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Göteborg, Sweden

BACKGROUND: Complex communication needs and problems with accessibility may restrict people who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to communicate on the phone. New technology is promising. People with limited skills in reading and writing can communicate on the phone by using symbols representing words or phrases. METHODS: This interview study examines professionals' views of satisfaction, participation and involvement in daily life in seven individuals with cognitive and communicative disabilities who tried text messaging with picture symbols and speech synthesis in smartphones. The users' experiences of text-messaging are reported elsewhere. RESULTS: The results suggest that texting with picture symbols and speech can increase independence and participation in adults with cognitive and communicative disabilities. Results also point to the necessity of individual assessments. Important factors for user satisfaction include products which can be adapted according to the individual's needs. Speech synthesis, user friendly lay-out and functions making devices easy to handle are necessary. CONCLUSIONS: This study is promising and informative for professionals working with communication technology. It supports enabling of texting today as well as future development of smartphone applications for persons with cognitive and communicative disabilities.© 2013 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved. Source

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