Light Tech AAC for a whole class – a home–school book


Sue is a teacher working with a group of eight pupils, aged from 5 to 7, in a school for children with physical disabilities. Seven of the children are currently non-verbal, with no spoken language used at all, and they all have very limited communication skills, mainly using single signs and symbols.

Sue wanted to enable the children to give their own news in a Monday morning group session and to join in with stories that were read to them. She gave each child their own single message voice output communication aid (VOCA) that could have a thirty second message recorded into it very quickly and easily. The families were shown how to record a short message about what they had done in the evening or at the weekend. The VOCAs were ordered through a supermarket tokens scheme! Each day teaching assistants recorded a brief piece of news from the day at school, so that the pupils could tell people what they had been up to, and families were encouraged to do the same so that the children could share their news at school. This was very successful, families really enjoyed encouraging their children to give the news themselves and most of them returned the VOCAs with a message recorded at least once a week.

At story time Sue and her team chose books which had one or two repeated lines (see below for some suggestions) and recorded these onto similar single message devices. As she read the story the children were encouraged to join with the repeated sections at the right time, making story time much more interactive and engaging.

What next?

Sue is planning to use the VOCAs in an assembly the class will be performing to the rest of the school. The children will also be using them to take messages to the school office e.g. to ask for the register or for dinner tokens and to greet visitors to their classroom

She hopes to get some similar VOCAs that have two buttons so they can be used to indicate a choice or to join in with two repeated lines at story time.


Suggestions for books with repeated phrases: