The iAssist Communicator is a new app that makes mobile technology work for people with cognitive and developmental limits. The app turns the iPad into a powerful communications tool that is both simple to use and respectful of the user and the challenges they face.
iAssist Communicator has a stock library of 250 photos that can be used by people with autism or other developmental disorders to communicate with others effectively. It’s also possible to upload your own photos and attach meaning to them as you see fit. The stock 250 images have speech files attached to them, while custom photos can either use text-to-speech software included in the app or your own voice recordings.
Images can then be organized into files, which form a chain of ideas. These can be used to express more complex ideas, or to help the user organize a series of tasks, like a personal hygiene routine. On top of that, files can be organized into templates, which include images needed to communicate in different settings, like at home, at school, or out in the neighborhood.
The app was designed for use by teens and adults with autism and other cognitive disorders, which shows in the mature design. The images are photos of real people, making them more contextually relevant and easier to understand. Overall, iAssist Communicator looks like a pretty terrific app for anyone cognitively challenged and in need of assistance when communicating with others. It’s available for $40 on the iTunes App Store.