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Jargon Buster

Jargon Buster


A communication board that contains a set of symbols (pictures, photos or names of activities) that is designed to assist a person to communicate during a specific activity, (for example, going shopping)

A means of controlling an electronic device other than using the orthodox method (e.g. using a switch to control a computer instead of using the keyboard or mouse).

Assistive Technology (AT) or Communication Assistive Technology is any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified or customised that is used to increase or improve functional capabilities of people with disabilities.

A set of procedures and processes designed to improve (temporarily or permanently), the communication skills of individuals, with little or no functional means of communication. AAC involves supplementing or replacing natural speech and / or writing with aided (eg picture communication symbols, line drawings, alphabet based methods) and / or unaided symbols (eg manual signs, gestures and finger spelling). Aided symbols are used with assistive devices including electronic devices (speech generating devices) and non-electronic aids (eg communication books).

A communication board that contains a set of symbols (pictures, photos or names of words) that is designed to assist the user to make choices, for example choices of clothes to wear, or food.

A paper, board or card containing a set of symbols which have been adapted to meet each individual’s communication needs.

A book or folder containing pages of symbols which have been adapted to meet each individual’s communication needs.

Electronic equipment that supplements or replaces natural speech and / or writing.

A state in which an individual has difficulty conveying thoughts in speech and/or writing.

Any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified or customised that is used to increase, or improve communication of people with disabilities.

A desk top, or portable computer which is capable of producing synthesised or digital speech.

The adaptation or manufacture of specialist equipment to meet the particular needs of an individual.

Progressive worsening, usually of a medical condition.

Speech that is recorded into a device and sounds natural.

Using orthodox access methods to control a device (e.g. typing onto a computer keyboard or using a standard mouse).

Ministry of Health equipment management and funding service, whose role is to approve and provide funding for equipment for eligible clients.

An electronic device, usually operated by switch or voice designed to control electrical, domestic devices (e.g. television, stereo, heaters, fans, opening/closing doors etc.)

Using facilitation to control a communication device.

A means of assisting a user to operate a keyboard device (e.g. computer, speech device) by physically supporting the user’s finger, hand, arm or shoulder.

Usually defined as medium to highly sophisticated electronic equipment.

A selection method whereby there are intermediary steps involved in making a selection, for example: scanning.

A computer type of keyboard device, which is used as a writing tool. It has computer memory for storing many pages of text, a spell checker and can have a word prediction feature. The device’s stored data may be transferred, via the supplied cable, to a computer application programme, such as a word processor.

A rigid, sheet like device with cut-out holes that fits over a keyboard allowing the user to easily target the keys by putting a finger into the hole to depress the key.

Usually defined as inexpensive simple electrical / electronic or non-electronic devices.

A mechanical system to hold devices, so that they are most effectively positioned for presentation to the user.

A psychologist specialising in brain-behaviour relationships.

An Allied Health professional who addresses the needs of a client in the areas of physical, sensory or cognitive functioning to enable purposeful activity.

An orthodox or customised computer keyboard displayed on the computer screen and controlled by an external device, e.g. mouse or switch.

PDA (personal digital assistant) is a term for any small mobile hand-held device that provides computing and information storage and retrieval capabilities for personal or business use, PDA’s are often used for keeping schedule calendars and address book information handy.

Progressive worsening, usually of a medical condition.

A board or paper containing a printed timetable: the messages can be conveyed via a symbol system.

The process of controlling a device through scanning with the use of a switch.

At TalkLink, this refers to assessments completed by TalkLink team members, with a view to identifying technology solutions. The term specialised refers to the fact that this type of assessment is the main duty of the TalkLink team (as opposed to other clinical therapeutic tasks), and to the specialised knowledge that this team hold with regard to the purpose and appropriate application of technology.

This applies to software that is not used by the general public but by people who have a disability.

A communication device that ‘speaks’ messages, when activated by the user.

An Allied Health professional who diagnoses and treats communication and swallowing disorders.

Refers to the ‘speech’or ‘voice’that is heard when a message is activated on a communication device.

Any device, mechanical or electronic, that may be used to close an electrical circuit in order to control an AT device.

An electrical device (e.g. electrical toy), which has been modified electrically so that it may be operated by an external switch.

The range of options used to represent things, concepts and ideas. Examples of symbols include aided symbols (such as tangible objects), photos, pictures, line drawings, letters and words, or unaided symbols such as manual signs, gestures or finger spelling.

Speech that is generated by a computer and usually sounds robotic.

Support provided by a person who is knowledgeable with regard to the in-depth operation of electronic devices.

An electronic component that displays computer information. Usually containing a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube).

A communication device that increases or amplifies a person’s speech volume.

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