Very young non- or hardly-speaking children with severe disabilities need active guidance to stimulate interaction with their environment in order to develop their communicative and linguistic skills. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems can help this process, provided that they are tuned to this specific user group. LinguaBytes is a research programme, which aims at developing an interactive and adaptive educational toy that stimulates the language and communicative skills of multiple-handicapped children with a developmental age of 1-4 years. In this article we show which guidelines we consider essential for developing this tool. We have developed several concepts based on these guidelines, of which we elucidate Explorascope (E-scope). E-scope consists of a tangible toy-like interface that is adaptable to an individual child with respect to his or her cognitive, linguistic, emotional and perceptual-motor skills. A first user test shows that E-scope is promising and useful for this user group.
Hummels, C. C. M., Helm, van der, A., Hengeveld, B. J., Luxen, R., Voort, R., Balkom, van, H., & Moor, de, J. (2007). Explorascope : stimulation of language and communicative skills of multiple handicapped children through an interactive, adaptive educational toy. Digital Creativity, 18(2), 79-88. https://doi.org/10.1080/14626260701401056