Cheap Talk 4 Direct & Scans & Jacks By: Kristin Scarimbolo EDUC652 06/24/2009
Cheap Talk 4 Direct & Scans & Jacks • Originally manufactured by Toys for Special Children, Inc. which is now called Enabling Devices. • They are located in New York and bill themselves as an innovator in providing affordable assistive devices for people with disabilities of all ages and functioning level.
Purpose of Device: • This device gives students with limited or no language a “voice” through the use of 4 pre-recorded phrases that go along with different symbols that the student can activate using: • A single switch that is plugged into a jack in the back which scans the symbols • Or by pressing the picture symbol on the button itself.
Intended Audience • Device is mainly used with students who: • Have limited gross motor movement. • Have limited or no fine motor skills. • Have limited language skills. • Have vision issues or impairments • http://www.dragonflytoys.com
Specifications of Cheap Talk 4 • The front of the device has four different colored buttons each of which you can put in a 2 inch picture symbol. • The device is capable of recording a total of 20 seconds with 5 seconds per colored button. • You also have knobs to change the scan speed, the scan beep, playback delay, and also a red record knob. • The device is capable of attaching up to four external switches, one for each colored button • To turn on the device you turn the volume button clockwise. • You can ask the student a question and they can press the correct picture and the recorded message will play. • You can have the device be a basic communication device for wants and needs. Throughout the day the student can press the button he/she wants to let their needs be known.
How to record a message: • In order to record a message to a corresponding button you must first press the colored button. • While holding the colored button you must press in the red record button. • While holding BOTH record and the color button you can then record your message.
Jelly-Bean Switch • Is manufactured by AbleNet. • Is used primarily to activate games, toys, voice-output devices, and even computers and projectors. • Cost to buy: $45.00
Jelly-Bean Switch cont… • By attaching the Jelly-Bean switch to the Cheap Talk 4 it gives students with limited motion the ability to activate the symbols on the device by pressing once to start scanning. • You can press the switch with different body parts such as a foot or the side of your head. This gives students with limited motion the ability to have access to a device they normally would not have. • Once it is scanning the light above the symbol will flash and a sound unique to that color will sound. This is good for students who have limited hearing or sight. They can listen for the unique beep if they have low vision or if they have limited hearing they can look for the flashing light above the symbol. The switch gives them access to a device that they would not be able to use otherwise. • When the student wants to activate a color they will release the switch when the light above that color flashes and the recorded message will play.
Jelly-Bean Switch Cont…. 2 • The switch gives people with limited sight, motion, or hearing, access to the Cheap Talk 4. The performance value of the Cheap Talk 4 is enhanced by the Jelly-Bean because without the switch the device could remain useless by the student. • Enjoyment of the device is enhanced by the switch because the switch gives the student access to a voice they normally wouldn’t have. It makes them more independent.
Limitations of the Jelly-Bean • If a student with a more significant delay was using the Cheap Talk 4 with the Jelly-Bean they might become confused by the flashing lights and unique sounds. It is more simple to activate the buttons without the Jelly-Bean for some students. • The student would have to practice using the Jelly-Bean attached to the Cheap Talk 4 before the device would be of value. It can get frustrating.
Scan Modes:You must external switches for scan modes to work • Scan Mode 1: You press and hold the switch to scan the buttons and release it to play the recorded message. • Scan Mode 2: Unlike mode 1, you press and release the switch to scan and press it again to play the message. • Scan Mode 3: You need two switches. Switch one scans the buttons one at a time. You press switch two to play the desired message when you get to the button you want. • Scan Mode 4: You need two switches. Switch one starts the scan. You press it to stop scanning and then press switch two to play the message. • These are the more simple scan modes.
Durability • Both the Cheap Talk 4 and the Jelly-Bean are made to withstand the test of time. • They can be thrown or dropped and for the most part would remain functional and usable.
Overall Opinion • Overall the Cheap Talk 4 can be used for basic wants/needs and for basic question answering. It is limited because of the four buttons but that is good for students with low cognitive abilities or very young students. • The Jelly-Bean is an excellent addition to the Cheap Talk 4 because it can give many different types of students access to the device.
Recommendations • If the student is using a switch in addition to the Cheap Talk 4 I would introduce the use in steps using a backward chain. This gets them comfortable with the device and switch. • I would recommend to the manufacturer to have more resources for the device on their website i.e., different ways you can use the device in different settings.