Friday, September 22, 2023

Snap to Item and Auto Hide on iOS17!

 Hey Tek-ninjas! A lot of us across the AAC industry are pretty excited by Apple's iOS17 update this month. 

Tobii Dynavox's TD Pilot is based on 15+ years of research and testing across all types of ethnicities, disabilities, eyewear and lighting conditions, both indoors and outdoors.  It is already a pretty amazing piece of DME. As the first company to earn the MFi from Apple, and the only company to work directly with Apple, Tobii Dynavox created Region Based Interface, offering a definite edge in precision and accuracy in their AAC software. Out side the specialty software the eye-gaze leveraged Apple's Assistive Touch. Now with the Snap function, the Assistive Touch function outside the AAC software is faster and more accurate. 

This video above demonstrates how to toggle the functions on, after you've updated your system to iOS17. With the improvements even smaller targets located in any app becomes significantly easier to access. Any app that can function in landscape mode is more accessible than ever before with the TD Pilot.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Join Tobii Dynavox online trainings!

Hey Tek-ninjas! With AAC Awareness month coming up in October, clear your calendar and add some learning!  Here’s what Tobii Dynavox has got coming up.  Click each link below for additional information and to register. And don't forget, if you register and can't attend, you'll receive a recording to watch on your own time.

Week of October 2

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

DAGG-3: assess, reassess, goal writing, strategies, lessons all in one!

 Hi Tek-ninjas, are you familiar with the DAGG-2? If you’ve not heard yet, I have good news for you. There is a new version - the DAGG-3 and it is better than ever!  

The DAGG-3 (Dynamic AAC Goals Grid, edition 3) is a highly effective assessment tool used by SLPs and other professionals to assess, plan, implement and track goals for augmentative and alternative communicators of all levels.

The DAGG-3 was developed by Tobii Dynavox in conjunction with Vicki Clarke, MS, CCC-SLP (2023) based on the original DAGG created by Clarke and Schneider, 2009. Informed by the works of Patricia Dowden, PhD (1999), and Janice Light, PhD (1989, 2014).

It’s available to all at no cost. And you can get your copy here. Historically, as an occupational therapist working in the school systems I found the DAGG tools to be uniquely, helpful in breaking down complex speech concepts for all stakeholders, and getting a whole team on board understanding both deficits and affordances faced by the student.

Happy therapy!

Thursday, August 17, 2023

PCS playground sign GIVEAWAY!

 Hey Tek-ninjas! Are you back to school yet? Soon if not. Well, in anticipation of busy playgrounds, Tobii Dynavox has two give-aways that might interest you. Check it out!

They are giving away 2 signs - 1 for you, and 1 for a co-worker. Enter for a chance to win for your classroom or playground PCS playground signs—which help students express themselves through symbols on the playground. 

If you don't win, you can still get some for sale on the Tobii Dynavox website.

 Enter in 3 simple steps:
Follow their page
Like this post
Tag a fellow educator below the post here!

Terms: Contest ends 8/18/23 at 11:59PM EST. Winners will be notified 8/21/22 via Facebook.

Welcome back to school!

Monday, June 26, 2023

Solutions Consultant - (western) Virginia

 Hey Tek-ninjas! Are you interested in "delivering voices"? Our Solutions Consultant, Caroline Gaddy, who has been taking care of this area of Virginia is moving to our Learning Team to better share her clinical experience at a National level. We are looking for that "just-right" fit to help us make a difference.

Read more here.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Mentoring with Tamika

 Hey Tek-ninjas! This one goes out to my Occupational Therapy colleagues. Particularly, but not exclusively, to my newer grad friends. 

I remember my first job out of graduate school. Our program spent a lot of time focused on the theoretical underpinnings of Occupational Therapy, which I think served me very well in the long run. But - as a new graduate, I relied heavily on my peers to provide mentoring. Unfortunately, they also had caseloads and weren't always available. 

This brings me to TherapyMomMe. My former school based colleague, Tamika Harris, OTR/L is now offering online mentoring services for Occupational Therapists. 

Long time readers may remember that Tamika has been a guest blogger on Tek-Ninja in the past. With roughly 20 years experience predominantly in public schools, Tamika has also worked in early intervention, home health, outpatient clinics, preschool, and a residential center for people with multiple disabilities. She has extensive experience working with a variety of special needs children with diagnosis such as Autism, Down Syndrome, Developmental Delays, Cerebral Palsy, ADHD, just to name a few.

You may be wondering, how does this work? It's very simple, on her website you:

1) Sign up for mentorship.

2) Create objectives, outcomes, and a plan with your mentor during the first meeting.

3) Learn, Grow, and succeed. Discuss cases, get tools and resources, and reach your goals.

4) 2 hours = 1 PDU (maximum of 18 units per renewal cycle) Complete a minimum of 2 hours for credit.

Mentorship with Tamika is $60 per hour. If you are looking for some guidance from a seasoned and committed Occupational Therapist, Tamika may be just the answer you are seeking!

Happy therapy!

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Mandatory Boardmaker Updates!

Hey Tek-ninjas! This one goes out to anyone using Boardmaker.  On February 21st Boardmaker announced "On Thursday, March 2, we will be releasing version 7.2.5 of the Boardmaker 7 Editor and Boardmaker 7 Student Center. This is a REQUIRED update for all users.

If you don't run updates by April 1st, you risk losing ability to log in to your Boardmaker Account.

Those of you who have updated the Editor since last summer will get the Editor update automatically and just need to click "install".

Those who didn't update the Editor last year will need to download and install it. Everyone will need to download and install the Student Center update from

All Boardmaker subscribers should receive a notification to this effect. You can read more about this here, and if you have questions about this process, you can ask them here

Good luck, and happy therapy!

Friday, February 24, 2023

OTs, SLPs, and AAC

 Hey Tek-ninjas! Yesterday I had a really wonderful experience co-presenting to the Methodist University's Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program

I got to co-present with my colleague Jo Taylor. Jo is a speech therapist, and a Solution Consultant for Tobii Dynavox, and she serves Eastern NC and Tidewater VA. We vibe really well - OT/SLP team powers and all that! 

Our topic was broad, looking at the Occupational Therapist's role in AAC, how they can best support SLPs and AAC users. We discussed what the role of the Solution Consultant is. Finally, we also looked at two case studies and facilitated a conversation about which access modalities might be best for respective clients. 

I love presenting to Occupational Therapists on AAC. Here in the US, our medical model sets SLPs as the procurers of SGD, and this is appropriate especially for emergent communicators and other's with language disorders. But.... as Occupational Therapists we have a huge role and opportunity to help support AAC users and the SLPs who serve them. 

Back in April of 2022 I wrote an article about how Occupational Therapists may not realize they have the requisite training to support AAC users and our SLP friends who serve them, when in fact we do. In the post I note how the HAAT (The Human Activity Assistive Technology Model) dovetails so nicely with most all of our Occupational Performance Models, I also want to encourage you to remember your training in Activity Analysis. It will carry you through the technology. 

So again, I'm challenging my Occupational Therapy colleagues to be open to continued learning, and to find a willing SLP and partner with them to deliver even more robust therapy with attention to AAC. 

One of the silver linings of my visit to Methodist University was that I connected in person for the first time with long-time "Instagram friend" (yes, that's a thing) Annabeth from the dynamic-duo from thefannypacktherapist. If you aren't familiar with their work, check it out. They consistently model what a great OT/SLP team can look like, and they share a lot of ideas around 'best-practices'.

Do you partner with another discipline to support AAC? I'd love to hear how. In my work on school based AT teams I was privileged to partner with VI teachers, PTs, SLPs, SPeDs, and of course parents. I learned so much from all of them. 

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Making Art for Eye-gaze Users: Revisited

 Hey Tek-ninjas! Back in April of 2020 I shared some insights from a Tobii Dynavox Tech Support colleague around making artwork with eye gaze devices. This article has been share and reshared quite a bit, but since then Tobii Dynavox released the newer iSeries which includes Computer Control. Over the last 2 years, Computer Control has been evolving rapidly with so many tool options. Now Computer Control has a really nice drawing mode, however it takes some education and practice. Remember, Computer Control is available only on the iSeries and the PCEye.

If you have someone interested in drawing with eye gaze, regardless of the art software, you will want to check out the Learning Hub video and guide course "Using Functions in TD Control".

Additionally, here are a few tips to keep in mind: 
  • first time is a bit tough, but after a minute or two of practice you should get better control
  • there's almost a delayed magnetic field to the drawing tool's direction, which serves to allow you a delay in control that is quite beneficial once you get familiar with it
  • The Control circle is called "The donut shape"; the inner circle is where you draw, the out circle is the direction. If you go out of the outer circle, it stops. within the donut is speed - closer to the center the slower your drawing - further from the center (but still in the donut) the faster your drawing.
This takes some practice, but folks are using it successfully with basic art programs like Microsoft Paint all the way to Photoshop. Below I've posted the original article with the art programs recommended by Orry. I've not changed the original article at all, knowing that there are folks out there successfully using their i12's and i15's with Windows Control or Gaze Point. 

Hey Tek-ninjas! Recently my colleague, Orry Deason shared a post with our co-workers. I'm essentially sharing it word for word - there's not much I could add to improve it. I will add, if the end-user's device is still "locked" as a dedicated device, and they are accessing one of the online platforms noted below, they will need to contact the device vendor to pay the unlock fee. For Tobii Dynavox that fee is $25. Enjoy.

"This comes up every so often so I figured I'd share; art programs that have worked previously with our devices. 

There's no art program with built-in/native eye gaze, but third party programs can be used via Windows Control or Gaze Point, which are included on (Tobii Dynavox) devices. Here are some we have seen work, though the software you should use depends on the age and ability of the user and the complexity desired.

Microsoft Paint 
Microsoft Paint
is included on Tobii Dynavox devices. It is basic and straightforward, and easy to use, but some of the options may be too small for some eye gaze users to hit. ( - (Free) is comparable to Microsoft Paint with some additional features. Again, some options may be too small for some users to hit.

Kid Pix 
Kid Pix
( - (paid with free trial) is designed for kids, but has a lot of art and animation options. It's also nearly as old as I am. 

Paint Online
Paint Online ( - (free) is very simple, geared towards younger children, but the large buttons on it may make it easier for eye gaze users. It is web based, though, so some users may need guidance on accessing the website. I'd recommend using the Full Screen button at the bottom right.
( - free) is also web-based with more features than Paint Online, but has a large drawing area which may be easier for eye gaze users to access. 

( - free and paid versions) is a program made for 3D art, and is much more complex than the others. (The artist Francis Tsai used this program along with Adobe Photoshop, using a Tobii Dynavox device: ) 

Art Rage
( - paid) is popular and relatively easy to use--the less expensive/less complex Lite version may be easier for Eye Gaze users, with larger buttons for better accessibility. (The artist Megan Fry uses this program with an I-12!

( - paid with free trial) is geared towards pixel art/sprites and small animations and is easy to access, but has some level of complexity and some of the advanced features may be tough for eye gaze users to hit."
Orry adds that "this list isn't exhaustive, but hopefully it will point you in the right direction!" If you readers have other suggestions please don't hesitate to post in the comments section, and include links! 

Happy art making!

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Supporting GLP with TD Snap and Caroline

Hey Tek-ninjas, if you serve individuals with Autism and possible AAC needs, I want to recommend this 1 hour course “Supporting Gestalt Language Processors with TD Snap" from Tobii Dynavox. This presentation discusses how features within TD Snap can facilitate language development for Gestalt Language Processors who are AAC users. In this session you'll explore potential page set ups to support their language learning style.

Recently I posted about the upcoming NCACA Conference and how great those presenters are. This offering is presented by one of them, Caroline Gaddy, who is both a friend and a colleague. Caroline is uniquely qualified to teach this course because she is Autistic, the mother of neurodivergent children, a Speech Therapist, and a Tobii Dynavox Solutions Consultant. This presentation received so much positive feedback from SLPs and Caregivers, imo it's not to be missed. 

You will of course need a free account for the Tobii Dynavox Learning Hub if you don't have one. As I've posted before, if you already have a log in for or the, those are Single Sign-ins, and you can log in with that username and password. 

Happy therapy!

Friday, January 13, 2023

TD Snap Motor Plan in the US!

 Hey Tek-ninjas! A number of you are already aware that Tobii Dynavox is releasing a new Motor Plan page set in the US. It was released a month or so back in the UK, and the feedback so far has been pretty terrific.

If this is news to you, here's what Tobii Dynavox has to say about the page set: "TD Snap Motor Plan is an efficient way for learners with complex access needs to develop language. This page set focuses on core words and word-by-word sentence construction. Each word appears only once with a distinct path, or motor plan, to find it. Over time, the communicator will automatically locate words, allowing them to focus more on what they want to say.

The page set comes in 30 and 66 position layouts and are optimised to find words faster, customise vocabulary and grow language with the brand new vocabulary filter. Join us to learn all about how these exciting new page sets can support early language learners and advanced communicators alike."

One of the many aspects I'm excited about here is that if you are already familiar with TD Snap, you already know how to edit and customize the page set because the Motor Plan is run by the same engine. 

Tobii Dynavox has posted on their website that they anticipate the page sets will be released at the end of January. If you'd like to learn more they ask you to fill out and submit this form

There are live trainings planned on the following dates via Zoom. Each session has 300 seats, but I'd wager, they will fill up quickly!

Wednesday, January 25th 8-8:45 ET

Thursday, January 26th 3-3:45 ET

Friday, January 27th 12-12:45 ET

These trainings are free of charge. While you are there, check out all of the other great live trainings

Happy therapy!

Thursday, January 12, 2023


 Hey Tek-Ninjas! I'm writing today to inform you of the upcoming 40th Annual NCACA Virtual
. It will be Friday, February 24, 2023, 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM EST. The folks at NCACA always put on a great conference, and this year will be no exception. 

If you were at ASHA this year, you may have heard Caroline Gaddy present. If you missed it, well, good news, she is presenting here. Caroline's topic title is: "Applying a Neurodiversity Framework to Supporting Autistic AAC Users". Caroline is an Autistic & multiply neurodivergent SLP and AAC Tobii Dynavox Consultant based in Virginia. I get to brag to people that we work together!

Also presenting is Emily Diaz, Emily is a school-based SLP with a robust Instagram following. I'm a big fan of her IG account, and encourage you to check it out if you have not. Emily's presentation is titled: "Unlocking Their Potential: Coaching Habits That Increase Stakeholder Buy-In for AAC".

The final presenter is Lauren (Enders) Gonzales. Lauren is an SLP and AAC/AT consultant working for the Bucks County Intermediate Unit in Eastern Pennsylvania. Lauren's presentation is titled: "AAC for Me! Considerations for AAC System Personalization".

All three of these presenters have been presenting on the national level and each one of them alone would make a conference great. Having the three of them guarantees a stellar day of learning. Don't miss it! When I registered, there were only 98 slots open.