Fusion: Cheap AAC

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I’m always on the lookout for cheap AAC devices, because not everyone has insurance, not all insurance covers AAC, not everyone has a diagnosis, and tons of other reasons. I saw a Fusion being used today and wanted to send out the link to anyone who might need it. At $339 it’s cheaper than what I often use (an iPod Touch/Proloquo2Go combination, which is more powerful than a Fusion, in fact more powerful than devices I have seen at way higher prices). The text to speech is not as good as some I’ve heard, but not anywhere near as bad as some things I’ve heard for three times the cost. You can hear a sample if you click this link and scroll down the page to the link saying “Click here to hear it!” Anyway the Fusion looks a lot like a Link Plus but has a much better voice from what I could hear. (The Link Plus DECtalk is actually worse than the older DECtalk voices.) I don’t know a lot about the screen other than that it’s one of those basic black on grey LCD displays.

So here’s a link to the Fusion itself for anyone who is interested.

About Mel Baggs

Hufflepuff. Came from the redwoods. Crochet or otherwise create constantly and compulsively. Write poetry and paint when I can. Physically and cognitively disabled. Anything you hear in the media or gossip is likely to be oversimplified at best and wildly inaccurate at worst, the only way to get to know me is to actually know me. I'm not really part of any online faction or another, even ones that claim me as a member. The thing in the world most important to me is having love and compassion for other people, although I don't always measure up to my own standards there by a longshot. And individual specific actions and situations and contexts matter a lot more to me than broadly-spoken abstract words and ideas about a topic. My father died a couple years ago and that has changed my life a lot in ways that are still evolving, but I wear a lot of his clothes and hats every day since he died and have shown no sign of stopping soon.

4 responses »

  1. Have espeak on the N900, currently, but haven’t had a chance to try it yet. Getting too good at avoiding overloading situations nowadays. It sounds fairly good, though, so it may work.

  2. Have you ever used an android Tablet for AAC? Alot of the cheaper android Tablets wont be released till April or May. But I am interested in learning to develop them, so I can bring a real cheap AAC device to the public. I want to try to shoot for a 200 dollar price tag for both the software and hardware. [Software I plan on doing the freeware way].

    Something you might not be aware with these devices is they have touch feedback. A slight vibration when you touch a key on the keyboard. I know for my own son that is non-verbal , he loves that sensation. We dont own a android tablet yet, but I have tested this out at the local bestbuy a couple times between the ipad and also the galaxy android tablet. And he likes the android a lot better. And I do believe it is because of the extra feedback from the keyboard. Was wondering about your thoughts on this?

  3. I don’t know anything about Android tablets at all, other than just looking up the Galaxy tablet and reading it will possibly be obsolete in a few months when Google puts out the 3.0 OS. But tactile feedback would be incredibly welcome for me.

    Unfortunately I can’t afford lots of new gadgets so I mostly use my iPod Touch and a laptop. (Afforded the iPod + Proloquo2Go through that stimulus package that came out just at the right time, and my laptop as a combination of gift and leftover money from services at the end of a fiscal year.)

    The tablets seem like they’d be interesting but possibly too large and unwieldy. But I haven’t tried one so I can’t say for certain. The solid state hard drive would be an improvement over my laptop durability-wise. I’d have to see. (But I’d also have to afford, and that’s where I’d have trouble. Especially since my most pressing assistive tech need right now is a manual wheelchair that suits my needs in situations where I couldn’t take my powerchair. And that’s seemingly only one kind of chair, which is pretty expensive especially once customized for me (Invacare Solara).)

  4. One of my million underdeveloped unfinished projects is trying to design a cross-platform modification friendly voice-output independent (because there are some good cross platform voices for as little as £25 as well as tolerable built-in system voices on many operating systems) Free/Open-Source VOCA program.

    I hope it isn’t too off topic, but if my project ever becomes enough of a serious prospect to start farming it out to potential users for suggestions and feedback about what’s wrong with it, would you be interested in having a poke/tinker with it and sharing your thoughts? My day job is working as a PA to an AAC user, so I’ve sort of come across the idea for doing this through realising that regardless of the type of bureaucracy controlling cash flow for AAC (here it’s the NHS, in other places it’s insurance) the conflict between gatekeepers wanting to save money and vendors wanting to keep prices on their mostly-captive markets high is causing a lot of people to be stuck waiting, or to be left with inadequate options because they’re cheaper or they’re what’s been contracted for already, or whatever.

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