How-to Make LAMP Words for Life CVI Friendly

By: Lauren Gebhard

“Whoa! That is a LOT of pictures, words and buttons on one page.”

“All of the buttons look the exact SAME.”

“That is WAY too much too look at!”

“I am overwhelmed, of course my child will be too!”

You may have had these same thoughts when you first looked at the LAMP Words for Life™, or LAMP, iPad® app. LAMP stands for Language Acquisition through Motor Planning, and is one of our absolute favorite apps for communication.

Rest assured, we have heard all of these concerns and more, and sometimes, they can be true. Sometimes LAMP™ does appear to have too many buttons too close together for some of our kiddos. The buttons can end up looking similar, and it can be hard to hit the ‘right’ button so what we call a “miss-hit happens”.

Usually those who notice these things are the parent, caregiver or teacher of a child with the diagnosis of Cortical Visual Impairment, or CVI, and that makes sense. I admit I had some of the same thoughts at first, so I can imagine what they are thinking and feeling when they see the front page of LAMP™ through the eyes of their particular child.

But, we love the LAMP™ approach because it combines a motor plan + core words to teach language and aid with voice output. Learning to use LAMP™ does not necessarily depend on the word and associated symbol. However, these things support learning to speak the “LAMP” language.

As a parent you may be thinking, “I want them to be able to use LAMP to communicate, but I am just not sure they can see with all of this visual clutter on the page! Is there anything we can do to make it HIGH-CONTRAST?”

And as a Speech-Language Pathologist, who loves and believes in LAMP™ and the opportunity it provides for users to communicate across all settings, I love being able to respond,“YES! There is a way to make LAMP HIGH CONTRAST. AND IT’S EASY!!!”

Of course, you can do this for any child, with or without CVI. Maybe they have a favorite color and that will motivate them to use and learn a word, or you could be trying to highlight the “yes” and “no” and want to make those buttons the same color. The options and ways to customize each button are limitless and include, increased font size and style, thicker boarders, etc.

Below you will find the method we use at the Little Light House (LLH) to turn the entire board, or a certain few words we are trying to teach, into high contrast buttons so they can be seen more easily. Here at the LLH, we have the privilege to work on a transdisciplinary team and are always learning from one another. Our vision therapist, Sherry Gurney, CLVT, has taught us that red and yellow are the most preferred or easily seen colors for children with CVI. Therefore, the instructions below will teach you how to change the background of the buttons to red with yellow text, a yellow background with red text, as well as a black background with yellow or red text.

To change the look or function of a button/word on LAMP™, you must be on a page that is “unlocked” and can be edited as seen below on the left side of the screen next to the description of the vocabulary. If all of your pages appear to be locked, you will need to create a page that can be edited. To do this select Menu > Copy a Vocab > LAMP 84 Full > Enter a Title > Save.

YELLOW CVI Icons

  1. Select Menu > Edit Page > Select which button you are editing > “Edit this Button”
  2. Change the font size to 16 if you can – if it does not fit, go to the next biggest font
  3. Change the text color to RED 6
  4. Change to BOLD text
  5. Change the body color to YELLOW 4
  6. SAVE
  7. When you are all finished editing, click DONE

RED CVI Icons

  1. Select Menu > Edit Page > Select which button you are editing > “Edit this Button”
  2. Change the font size to 16 if you can – if it does not fit, go to the next biggest font
  3. Change the text color to YELLOW 4
  4. Change to BOLD text
  5. Change the body color to RED 6
  6. SAVE
  7. When you are all finished editing, click DONE

BLACK CVI Icons

  1. Select Menu > Edit Page > Select which button you are editing > “Edit this Button”
  2. Change the font size to 16 if you can – if it does not fit, go to the next biggest font
  3. Change the text color to YELLOW 4
  4. Change to BOLD text
  5. Change the body color to SOLID BLACK
  6. SAVE
  7. When you are all finished editing, click DONE

 

 

Additional support can be found here in the “LAMP Words for Life™ for iPad® Quick Reference Guide”, with additional information and video tutorials at aacapp.com/lamp. Success stories, information regarding the Language Acquisition through Motor Planning™ (LAMP) approach and more information about LAMP™ is located on the Center for AAC and Autism’s website at http://aacandautism.com/

 

*Disclaimer: Your Speech-Language Pathologist can help you determine whether LAMP Words for Life™ iPad® App is appropriate for your child with communication delays or disorders.

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