Project Description

Let’s See Why You Need AlphaTopics AAC

AlphaTopics AAC – Updated for Aphasia

AlphaTopics lets you speak naturally, while giving your conversation partner enough context to understand you better. Just point to the topic or the first letter of each word you say.

Stroke, brain injury, Parkinson’s, ALS, and cerebral palsy can make speech difficult to understand. You may not need an app to speak for you, slowing down the conversation as you type in each word. Get your point across faster and clearer with this simple speech supplementation strategy.

  • Alphabet board says the name of each letter
  • Topics board can be fully customized
  • White board to write or draw your message
  • Individualize colors, layout, and access method
  • Available on Apple App Store and Android Google Play Store

See the Benefits of AlphaTopics AAC

  • As a handy app on your iPhone or iPad, AlphaTopics AAC goes where you go, and does not look like a traditional communication aid.
  • Touch only as many letters as you need to to get the message across. No more spelling out whole words or fixing typos as you speak. Less waiting for your listener keeps the conversation moving.
  • Your listener can hear the letters or topics you touch to narrow the possibilities, making it easier to understand you. They stay focused on you instead of the device.
  • Studies show that just using a letter board may slow down your speech enough that it actually becomes clearer!

See How to Use AlphaTopics AAC for Clearer Speech

If you, a loved one, or a client has difficulty being understood when speaking, AlphaTopics AAC can help. Customize the topics to reflect the most common conversations, choose the settings that work best, and then use the app when speaking with someone who has difficulty understanding.

  • First, point to the topic you’re going to speak about on the topics board.
  • Then, switch to the letter board.
  • Point to the first letter or letters of each word you say, as you say it.
  • Your communication partner can repeat each word after you to make sure they’ve understood correctly.
  • Use the white board any time to write or draw to clarify your message.
  • Use as you speak to help slow you down, or use only when a communication breakdown occurs – up to you!

What People are Saying about AlphaTopics AAC

People whose speech is hard to understand often just want to provide extra clues to their listener and don’t require all the features of a comprehensive AAC app. It’s terrific to have an app that provides this level of support on a mobile platform.
Anne MacCallum, SLP
It’s beautifully laid out. Super easy to use. I introduced it to my husband yesterday. One or two times after we worked on it, he seemed to spontaneously, without even having the app open, use some of the topic names to help himself (and me) get to his idea or more specific words.
Barbara L, wife of a man with aphasia

Join the Hundreds of Satisfied Users of AlphaTopics AAC


Get the Most out of AlphaTopics AAC

Need more Details?

Platforms: iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, iPod touch, Android tablets and Android phones

Goal Areas: Verbal Expression, Speech Intelligibility, Eye Contact, Strategy Use, Augmentative Communication, AAC

Helps: Dysarthria, Apraxia, Motor Speech Disorders, Stroke, Cerebral Palsy, Aphasia, Traumatic Brain Injury, Parkinson’s Disease, ALS

Contains: 3 Communication Boards (letter, topics, & whiteboard)

Features: Sounds, Customization of Topics, Settings for Physical/Visual/Cognitive Access Needs, Scanning Options, Export Ability

Languages: North American English recorded letter sounds, Text-to-Speech for topics for any language

Age: 4+ (basic literacy or sound-letter awareness is required)

Version: 1.01

Price: $4.99 USD

Bundled in: Tactus Collection Part 2 – Clinical Tools

Practical Advice & Evidence Review

Hanson, E. K., & Fager, S. K. (2017). Communication supports for people with motor speech disorders. Topics in Language Disorders, 37(4), 375-388. [PDF]

Hanson, E. K. (2014). My Client Talks! Do I Still Need to Consider AAC in my Treatment Planning? Speech Supplementation Strategies: AAC for Clients Who Talk!SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication23(3), 124-131.

Research Reviews

Hanson, E. K., Beukelman, D. R., & Yorkston, K. M. (2013). Communication support through multimodal supplementation: A scoping review. Augmentative and Alternative Communication29(4), 310-321.

Hanson, E. K., Yorkston, K. M., & Beukelman, D. R. (2004). Speech supplementation techniques for dysarthria: A systematic review. Journal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology12(2), IX-XXIX. PDF

Published Studies

Fercho, K., Baugh, L. A., & Hanson, E. K. (2015). Effects of alphabet-supplemented speech on brain activity of listeners: An fMRI study. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 58(5), 1452-1463. [PDF]

Hanson, E. K., Beukelman, D. R., Heidemann, J. K., & Shutts-Johnson, E. (2010). The impact of alphabet supplementation and word prediction on sentence intelligiblity of electronically distorted speech. Speech Communication52(2), 99-105.

Tjaden, K. (2008). Speech and swallowing in Parkinson’s disease. Topics in geriatric rehabilitation24(2), 115.

Hustad, K. C., & Lee, J. (2008). Changes in speech production associated with alphabet supplementationJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research51(6), 1438-1450.

Hustad, K. C., & Garcia, J. M. (2005). Aided and Unaided Speech Supplementation Strategies – Effect of Alphabet Cues and Iconic Hand Gestures on Dysarthric Speech. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research48(5), 996-1012.

Hustad, K. C. (2005). Effects of speech supplementation strategies on intelligibility and listener attitudes for a speaker with mild dysarthria. Augmentative and Alternative Communication21(4), 256-263.

Hustad, K. C., & Gearhart, K. J. (2004). Listener attitudes toward individuals with cerebral palsy who use speech supplementation strategies. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology13(2), 168-181.

Hustad, K. C., Jones, T., & Dailey, S. (2003). Implementing Speech Supplementation Strategies – Effects on Intelligibility and Speech Rate of Individuals With Chronic Severe Dysarthria. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research46(2), 462-474.

Howard, D., & Harding, D. (1998). Self-cueing of word retrieval by a woman with aphasia: Why a letter board works. Aphasiology12(4-5), 399-420.

Aug 20, 2015            Version 1.01

  • Added a white board for free writing or drawing in 6 colors
  • Added export to all pages for easy saving or printing of each board

Feb 16, 2015            AlphaTopics AAC Initial Release

Feb 2-6, 2015           Live Blog documents App Creation

  • Read how AlphaTopics was created in 5 days
  • Learn what goes into making an app
  • See how community feedback helped with the design

Look No Further. Get Started Today.

AlphaTopics AAC is available for your iOS and Android devices.

It can also be purchased as part of the following iOS bundles:


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