Will Wade

Ace Centre


Will is an occupational therapist & senior AAC consultant from the Ace Centre - a UK charity supporting people who require technology to communicate. He has 8 years’ experience working at Ace centre which, alongside assessing and providing AAC for individuals, he has been involved with a number of research and development projects.


  Sep 30th 2022.
  2:45 - 3:15 p.m.    

Pasco & Dasher. Improving Rate and Auditory Scanning Solutions for People Who Use AAC

About session


Individuals who need to use a form of on-screen keyboard have a mean word per minute rate of 4.96, with upper values at 15 words per minute. Although prediction is often used by users, its impact on rate of communication is not clear, with some users spending considerable time visually searching for words and equally correcting incorrect prediction selections. Alternative methods of text input to increase this rate are therefore sought after by users and professionals alike. Dasher was developed nearly 20 years ago by a research team at Cambridge University and has published rates from users with a relatively small amount of training of 24-34 words per minute. At Ace Centre we have continued to demonstrate and train individuals to use Dasher – even though development on the system has been slow for some time. This presentation aims to detail the experiences and provide insight to real rates by users and the settings they use to enhance rate and communicate efficiently.

Pasco - improving auditory scanning

Auditory scanning is a common technique used by people who use AAC as a backup strategy to an electronic system, or as a primary method. It can be used for spelling or accessing phrases. It is widely used and it is relatively easy to understand and train end users and partners who support clients. There are some difficulties, however, when migrating people to using auditory scanning purely on an electronic system. Spelling and making use of prediction features is difficult to understand for the visually impaired user, for some people might want a private cue to appear in one language and the output - the main/public voice in another one, and aspects such as error correcting are particularly difficult. We demonstrate with case studies about the development of Pasco – an open-source auditory scanning system which we are using with a number of individuals to spell and access complex multilingual vocabulary. The presentation will aim to disseminate the broad research around this topic and features of auditory scanning systems.