Tobii Dynavox introduces Motor Plan 30, the TD Snap Motor Plan Page Set
In this week’s edition we have invited Emily Strom the Global Product Manager for TD Snap at Tobii Dynavox to introduce Motor Plan 30, the TD Snap Motor Plan Page Set.
Who remembers back in 2017 when we launched Snap + Core First? We named it Snap because of the software’s quick and easy editability and customization, and Core First, of course, is our proprietary language system that “plays” in Snap.
My, how so much has changed since then. Not only have we updated our product name to TD Snap, but we have also grown and developed the app tremendously since the initial release. As with all good technology products, we have evolved, applying research, customer feedback, and our own findings. Snap continues to grow the tools and functionality that make it easy and intuitive to edit and customize. But we also recognize that a one size fits all approach to AAC doesn’t work. We embrace that AAC users are one-of-a-kind individuals, come from all walks of life, and learn from people who subscribe to varied approaches to teaching language development and communication.
For a moment, think of Snap as a record player and the vocabularies, or page sets, as records. We expect that people have different preferences in music genres. Not everyone likes the same music. It’s a very personal choice. Approaches to AAC can be viewed similarly. Not every approach to AAC appeals to everyone, and different learners have different needs. Our vision for TD Snap is to help people become lifelong communicators. And so, we want to reach more people with our solutions. One way to do that is to provide choice in approaches to language development and communication.
Furthermore, we tuned into what our community was telling us. They want content that is more efficient to navigate, and they want to be able to support all access needs. So, at Communication Matters this year, we decided to let you all in on a little secret…TD Snap will be introducing a new page set as part of our software: Motor Plan 30
What is Motor Plan 30?
The Motor Plan Page Set emphasizes language development and generative language production. People learn distinct motor patterns associated with each word, leading to automaticity over time. This allows learners to focus cognitive effort on language and communication. Additionally, a strong taxonomic organization boosts vocabulary acquisition and helps learners easily find the words they want.
What makes it so amazing?
- It’s efficient.
On average, every word in the robust 2,700 vocabulary is within three hits or less. That’s pretty incredible! We paid careful attention to ensure that the most common words in the English language are closest to the home page.
The focus on developing automaticity over time allows learners to focus on the most essential aspect: communicating.
2. It’s consistent.
When navigating the page set, you always start from the home page and automatically return home after a word selection. Words remain in the same place and appear once in the page set. As of writing this, there are two exceptions to this last rule that we have spent many hours in deep discussion about. Who would have known that the word “orange” could be so problematic?
The vocabulary organization follows a very consistent strategy, too. Words are grouped taxonomically, by feature and function, rather than being tied to themes or specific events. Based on decades of research demonstrating that very young children can organize language this way, this approach helps learners use words across different contexts.
Furthermore, we kept the page layout consistent where we could. For example, you will find superordinate words in each category on the top left side of the grid, highlighted by a subtle beige color.
3. It maximizes accessibility.
The initial 30-position page set was designed with access needs from the outset. The buttons are sized for learners that need larger targets. We have added the ability to add an accessible pause eye gaze button in the Message Bar area. Most notably, we committed to providing a full and robust vocabulary even at a small grid size. We didn’t want learners to be limited with their vocabulary because of their access needs. This is also the reason why we designed the 30-position page set first. It is much trickier to organize 2,700 words accessible in three hits or less on a 30-position page than in an 80-position page set.
4. It has a fantastic new tool: Vocabulary Filter
The Vocabulary Filter tool allows facilitators to incrementally grow the learner’s vocabulary or temporarily focus on specific words during therapy sessions. Like editing in TD Snap, the Vocabulary Filter tool is easy to use. When it is “on,” you can easily restrict which words are available. Simply toggle it off if you want to make everything available again. Other notable capabilities are bulk actions that make entire pages and categories available or unavailable and the ability to manage, edit and share lists right from TD Snap.
We were delighted by the reception of the Motor Plan 30 page set at Communication Matters and are even more excited about releasing this officially. The initial release of the page set is expected to be in late Autumn in the UK. We will follow up with a US release next year. Stay tuned; this is just the beginning!
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