Sunday, November 17, 2013

Free App of the Day: ClaroCom - A free AAC app with many preloaded phrases

ClaroCom is an AAC app that can help give a voice to those who have limited or no spoken speech.  It allows the user to easily type phrases and have them read aloud.  It also has many saved phrases that are sorted into different categories.  Some of the phrases are starter sentences that allow the user to type in only the ending before it is read.  Phrases can be added together and read aloud all at once.

If you would like to download ClaroCom (Free, iPad/iPhone), please support Smart Apps for Special Needs by using our link below:

ClaroCom USA

ClaroCom UK (Not available in U.S.A. iTunes store)

 In-App Purchases to buy different voices for $1.99.  Voices are available on USA version for Australia, India, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, UK.  External links to developer's website and to iTunes for other apps by developer.

My father recently had a tracheotomy, and he has been unable to speak since the tube was inserted.  He also has ALS, so with his dominant arm being frozen and not being able to talk, communication has become a huge frustration for him.  I went on the search for a good app to help him communicate.  I needed something that he could use with his non-dominant hand and something that was good for an adult.  I also wanted something that was not too expensive, because we know at some point, he may lose the muscle and movement in his left arm also and will no longer be able to access this app.

ClaroCom USA has proved to be just the app that he needed.  It has a wide range of already saved phrases sorted by subject and even by places.  There are phrases for banking, coffee shop, education, home, hygiene and much more. The user can add their own phrases into each category.  There is a "favorites" category to save commonly used phrases also.

This app provides word and phrase prediction software.  As a user begins to type, words and phrases will appear that can be chosen by clicking on them.  Once a phrase is typed or chosen, it shows up in the top box.  If a phrase is chosen, the app will immediately read the phrase, but it can be reread by clicking on the speech button.  When typing in messages, the app will read only when the speech button is pushed.

We bought my father a call bell to use to get help and to be annoying with, but I realized that this app even has a bell.  On the bottom of the screen, a user can choose a check mark to say yes, an X to say no and a bell to ring for attention.  There are also quick buttons on the bottom for speaking what is in the box, going to favorites and accessing the keyboard for typing.

Settings allow for some customization.  With the free version, a user can choose a male or female voice.  More voices can be purchased for $1.99 each as in-app purchases.  The rate of speech, the font style and the font size can all be customized.  The overall display can also be changed to fit the user's preference.

My mom has been busy inserting favorite phrases for Dad to use.  He even had the phrase "I think I will go with a mullet" for his last haircut.  I love that he is able to show his sense of humor through this app!  I was also glad that he didn't actually have a mullet when I saw him.

Here is a short video from the developers about the basics of this app:


Heather S. loves being able to introduce apps to her family members.  Although this isn't the best of circumstances, she loves that Smart Apps has allowed her to help her family.

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