Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

My Next iPad Experiment: Using Proloquo2Go to Conduct Interviews

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 7:13 pm on Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I’m frantically working on my two presentations:

i am really looking forward to both conferences because, after working in the web accessibility field for thirteen years, I am finally going to meet many of my mentors, colleagues and possibly even competitors. I’m looking forward to soaking up even more of their expertise, and to sharing latest best practices, techniques and frustrations.

Amidst drafting the presentations and preparing for my trip, I began wondering how I could possibly capture some of this knowledge, expertise and insights to share with my Blog Accessibility readers.

An idea struck…

My interveiw questions in the Proloquo2Go app In the Proloquo2Go app, I have prepared various interview questions,  which will enable me pick and choose which questions to ask (via text-to-speech) during the interview. And…I could record the interview using the movie setting on my camera, mounted on my scooter using the Gorilla tripod.

The result may not be a smooth flowing conversation, but rather a bumpy Q&A session. But that’s okay, right?

What’s amazing isn’t the technology to do it; it’s the confidence to try it. I wouldn’t have felt confident to give this a try a few years ago; I’m definitely on some kind of journey…final destination still unknown.

Will this iPad experiment work? Stay tuned…

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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The Proloquo2Go App: A Second Look

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 12:46 pm on Tuesday, February 8, 2011

With a trip to Austin and to San Diego coming in March, communicating with individuals unfamiliar with Glenda-ish will be necessary.

The Pproloquo2Go app's home screenI have mastered using the typing option in the assistive and augmentative communication (AAC ) app Proloque2Go, which I shared in my initial review. But, the grid option with the cute icons pictographs still baffled me. Thursday afternoon, in between getting my passport photo done, having my haircut and wheelchair square dancing, i spent some quality time…all 55 minutes…with the rest of the communication app.

A few highlights of what I discovered:

  • From the Home screen, pre-set words and phrases are organized into folders – indicated by folder-shaped boxes. Individual words are colour-coded; for example, nouns are boxed in yellow and verbs in pink. These two visual cues aid in locating words quicker.
  • The default vocabulary is rather limited with 6871 default items available, according to statistics. 
  • The vocabulary appears aimed at a young child age or lower elementary school grades. Much customization would be needed to have a productive conversation with, say, my gynecologist.
  • The choice of words and the spelling is definitely American (enchiladas for breakfast?) A setting for spelling would be welcomed by this Canadian.
  • Proloquo2Go screen with large icon buttonsThe size of icon buttons can be set from Ultra Small to Extreme, depending upon the individual’s motor skills. Yet, the size of the Back and Delete buttons can not be adjusted from their fairly small size, making it difficult for some individuals to use accurately. Some times I had hit the Delete buttons several times to get it.
  • The icons can be turned off from being displayed in the Message box, which was a relief to discover. If my message contained childish pictographs, individuals unfamiliar with me and my abilities might interpret my cognitive abilities to be less than what they are.
  • I was also glad to discover that the settings can be adjusted so that only the completed message is spoken. This will be helpful when communicating with my friends who are blind; they don’t need to hear each icon I type.
  • Icons displayed in the Snack category One thing I found confusing was the occasional endless loop; for example, listed within the Snack folder was a Snack folder icon. I didn’t try deleting it in case I messed up something. I’m not sure if its a bug or if the folder serves another purpose.
  • Proloquo2Go options and settings Another point of confusion for me was how the customization settings are split between settings in the app and the iPad settings. No doubt there’s a reason for this split, but I found flipping between the app Options and the Settings annoying. Perhaps once the Appearance, Interaction, Restrictions and such are set to meet the individual’s needs, then they do not need to be modified as often as the settings in the app itself.

Being the first time that I had spent any quality time with this type of communication device, I found it overwhelming. Learning the organizational structure and memorizing where individual words were located to effectively communicate with this tool would require either training or several rainy Saturday afternoons curled up with my iPad.

Honestly…and this is nothing against the Proloquo2Go app itself, but rather the communicating method…at this point, I don’t see myself using the grid option much. It’s too limiting and too much customization would be needed to add the vocabulary that I use. Although I am very open to seeing how others use this kind of communication method for in-depth, meaningful, passionate conversations.

Rather, I see myself using the typing option much more; having the freedom to use the words I use without needing to go hunting for them mid-conversation. What would be sweet is if the TextExpander app was compatible with the Proloquo2Go app, enabling me to type something like “GH” and have it expand to “Glenda Watson Hyatt”, which would save me time and not slow down the conversation flow as much. A separate app would be better than an expansion feature within Proloque2Go because then I could use the same shortcuts across apps on my iPad.

In the end, I see using Proloquo2Go for brief face-to-face encounters and to assist when people get stuck on a word or two of spoken Glenda-ish. As individuals become more familiar with my speech, the app will be needed less in conversation. No device is as flowing, as freeing, as intimate as one’s own voice.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Wordless Wednesday: Hawaiian Style

Filed under: Motivation — by at 7:00 am on Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The sun drops into the ocean as the day ends

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