About Aurora Symbols
Aurora Symbols designs Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) solutions designed to be user-friendly, simple and powerful. Optimized for those who may have challenges with motor skills and visual processing as well as attention deficits.
Norman Nanstiel, Sr. – President
Norm Nanstiel is a veteran art director and commercial illustrator, Norman ran his own advertising art studio from the early 1970’s well into the 2000’s working for national clients such as Sears Roebuck, etc. As a grandfather to a special needs child, Norm has committed himself to helping children with Autism communicate more effectively.
Erik Nanstiel – Vice President
Erik Nanstiel is a veteran graphic designer and copywriter with a background in publishing and advertising. He founded and was executive director of an autism 501c3 nonprofit from 2003 to 2012. He is codesigner of Avatalker AAC and principal designer of SymBoard Builder.
Dana Klepitch-Pelke – Projects Manager
Dana Klepitch-Pelke is a veteran teacher with a BA in Psychology and a Masters degree in Special Education and co-designer of Avatalker AAC who authored its vocabulary database. She has extensive expertise working directly with special needs children with communication deficits and brings unique insight to Aurora Symbols’ design strategies.
Educators & Students Benefit from Avatalker – Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) Technology
The Power Of Avatalker AAC
Vocalizing thoughts, needs, and emotions give us power. Self-expression is the key to empowerment and independence. Children and adults with expressive learning disabilities like Autism may not have been born with the gift of speech, but they still have the desire to communicate with those around them.
Avatalker AAC is a unique learning system that was created in the form of an app to allow these special kids and adolescents to express their needs, hopes, wants, and desires with ease.
Avatalker AAC iOS App Solves Communication Struggles in the Classroom
The Avatalker AAC iOS app for iPad & iPad Mini allows speech-impaired children and young adults to communicate their needs, wants, and desires audibly. Our unique learning system helps nonverbal kids overcome real-life issues they come across every day. It’s a tool that aids them in vocalizing opinions, advocating for themselves, and making decisions.
Their Avatalker AAC App Boosts:
- Classroom participation.
- Interacting with other students.
- Communicating needs with teachers and aides.
- Learning and growing in the education environment.
Classrooms are Transformed with Avatalker AAC
Avatalker AAC is great for the classroom. It only requires an iPad or iPad Mini device, which can be easily packed up and moved from class to class, or between class and home.
Their Avatalker AAC app brings clarity to conversations by speaking phrases or sentences constructed by your student. No more guessing. With a few taps on the screen, your nonverbal student can ask questions, tell you what they need, or interact in a classroom discussion. Students, teachers, and caregivers can now bond and thrive in the learning environment.
Why Avatalker AAC is Right for Educators and Their Students
Avatalker AAC offers customizable features that work for every situation. It’s an augmentative and alternative communication solution that can be used right out of the box with no training or special programming.
Stages Built for Expression at All Levels
Most AAC apps lump all of their features under one umbrella. Avatalker AAC separates “wants and needs” selection from its phrase-building features, so your nonverbal child or student can learn to use the app without being overwhelmed by unneeded clutter on the screen. This makes communicating easy, right “out of the box!”
Avatalker AAC comes fully configured with preset phrases and items. It can be further customized with images, photos, and phrases to fit any child’s needs and understanding. Stage one addresses wants and needs. When a picture or icon is tapped, a word or phrase is instantly spoken.
Stage two is more advanced. In this stage, a child can build phrases or full sentences utilizing its powerful grammar tools. For ease of navigation, the vocabulary is arranged in categories by semantic association to improve navigation ease.
Fully Customizable Interface
Every part of this app can be customized! Construct your own phrases and vocabulary, or upload photos quickly and easily to personalize the app. Adjust the button sizes to make appropriate tap targets for most any level of motor ability. If they’re capable of interacting with a touch screen, Avatalker AAC can be adjusted to suit their needs! Activate or deactivate the Grammar Menus as needed. The best part is everything is 100% scalable to fit any user’s needs.
Natural, Accessible, and Adaptable for All
Avatalker AAC uses the Aurora Symbol Set library, which uses illustrations that are more realistic depictions of everyday items than the stick-like figures you’re given with lesser AAC apps. This reduces frustration in searching for words and results in faster, more accurate communication. Phrases your child builds can be changed into questions by tapping the “question-conversion” button. And phrase-building is optimized to keep finger touches to a minimum.
Back-Up and Share
New for late 2020 — you can now back-up, restore, and share settings. Getting a new communication device? Just upload your settings and images to the cloud, and you can install them on your new device. Need to set up several devices or even a whole classroom? You can set up your defaults and download them to all devices straight from the cloud.
- Customizable defaults.
- Vocabulary database categorized by association.
- Adaptable button sizes.
- Turn grammar drop-down menus on or off as needed.
- New for late 2020 – Back-up, restore and share settings!
SymboardsTM Quick Communication Boards: Core Vocabulary-Based Quick-Communication Boards for School, Home & more!
Aurora Symbols’ mission is to help parents and teachers support their nonverbal loved ones or students’ communication needs. And that means ensuring that they have AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) available wherever they are. Whether their primary communication device (tablet device) is available, or not.
One of the BEST WAYS to ensure that your student or loved one always has AAC available to them is with a QUICK COMMUNICATION BOARD… which is a printed chart of symbols paired with a core vocabulary they can use by pointing.
Aurora Symbols would like to introduce you to “SymBoards™,” our answer to quick communication boards that utilize their wonderful Aurora™ symbol library! SymBoards™ are available to you in two options: A giant 36-inch by 24-inch wall chart you can purchase from us at their online store HERE, or a letter-sized alternative you can download for free, print and laminate yourself.
Aurora Symbols offers two versions of their beautiful SymBoards™: “School & Home Edition” and their “Medical Edition.”
SymBoards™ uses a carefully selected vocabulary of core and fringe words as well as an alphabet keyboard designed for optimal ease of use. Your nonverbal communicator will be able to express quite a lot! Fast and easy!
Both their SymBoards™ including the “School & Home Edition” and the “Medical Edition”, measure 36″ x 24″ and are available at their online store. They are printed on durable indoor vinyl, which is lightweight and tear-resistant. You can safely clean your SymBoard™ each day without smudging!
Their FREE, letter-sized SymBoard™ downloadable .pdf file has three pages, each of which fits perfectly on an 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper.
Download it for free, then 1) print it out, 2) laminate the pages, 3) punch a hole in the corners and 4) bind with a metal or plastic ring. Then 5) hang them wherever you anticipate your nonverbal communicator will need his/her AAC!