Core vocabulary consists of the top 100-300 words used across languages and contexts.  It is the bases of most of the programs and applications used on AAC devices (from low to high tech).  But this does not mean that the AAC device or program it is ready “out of the box” so to speak for the individual.

Something that I have spoken about before is the importance of individualizing core vocabulary.  Now this does not mean I don’t use Core Vocabulary.   Core vocabulary is so named as it contains some of the most important and often used words. for communication.  But I do find it is important to personalize the AAC vocabulary sets for my students, clients, and families.  I use core as my basis and add some personalization components.

These are some things that I personalize with an individuals AAC device or page set:

  • I often update the verbs on the main page to make sure they include everyday high frequency verbs.
  • Within folders such as food and toys, I make sure that personal choices are included as well as general items.
  • I use real pictures when appropriate such as family and friends.
  • I add favorite movies and characters to the appropriate folders.  I add the characters nested in its own folder in the “people” folder.
  • Another thing that I do is personalize the “I”, “me”, and “my” pronouns for the individual.  I update this to include the individuals skin tone and hair color.
  • Add phrases and “quick fire” comments personalized for the individual.
  • I set the skin tone and hair color to “diverse” setting where available.

A feature that more of our AAC programs are adding is a “diversity setting” for the skin tone and hair color of individuals throughout the vocabulary.  I just discovered how easy it is to update this on TD Snap and TouchChat with WordPower.  I have included a link to the video demonstrating how to update this.  Click to view the video on Instagram.   

If you have any questions, please drop me a note!

Shannon Archer, M.S., CCC-SLP