Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

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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Comment by Lori-ann

February 8, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

Actually I can see where you might have some use for the app Glenda. If you are able to set and save sentences then you could probably make a folder and setup a preset “introduction” set of sentences, your address, contact information. Get the idea? Preset your destination information when travelling to tell taxi drivers etc? It would undoubtedly take some time to set it all up but could come in handy.

Comment by Glenda

February 8, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

Yes, Lori-ann, I agree with you there. Preset sentences for brief face-to-face encounters; yes, definitely. You know what I’ll be doing on my flight down to Austin via Dallas! It’s in-depth conversations where I’m not seeing it, yet.

Then, late last night in a ‘what if’ panic I realized I do need some information on paper and my trusty, low-tech alphabet in case my iPad gets damaged or stolen. Always need to be prepared.

Comment by SueM in MN

February 8, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

There are some things coming for Proloquo2Go that will help you immensely.
They are currently doing Beta testing on a feature that will add word prediction and hope to have it done sometime in February. I am not a Beta tester for that, but Proloquo2Go has mentioned it on their Facebook page. Assisitiveware (the makers of Proloquo2Go have made communication software for a long time for the Mac OS. One of them, Keystrokes, has word prediction that is very nice, along with the ability to build your own keyboard.
Keystrokes won’t work on the iPad, but they are building the word predication in Proloquo2Go having already built one of the best word prediction programs I have seen.
The other enhancement has to do with the folders – that was the first version of trying to put language into the app in an orderly format. They are working on a different structure that will be much easier to use. I do not know when that will be coming out, but I am a Beta tester of the new vocabulary version and it is meant to address some of the issues with figuring out where words are.

Comment by Liz

February 10, 2011 @ 7:20 am

Hey I’ll be at SXSWi too! If you hear someone yell “Hey Glenda!” and they turn out to have purple hair, it might be me 😎 Hope to see you there!

Comment by Ajay Godhwani

March 10, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

Would love to know what you think of the new Verbally iPad App. We launched it on Monday in the app store, and downloads have been pretty good.

It’s free, and we’re really hoping to reach & help as broad an audience as possible.

Comment by Jen

March 15, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

My name is Jen. I am a student from GMU in VA, currently working on my senior capstone project for my undergrad. My project is on effectiveness of proloquo2go for children with language delays. Because the product is so new, there are a lot of studies on going but not a lot available that I can refer to. I am now contacting parents on Facebook and blogs trying to get more information of how the software has served family and their disabilities, pros and cons you may find to give my paper some valid data. I am here asking for any info you may have on the products, testimonials or anything you feel like you would share with a friend or even a parent who wants to learn more about the product. I hope to hear back from you about it. Thank you so much…

Comment by Angela

November 26, 2012 @ 11:45 am

Hey Glenda, was wondering if you’re still using proloquo2go… I’m working with an adult aphasia patient and I’m having some serious set-backs in trying to make the software conversational. For some reason I just can’t seem to accomodate past/present/future into the software while still keeping it conversational. Any advice?
PS – I’ll buy you 7 cafe mochas if you can help me. 🙂

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