• Gabrielle Flahault

ChatAble, combining the flexibility of symbols and the context of VDS

Updated: Mar 17

In ChatAble, you have the possibility to create scenes, using the user’s own photos or drawings, hybrid communication pages combining symbols and scenes and symbol-grid pages.


  • Visual Scene Displays

Visual Scene Displays (VSD) are a novel type of Augmentative and Alternative Communication that has recently been investigated as an alternative to traditional, grid-based systems. The user takes a photo, an image or a drawing depicting familiar scenes, objects or people. The user can touch “hot spots” on the photo to speak messages that relate to the pictured scene or object. Compared with traditional AAC systems, in which words are represented by symbols in a grid, VSDs can offer more context by using scenes that are similar to the user’s environment. VSDs can be especially valuable for emerging communicators struggling to use traditional grid-based communication systems. Usually, young children relate to VSDs more quickly.

Here is how you can create a VSD communication page in ChatAble:


  • Hybrid communication pages

Hybrid communication pages combine both symbols and VSD for advanced users who are still relying on contextual communication. Hybrid pages can be a good intermediary step before switching completely to symbol grids.

Here is how you can create a VSD communication page in ChatAble:


  • Symbol grids

Symbols are used in AAC to represent objects, actions, concepts, and emotions. Grids allow for the presentation of a variety of symbols related to a given topic, such as a page of items related to people or food (categorically-related). Grid displays can be effective in supporting a range of communication outcomes in children with developmental disabilities. Grids can have different sizes, depending on what the user can see and touch. In ChatAble, the user can link cells to another page (VSD-based, grid-based or hybrid).

Here is how you can create a VSD communication page in ChatAble:


A person's spoken vocabulary will change depending on his/her age, communication partner, language development, environment, mood, and context. By offering 3 types of communication pages, ChatAble aims to adapt to these changing needs and provide flexibility to the AAC user.



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