[Ed.: after posting, a reader brought it to my attention that there is a difference between what exactly is offered between Apple's AssistiveWare Proloquo link and the Proloquo2Go link. Both names are highlighted to facilitate comparison. Best wishes...]
Does Apple focus on accessibility? You bet!
In addition to Hands on Video Relay Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing folks and MacCaption, I am thrilled with Proloquo, which assists individuals who have vision or speech issues and/or difficulties.
Paying up to $10,000 for a communication device is no drop in the bucket. Proloquo is an affordable Alternative and Augmentative Communication, AAC, software program suitable for children, teens, and adults.
What is an AAC device? Via Wikipedia's definition: AAC is used by individuals with communication disorders for whom speech is temporarily or permanently inadequate to meet all or some of their communication needs. Speech may be replaced or augmented by using a variety of modes including body language, gesture, vocalizations, sign language, writing, and/or augmentative communication aids.
How does it work? If you know how to use an iPhone or an iPod touch (it's easy to learn), then you're set to go. Click here to view a how-to video regarding Proloquo.
Leslie Clark, mother of seven-year old autistic JW, says Proloquo has changed her son's life. Matter of fact, she now knows JW's favorite restaurant, which happens to be a local Chinese buffet.
Proloquo is also suitable for part-time AAC users. Though my autistic four-year old son is verbal, he struggles to communicate at times--especially under stress. My son has his good and bad communication days. There are times when he is able to use effective verbal communication and then times where he struggles to tell me something as simple as what he wants to eat. Proloquo is definitely an affordable option to supplement his communication. I'm smiling just thinking about how I can program my contact info into Proloquo as an added safety measure for my son.
Further articles and resources: