address the needs of the student, and with each year the student will (hopefully) close the gap until he is working on the curriculum (YAY!!!). Some students will never have a bridge that stretches all of the way across; however, it is important that goals are systematic and are bringing that student as far as possible each year. 

I'm curious to know what you think. How do you see the role of the related service professional in the school? Feel free to contact me with your thoughts and questions!

Ashley Robinson – MS CCC-SLP and AT professional

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

iPad finally has a Mouse!

Hey Tek-ninjas! Did you know Apple has finally introduced a “mouse” interface for the iPad?! It’s not without at least one pitfall, and the curser is a circle, but for your users who would benefit from a mouse interface, it’s worth a look. 

First, (and this is the pitfall imo) you will need to download the beta version of iOS 13. You can find out more here ( Before you install the software, you should backup your device. This way, if you change your mind, and want to revert back to your older iOS, you can restore your profile.

Once you install the software you will be able to setup a mouse. Start by opening Settings>Accessibility>Touch>Assistive Touch; Toggle On>Pointing Devices>Bluetooth Devices - pair mouse, >Magic Mouse. The video above shows this process step-by-step. I added a right-click function to movie between apps. You may opt to use a different function, as offered in the menu.

Happy Therapy!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Wanna Deliver Voices?

Hey Tek-Ninjas! If you are a regular reader, you know that a little over a year and a half ago, I took the big jump from 18+ years in the public school setting to work for Tobii Dynavox. It was just the move I was looking for. In my short time here, I've had to grow professionally, but still get to use my hard earned skills.

Maybe you too are looking for a new opportunity? If so, Tobii Dynavox is hiring a couple of positions both nationally and internationally. The position I'd most like to see filled now is that of Solutions Consultant for the western portion of Virginia. We'd be on the same team!

I have found this to be deeply satisfying work. In this position, you get to directly impact the lives of people of all ages. You get to work directly with clients, giving them a voice. In addition, you will get to work with professionals, to build their skills so they can make an even bigger impact for their clients than they already do. Also, working with cutting edge technology is just plain fun.

If your curiosity is piqued, you should check it out. I did, mostly on a whim, and I will always be grateful I took the leap. If you have questions, contact my excellent colleague Jasmine Galindo.


Friday, June 7, 2019

The “Random Stuff”

Hey Tek-Ninjas! Today I am breaking a cardinal rule of blogging by posting more than once in a day. But I’m excited. This evening I went for a run with elite running coach Chris Bennett, and Headspace cofounder and Tibetan Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe. I’ll expound in a bit.

You may have noticed the blurb under my title says that I write about “the intersections of assistive technology, occupational therapy, AAC, education, and other random stuff“. This article is going to be about the “random” stuff.

I am a long time runner. Never the fastest, never the slowest, kind of a “middle of the pack” guy. Before I started this job I ran marathons and trained a decent amount of hours each week. This is no longer tenable with my work schedule. So in an effort to stay healthy and fit I am now trying to run faster but shorter distances. I want to tell you about a great piece of technology that is helping make this possible.

I have been a long time fan of the app made by Nike called “Nike Run Club” or NRC for short. NRC is free. You can install it on your iPhone, but I prefer to use it on my Apple Watch, and leave my phone in the car. If you are an android user, you’re in luck because there is a version for your phone.

NRC allows you to pick training programs based on your age, your weight, and you’re running fitness: like...even if you’re running fitness level is “sitting on a couch and eating potato chips“. As you use the app over the course of a few weeks it will adjust itself based on your progress. My youngest and I used the app to prepare for the Uwharrie 20 when he was 15.

But what I have really been enjoying of late is the pre-installed guided runs. On Tuesday I ran the “Hill, Hillier, Hilliest” run with coach and ultra-distance runner Sally McCrae. She had me engage in a 27 minute program incorporating a warm-up, a series of intervals, and a cool-down. It was hard, but it was super fun.

Today I engaged in a 45 minute run with meditation on mindfulness. Yep, that
was when I ran with Chris Bennett and Andy Petticombe. Okay, so they weren’t “with” me... but do you know what that kind of training would cost in person?! And I’m soooo not fast enough to really run with those two!

I started focusing on speed a little over a month ago using the Nike Run Club app and I already feel like I’m a bit faster. But regardless of where you are as a runner: non-runner or expert, I think the Nike Run Club app can help you choose and then achieve goals, which can ultimately help you become healthier and perhaps even happier in life.


Get your learning on in western NC!

Hey Tek-Ninjas! Here in NC, school is out for summer, or soon to be. None-the-less, you can still get after some education.

Let me recommend combining some learning this August with a trip to downtown Charlotte, the mountain village of Sylva, or mix up mountain and city life in Asheville!

My colleague Lauren Zubow is coordinating some tremendous learning opportunities with Patrick Brune.

Patrick Brune is a Speech Language Pathologist and has provided assessment, therapy, and consultation services for children and adults with severe speech and language disabilities for over 25 years. He worked as a clinical supervisor for Queens College, in New York, and as a related service provider for the NYC Department of Education. Patrick is a member of the Tobii Dynavox Learning Services team, providing implementation support and workshops. This fellow knows what he's talking about, and he is a dynamic presenter.

West Asheville Public Library: August 20, 2019
Communicating with Core Vocabulary in Snap + Core First - 9:30 am – 12:15 pm
Tips and Tricks with Snap + Core First  - 1:30 pm - 4:15 pm

Sylva North Carolina Assistive Technology Program: August 21, 2019
Charlotte North Carolina Assistive Technology Program August 22, 2019 
Tips and Tricks with Snap + Core First  - 1:30 pm - 4:15 pm  

These dynamic trainings will offer ASHA CEU's. The trainings are free, but they will most definitely fill up quickly! Follow the links to get registered. 

If you have questions, contact Lauren

Happy therapy!

Friday, May 17, 2019

WATI: AT Teams check it out!

Hey Tek-ninjas! Back in 2012 I shared a post about WATI (Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative. If you don’t recall, or know what WATI is, their mission was/is to assist early intervention agencies, school districts, and their partners to provide assistive technology by making training and technical assistance available through the development of materials related to the provision of assistive technology tools, and services.You can read that post here.

WATI has had a number of changes since I wrote my original post. In 2009 they lost funding, and were shut down. Since then, they rebooted and are now run by a volunteer group of former WATI Consultants.

The new WATI site imo is better than before, and any school district in the process of developing or improving their Assistive Technology team would do well to spend some time exploring the offerings.

Again, all hail WATI!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

30 years as the industry standard!

Hey Tek-ninjas! Do you work in Special Education? How long have you been around? (You don’t have to answer that)

Are you "I remember when we made Xerox copies from our Boardmaker Book and cut & paste (literally) to make picture schedules" old?

If you are, you are as old (or maybe older) then me!

Well, 2019 marks the 30th Anniversary of Boardmaker! That's 30 years of being the "industry standard" in education. There a several different ways a subscriber can access Boardmaker tools to increase your efficacy as an educator/therapist. Including robust free tools that I blogged about last December.

It has been a long time since Boardmaker was "just" a picture symbol generator. Boardmaker Online provides a multi-level approach to creating engaging print and interactive materials for your special education needs. Start with convenient, ready-made print activities or just imagine, make, print and use. Extend learning by adapting curriculum to the unique needs of your learner with easy-to-use enhanced features. Then, increase student engagement by making your favorite print activities interactive on smart boards, computers, tablets and communication devices.

Take a look at all the different offerings and price structures here.

Happy therapy!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Users, Pagesets, Pages, and Tigers, oh my!

Hey Tek-ninjas! I’ve blogged a lot about Tobii-Dynavox’s Snap + Core First, and today I want to dig a little further into the many save/export/backup options. The many options can be a little confusing, so hopefully this will shed some light on the various processes.

Snap + Core First offers several convenient ways to share and save your clients Communication tool. I like to think of it as *nesting-levels of content .

  • Pages; an individual Page can be saved, or shared with anyone else with a mytobiidynavox
    account. For example, if I’ve made a terrific page of Occupational Therapy activities, I can share that with another therapist for the child they are working with. All of the graphic/text content will remain the same.
  • Page Sets consist of all the pages, and they also can be saved, shared, etc.. For example a colleague shared with me a Core 7x7 Rett syndrome Pageset that a lot of folks have appreciated. It can be easily shared to a User profile, and caregivers can “toggle” back and forth between different Pagesets to determine “best fit”.
  • Users: this is the most all-encompassing view of your client’s tool, User backup files contain the Page Sets and settings associated with that user. User backup files do not contain voice files, however, voice settings are preserved and the selected voice will download automatically if it is not available on the device (internet connection required).

That covers the “levels” of content. Now let’s consider variations of saving/moving data.

  • Export/Import Locally (User, Page Set, Page Bundle) — Use when storing the file on your
    local machine, sharing on a USB drive, or with people who do not have a myTobiiDynavox account.
  • Export/Import through myTobiiDynavox* (Page Set, Page Bundle) — Share Page Sets and Page Bundles with oth- er myTobiiDynavox users. Store and access files privately on your own myTobiiDynavox account.
  • Sync** (Page Set) — Share ongoing changes to a Page Set across your devices and with specified myTobiiDynavox users. A Page Set shared through sync keeps an up-to-date version of the Page Set in the cloud, so that changes made to the Page Set on any approved device/account are shared across all synced devices/accounts for that Page Set.

* Conceptual name credit to M. Sardo - ‘Master Tek-ninja”
**These sharing methods require an active internet connection.

Happy therapy!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Two Great Ideas: Core Words & iBooks

Hey Tek-ninjas! I'm excited to share a free resource with you. This is specifically useful if you are teaching Core Words, and/or reading skills to your people. I did touch on these books in a blog awhile back, but I'm really excited about using iBooks with them.

Tobii-Dynavox offers a selection of books that can be viewed on pretty much any computer. If you make a free account at mytobiidynavox, you can download these books, and lesson plans that come with them.

Like I noted, you can view these books on any computer. Or you could print and bind them. Or... and this is the solution that I really like... if you have an iPad, you can save the books in iBooks, and access them anywhere, even without wifi.

Take a look at the video to see the process.

Incidentally, if you really like these books, and prefer old-fashioned paper-back, you can purchase 36  of the books here, for $169.50.

ADDENDUM: Hey Tek-ninjas, I’ve had a professional license with Tobii-Dynavox for so long that I forgot that if you don’t have a professional license your myTobiiDynavox webpage looks different. Some of you may not have set up a professional license yet and so you’re not able to find these great resources. Take a look at this quick video as it will show you how to set up that professional license. Again, this remains free. Incidentally, the Professional account also affords you a free copy of Snap + Core First.

Happy therapy!!

Monday, April 8, 2019

"Ask Us Anything" Sessions with Tobii Dynavox and Boardmaker!

Learning Team and Tech Support Consultants

Hey Tek-Ninjas! This will be of interest to my peeps supporting AAC and Symbol users.

Starting April 19th, and following weekly, Tobii-Dynavox professionals will be available for an hour to answer questions, provide demonstrations, provide resources, etc. 

Someone from the Learning Team and Tech Support team will join up to offer open forums where learners can come and ask questions. As a learner you can stay long enough to just have your questions answered (by asking it aloud, typing in a chat window, sending it ahead of time – whatever your comfort level is) – or stay for the whole hour to hear what other questions might come up. 

The next offering for this is April 30th. 
Learners/Customers can register here.  Feel free to spread the word.

As if that weren't amazing enough...

The Education team will also offer ‘Boardmaker Ask Us Anything’ sessions. Registration is available on the Tobii Dynavox website and also on > Learning & Support > Webinars

April 16, 2019 @ 11:00 EDT HERE

May 9, 2019 @ 1:00 EDT HERE

May 30, 2019@ 5:00 EDT HERE

Happy therapy!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

How to install an app on an older iOS platform

Picture icon of Apple mobile device operating system
Hey Tek-Ninjas! Today's blog is a quick iOS app tip which will hopefully be useful for you.

Recently a colleague reached out to me, indicating that she was trying to download the Snap + Core First App on her mini iPad. Her dilemma was that iTunes kept telling her that she needed iOS 10 or later. Her mini iPad runs iOS 9.3.5 and would not install the newer version.

I knew there was a solution, but couldn't remember it.  Consequently, I had to send this tech-question up the ladder to my senior tech guy, my 17 year old son, Ben.

Ben quickly got back to me with the following:

So- the only way Apple will allow you to download an older version is if you already own the app. Once you find it in the “purchased” section of the App Store you can select “download” and it will give you the option to download an older version that is compatible with device

So what do we do if she hasn’t purchased it before? Go on a newer device like an
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iPhone or iTunes on a Mac (the latter is preferable) that is associated with her iPad’s Apple ID and can purchase the app. Buy it from there, and then you will find it listed in the “purchased” section of her iPad’s App Store. Then you can download, and receive the “older version” 

In the specific case at hand,  my colleague needed to download the "free" version. Once she logged into her "mytobiidynavox" account within the app she gained full functionality.

I can see this issue presenting with a variety of apps, and so I hope this is useful to you all. Thanks to Ben!

Happy therapy!

So the clinician who asked for help emailed back to tell me she had to take a few extra steps. She shared the following:

A few extra steps were involved because essentially the newest version of iTunes on Macs does not support connections with iPad. I had to uninstall my current iTunes and re-install an older version in order for the steps from your blog to work. Essentially, the iPad is too old and iTunes is too new.

I hope this is useful for folks!

Monday, January 28, 2019

"How do I Teach Core...Like fer real"...

Hey Tek-Ninjas! More than occasionally speech therapists ask me "how to teach core language, like fer real". (Disclaimer: no SLP I know actually speaks like this) I routinely direct them to make a free Professional account at The answers and the materials are there. For free. Fer real. 

Core language is ideal because 85% of the words exchanged in everyday communication come from a relatively small pool of roughly 300 words. By providing systematic instruction in these words, we give people increased power as communicators and target their literacy skills at the same time. Words like "I", "Want", "More", "You" generalize across so many conversations. Mastering them opens up true spontaneous conversation. 

Tobii Dynavox offers free research-based instructional routines, found the in the Quick Lesson Guide.  And, while I'd like you to jump both feet first into the Tobii Dynavox world, I'd like to point out that you can use these lessons with anyone learning core language.  

Within the Professional account you can find books created specifically with a Core strategy in mind and maximize use of the target words in connected texts that support comprehension and engagement. Activities are intended for classrooms, therapy, or home use. Each word unit comes with word-byword Lesson Plans, so you know what to do to get started on Monday morning

Within the account, you can also print out overlays for a variety of tech devices. 

Even if you aren't a "professional therapist", you can also find much of this content in Pathways for Snap, another free tool that runs on iOS or Windows 10

Happy Therapy!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

FREE downloadable Snap + Core First Core Board

Hey Tek-ninjas! Have you seen the Tobii-Dynavox  FREE downloadable Snap + Core First Core Board? ❤️ Perfect for printing and sticking up in your classroom or home!

Get yours today here.

Happy therapy!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Looking to Learn?

Hey Tek-ninjas! Recently I received a terrific list of webinars that I would have loved to have been present for....and now I get to watch them after the fact. I thought some of you might be interested in watching some of these as well so here you go.

Recorded Webinars

  • Creating Pagesets in Communicator 5 Webinar is available for you to view by clicking here
  • Message Banking: Where, Why, and How to Preserve Your Voice Webinar is available for you to view by clicking here
  • Snap + Core First for Adults with Communication Needs Webinar is available for you to view by clicking here
  • Snap Scene: Overview & Activities for All Ages Webinar is available for you to view by clicking here
  • Introduction to Implementing AAC for Emergent Communicators Webinar is available for you to view by clicking here
  • Report Writing Basics: Existing Barriers Webinar is available for you to view by clicking here
  • Positive Behavior Supports within Snap + Core First Webinar is available for you to view by clicking here
  • Report Writing Basics: Report Requirements Webinar is available for you to view by clicking here
  • Report Writing Basics: Goal Writing Webinar is available for you to view by clicking here
  • Report Writing Basics: Summary Webinar is available for you to view by clicking here
  • Introduction to Feature Matching Webinar is available for you to view by clicking here
  • Back to School with Snap + Core First Webinar is available for you to view by clicking here
  • Tobii Dynavox Family of Products Webinar is available for you to view by clicking here
  • Tobii Dynavox Free Resources Webinar is available for you to view by clicking here
  • Introduction to Gaze Viewer Webinar is available for you to view by clicking here

Happy Therapy!!