Who is Voco Chat for?
Voco Chat is suitable for anyone who needs larger cells, and is designed to support users to communicate for a wide range of reasons. From saying what you want or asking a question, to telling someone about yourself or having a conversation.
- Get your messages across quickly and efficiently
- Focus on the message not the grammar
- Suitable for someone making single selections or beginning to build longer phrases
Voco Chat also includes vocabulary to support individuals to participate more, engage in conversations, and be more independent, as well as talk about important topics such as mental health and wellbeing.
- Large, easy to access cells
- Supported message building
- Vocabulary to support independence
- Suitable for any age and any access method
- Quick and easy to personalise
Designed for every access method
Voco Chat can be used with touch, eye gaze, pointer or switch access. For users who benefit from auditory feedback, there are auditory prompts for both columns and individual cells.
Vocabulary is organised in vertical columns in Voco Chat, so the recommended switch settings are those which scan either one cell at a time vertically, or scan columns then rows.
A pragmatic approach
Voco Chat focuses not just on the words we use to communicate, but also the reasons we communicate and how we interact using language. This is also called pragmatics.
A resource which was central to the development of Voco Chat was The Pragmatics Profile for People who use AAC (Martin, Small & Stevens, 2017), which gives a comprehensive overview of all the reasons we communicate and how we participate in conversations.
The home grid
The Voco Chat home grid is made up of 12 communication cells, alongside a functions column, chat writing area and a jump to My toolkit.
The top row of the home grid contains a jump to My toolkit where you’ll find lots of useful resources for supporting communication and emotional wellbeing, as well as apps to support interaction and engagement.
The six cells on the left hand side are your Message Pathways. These are designed to help you start to build your message, based on why you are communicating. For example, to tell someone something is wrong, to ask someone something, or give an opinion about something.
The orange Quick Communication cells in the next column contain additional vocabulary, including useful words like ‘more’, ‘stop’ and ‘finished’, handy phrases for having a conversation, and space to add your own favourite phrases.
The blue Everyday Words cells in the fourth column are where you will find a lot of useful vocabulary such as people’s names, places and categorised vocabulary for a whole range of other topics. You will find jumps to these words from within the six message pathways, but can also get directly to the words using these jumps.
The grey Functions column on the right hand side of the screen is where you’ll find options to jump back to the previous grid, delete words, and clear your chat writing area. If you use an alternative access method such as eye gaze or head pointing, and dwell to select, you will also see a rest cell in this column which you can use to pause your access method. This function column is present on every grid in Voco Chat.
Choose your vocabulary
When you add Voco Chat for the first time, you will be given the choice to select child or teen and adult vocabulary. This allows you to choose the most appropriate vocabulary for the user.
Voco Chat is designed to be easy to personalise and includes lots of blank template grids which can be quickly and easily added to.
Many grids have also been set up with examples of what you might want to add to that grid, alongside blank cells to add more for that user.
Support for emotional wellbeing
Individuals with complex communication needs may need support to identify, talk about and manage how they are feeling.
The “I’m not okay” area of Voco Chat supports users to talk about their mental health and wellbeing. There are options to help users talk about what is worrying them, what they feel like and what they need help with.
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