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What is Low Tech?

An internet search on “low tech communication” will yield a number of different definitions.

The definition we are going to use:

Low tech communication systems do not contain a computer chip. A low tech system can be handmade, and relatively low cost. Low tech communication can be simple to make, and relatively simple to use.

Some examples of low tech communication include:

  • Writing
  • Gesture
  • Pointing to letters and words on a paper communication board
  • Sign language
  • Eye pointing (looking at a desired object)
  • Using a head mounted laser pointer to select letters and words from a communication board
  • Eye gaze boards (ETRAN)
  • Scanning

 

How Does Low Tech Communication Work?

Because a low tech system doesn’t use a computer chip, it will not “talk out loud”.  So how does a person "speak" using a low tech system?

All forms of low tech communication (other than hand writing), require that a communication partner be present. 

It takes 2 people to construct a message using low tech:

  1. The AAC User  (the person with the speech disability), will point, or in some other way indicate the letter/word/phrase or symbol that they want on their low tech system.

  2. The Communication Partner (the listener) will read the letter/word/phrase (and if necessary, say it out loud).

Low tech requires that the AAC user and the communication partner work together to help construct the message.  This places the communication partner into a more active role.