Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Light it up!

Update Light Bulb
Hey Tek-ninjas! Here's a short and sweet post. 

If you use Snap Core First, have you noticed the little light bulb up in the top right corner? It was part of an update a few months back. 

Do you know what it is for? Well... let me tell you. When the light bulb is lit (or yellow), it indicates that there are new updates! 

Update Popup
When you click on the bulb, you get a descriptive pop-up. For example, yesterday Tobii Dynavox released the latest Snap Core First updates. And man... it is pretty impressive. The integration of Boardmaker Activities INTO Snap is pretty amazing. Less flashy, but still really nice is the new vocabulary search filters, and that your PCS symbols can download in automatically. 

I'll post more after I get a chance to look more closely at the integration of Boardmaker Activities, but on a cursory glance, I'm very excited. 

Happy therapy!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

An Open Letter from Tobii-Dynavox NA President

Hey Tek-ninjas! This open letter is a part of why I love working for Tobii-Dynavox.  This sentiment and the action behind it informs so much of the culture at Tobii-Dynavox both nationally and internationally. It comes from the top down. 

I am Tara Rudnicki, President of North American Market for Tobii Dynavox as well as President of the Assistive Technology Industry Association, ATIA. 

Over the last several months, and especially during the past few weeks, we at Tobii Dynavox have received a surge of important comments and feedback about the way we portray gender and ethnicity, most particular the Black/African American people in our products and services and in our overall communication. We hear these strong messages and we take them very seriously. We do not want to remain passive in an environment of systemic racism of any kind and we agree wholeheartedly that we MUST act.   

We want to make changes to a lot of things we do at Tobii Dynavox. This effort will require time and hard continuous work. However, we have already started to take action. Over the last week we have updated many of our PCS symbols to reflect ethnicity and genders. We will release the next versions of Boardmaker and Snap Core First with the functionality of editable skin tone color and hair variations. We are reviewing our communication channels to better reflect diversity. We are teaming with many others in the industry to bring various voices that are reflective of all of our communities. 

This is just the beginning.  As we work to address these important issues, we want to hear more from you. We want to get feedback from all who use our products and services, and anyone who is part of our community, with ideas and suggestion on how we can improve in all aspects of our business. You can be part of the solution and reshaping the industry to reflect everyone we are so fortunate to support by sharing your comments. We want to hear you. 
Reach out to myself at Tara.Rudnicki@Tobiidynavox.com 508-254-2782 , contact our customer service team at 1-800-588-4548 css@goboardmaker.com or simply respond to this message and offer your thoughts in the comments below.  Getting this right will take time, sensitivity, and dedication, but if we work together as a community, we will make it happen.

Happy therapy!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Tobii Dynavox Introduces Outdoor Eye Tracking

Hey Tek-ninjas! Hope you are doing well despite living in Coronatopia. Today I want to share with you a recent development in the field of eye-gaze technology. About two weeks ago, Tobii Dynavox released a firmware update to their new IS5TD eye gaze camera. 

If you've been working in the field, or maybe you are a user of an eye gaze device you've likely long ago adapted to the idea that eye gaze tech just simply doesn't perform at it's best in the great outdoors. It's just been one of those accepted downsides. 

With the new updated firmware that changes. And following the update, Tobii Dynavox sent out messaging like this: 

"Brighter times are ahead, and you can now make the most of them. Communicate outdoors – even in bright sunlight – thanks to outdoor eye tracking on the latest I-Series, the world’s first speech generating device to offer this feature.

"Experience all the eye tracking capabilities you’re used to plus an enhanced outdoor experience, just in time for summer. 

Outdoor eye tracking is currently only available on the I-13 and I-16 devices."

This update is so good that a couple of renown AAC champions posted videos of themselves with before and afters of the firmware update. Take a look at the videos below. 

I especially like the first video as Charlie Danger, OT, ATP shows both before the update and after the update. 

And of course, John Costello of Boston Children's Hospital also offers a great video, concise and to the point. 

If you have an i13 or an i16, and you have not ran Update Notifer in the last two weeks, I strongly encourage you to do so, especially if you are heading to the beach, or to a sporting event! This video demonstrates how to run updates on these devices. 

Happy eye-gazing!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

June: more continuing education

Hey Tek-ninjas! At the beginning of the month I shared with you some amazing trainings from Tobii Dynavox. At the time, I only shared trainings for the first half of the month... well here are more for the rest of June! 

Again, these are all remote, so you don't need to travel! Some offer CEUs, some don't, all are terrific content covering shared reading, core content, beyond requesting, games, and behavior supports. 

Surely there's something in here to help you be a better clinician!


Time (EST)



Campaign Link


2:00 - 5:15



Emergent Literacy 

Instruction with

Reading Avenue

Yes 0.3






Introduction to

Implementing AAC for Emergent Communicators

YES 0.1




5:00 - 5:30


Beat the Heat with Shared Reading






Using Core at Home






Positive Behavior

Supports in Snap

Core First

Yes 0.1 CEUs



3:00 - 5:45


AAC and Literacy:

How to Get Started

Yes 0.25 CEUs






Learning Lounge




10:00 AM -

4:00 PM


Beyond Requesting

Yes 0.5 CEUs



3:00 - 3:30


Bingo, Books and Board Games






Getting to Know Boardmaker 7




1:00 - 1:30


Talking with Topics




Happy therapy!