Dynamic screen devices display symbols or graphics on a screen and can store multiple “pages”. The AAC speaker can navigate between pages by selecting the appropriate key.
You can set up the device in many different ways. For example, you could choose between one and 72 keys per page, or you could link pages together in simple or multi-branching ways. You could also programme the device to automatically open or close a page when the AAC speaker selects a particular vocabulary item.
On the dynamic screen devices illustrated below, the user can change which page to display. A page may contain any combination of symbols, pictures, words and phrases. These devices are equally suitable for someone who is highly literate and someone who doesn’t have reading and spelling skills. Some devices offer additional features such as SMS, playing music, viewing photographs, Skype, internet access and email.
Dynamic display devices cost several thousand pounds. They run on internal batteries that need to be charged overnight, every night, so they have enough power to be used for the whole of the next day.
Before purchasing any equipment it is important to assess an AAC speaker’s skills and needs carefully. But an assessment is essential if they will use equipment that is more complex than digitised VOCAs with paper displays.