What is Low Tech?

What is Low Tech?   How Does It Work?

Low tech communication systems do not contain a computer chip.  

A low tech system can be handmade, and relatively low cost. 

Low tech can be simple to make, and relatively simple to use.

Examples of low tech communication:

  • 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

(continued below)

Pointing to Letters and Words on a Paper Communication Board


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 handwriting), require that a communication partner be present. 
It takes 2 people to construct a message using low tech:

  • AAC User (the person with the speech disability)
    Points or in some other way indicates the letter/word/phrase or symbol that they want on their low tech system.

  • Communication Partner (the listener)
    Reads the letter/word/phrase (and if necessary, says 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.

Communication Board